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Thread: The Funniest Book Iíve Read in Years

  1. #1
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    The Funniest Book Iíve Read in Years



    Allan Karlsson is a man of independence with a talent for survival, in fact, he has survived for one hundred years. Allan is an explosives expert, with only one notable lapse in expertise, which occurred as a result of a spectacularly successful campaign to assassinate a fox with a predilection for his chickens and which led to the inadvertent destruction of his own house. The detonation of a local bigwig back in his youth canít really be considered his fault, as the person in question shouldnít have been on Allanís property - and certainly not when he was testing a new explosive formula.

    After becoming homeless he found himself in an old folks home, and, resenting the regime of its director, which seemed to consist mainly of rules which he had no interest in following (particularly the one about not drinking vodka) and not really relishing the idea of being the star, if unwilling, participant in the one hundredth birthday celebrations being arranged for him, he decides that heíll escape. So, as heís universally acknowledged to be spry for his age, he climbs out of the window and shuffles off to the local bus station.

    This simple act precipitates a sequence of events resulting in the theft of a suitcase, the bizarre deaths of two hoodlums, the redistribution of 50 million Swedish Crowns, a nationwide manhunt and a holiday in Indonesia (in the company of an elephant called Sonya.)

    In the course of this adventure Allan acquires a group of new friends, and we learn that his life has been a remarkable one. Despite remaining steadfastly apolitical for the last hundred years, and only having a mere three years of formal schooling, he has inadvertently been influencing the geopolitical structure of the world since the mid 1930s, simply by being in certain places at certain times and trying to be helpful. Unremittingly accepting of whatever fate throws at him, he breezes through life without ever complaining. Allan Karlssonís is a story you wouldnít want to miss.

    It was told by Swedish author, Jonas Jonasson in 2009, but I read it in English as translated in 2012 by Rod Bradbury. The style in which it is penned is simple, witty and hilariously laugh-out-loud funny.

    The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is published by Hesperus Press Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-84391-372-6

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    Is this fiction or a "true story?" Interesting that Ray Bradbury did the translation; it must have been one of the last things he did before we lost him.

    I hope nobody holds his breath waiting for the movie version, though, at least out of Hollywood. Since the optimum demographic for audiences is 18-25 year old males, no producer would get financing for a movie about a centenarian. (On the other hand, Eastwood would be convincing in the title role.)

    If the point of a favorable book review is to coax people into reading it, then your review did its job. It is well-written, except for one tiny little lapse into Time Magazine style--"penned." In addition to sounding like herding up hogs and sticking them in a corral, the word is the equivalent of "authored."
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 05-20-2013 at 04:56 PM.

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