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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson

Published: 2012-09-11
Paperback : 400 pages
43 members reading this now
172 clubs reading this now
28 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 20 of 28 members
The international publishing sensation--over six million copies sold worldwide!

A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over . . .

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up ...
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Introduction

The international publishing sensation--over six million copies sold worldwide!

A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over . . .

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1. Publishers Weekly called this book, a "gentle lampoon of procedurals and thrillers." With a detective, a band of criminals and escapees on the run, it seems a valid description. Are these the terms in which you would talk about this novel? How else would you describe it?

2. What do you consider justice for Allan Karlsson?

3. Many readers have spoken about the humour and optimism of Allan Karlsson. How do these characteristics weave through the novel? What parts do you find particularly funny...and what makes them funny?

4. The One Hundred Year Old Man is a novel with the topic of ageing at its core. What are society's expectations of how the elderly should act? Talk about the ways—obvious and not-so-obvious—in which Allan defies the usual stereotypes. What are your own experiences, either as an older person yourself...or as someone who worries about an older friend or family member? Does society do a good job in terms of how we treat our older population? Have you read other novels that explore (and shatter) a strongly held societal belief?

5. History and politics sit lightly within the framework of this novel. When it comes to international relations, what worldview would you say the author seem to hold?

6. A definition of "satire" is "a literary composition in which vices, abuses and follies, etc are held up to scorn, derision
or ridicule" (Macquarie Dictionary). Do you think this novel is a satire—and what is being satirized?

With thanks to litlovers

Suggested by Members

There are questions in the back of the book and these proved useful
by brightpoweruk (see profile) 10/21/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by [email protected] (see profile) 12/10/19

I adored this book. Couldn’t wait for each new turn. It’s a funny adventure full of quirky optimism through a dark sense of humor. Can’t wait to read more from this author.

 
by Hanknlori (see profile) 12/01/19

 
by mrstodd (see profile) 11/08/19

 
by jcunningham (see profile) 06/25/19

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