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am 21. Dezember 2013
It would be easy to compare Jonas Jonasson's book The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared to Forrest Gump, and do both this book and Winston Groom a great disservice in the process. Whilst it is easy enough to find many similarities between the two, there are also many singular differences which make this work not only a good read but also, perhaps, an inspiration for those who wish to delve deeper into what makes our lives worth living.

Allan Karlsson is about to be faced with the celebration of his one hundredth birthday, a very formal and shallow event in the old people's home he has a room in. He will be surrounded by carers and old people, as well as the director of the institution who, as we find out, is not quite his ideal. It should be the capping of a long and experience-full life, but he doesn't quite see it that way.

Perhaps his decision to abscond is a spur-of-the-moment thing, perhaps he has been planning it for a long time. Regardless, as with almost everything that has been a part of his life, where there is a plan there is also the opportunity for fate to take a hand and turn things round. His escape is not what he had imagined, and adds another intriguing, comedy-ridden episode to his long life.

And this work is a comedy. It is filled with dark humor, with the twists and turns of both opportunity and fate, with the unexpected and the stroke of luck which alters everything. Were that not the case, Allan Karlsson would never have made it into the third decade of his life, let alone the tenth.

No matter what a person's age, they should never give up, never forget that tomorrow is another day and that there is more to life than what is happening right now. At the same time we get to see, through carefully crafted and interesting flashbacks, exactly what has made Allan Karlsson's life so interesting; how he has managed to cheat the early grip of death many times; how he has literally seen the world, from the good and the bad side of things. We take a part in his optimism, in his zest for the new, in his risk-taking adventures and get to meet some of the great, if more infamous than famous, names of the last century. Across China, Russia, Europe and the United States, we follow his lead and his bluffs as much as his rise and fall. We meet with people who are only names in the history books, can put faces to them, can experience a little bit of the human side of each person through the almost naive but determined character of our hero.

History is shaped by those who are there, and Allan Karlsson, we learn, was there more often than not, hidden in the background but making his presence felt. Whether, at the end of his journey, we can say his active help in forming the course of history was a good thing or not depends on the reader. At least, thanks to a few thrown-together friends, we can be sure of one thing: life doesn't stop simply because you are older than everyone else. There is always a tomorrow, always a new adventure to be lived right outside the door, if we just take the chance and go through it.
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am 25. November 2012
Eine vollkommen wahnsinnige und unwahrscheinliche Geschichte mit - nach meinem Geschmack - ein paar Toten zu viel, aber ansonsten mal was ganz andres - sehr fesselnd zu lesen. Und es geht gut aus, also für alle Leute (wie mich), die ein positives Ende mit Liebe und allem Tamtam brauchen, gut geeignet.
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am 6. Dezember 2012
...dieses Buch ist super witzig, spannend und leicht lesbar, demnach auch für Leser verständlich, die nicht täglich mit der englischen Sprache umgehen.
Eine schöne Story, um sich verregnete Nachmittage oder die dunklen Winterabende herzlich und spannend zu füllen.
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am 21. Mai 2013
Tolles Buch, welches scheinbar mein halber Bekanntenkreis gelesen hat - wohl zurecht. Es handelt sich um eine gelungene Mischung von verschrobenen Charakteren und kuriosen Ereignissen, die in ihrer Häufung und mit ihren Wendungen stets erstauenen, bei denen aber jedes einzelne Element doch wie irgendwie nie die Grenze des glaubwürdigen überschreitet.

Dies trifft vor allem auf den zweiten Handlungsstrang zu, welcher von der Lebensgeschichte des Romanhelden handelt - nach und nach nimmt das staunen zu, wenn man erfährt, wie er durch die Weltgeschichte getrudelt ist, gleich einem globalen Forrest Gump.

Insgesamt ein Buch, das einen auf eine schöne Reise schickt, und einen immer mit einem Fragezeichen weiterlesen lässt, wenn von einem Kapitel zum anderen wieder der Handlungsstrang wechselt.
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am 11. Juni 2013
Allen Karlsson never lets anybody interfere with his freedom. So it is no surprise that he ends his days in the rather regulated atmosphere of the nursing home by an escape. Despite his limited physical abilities he manages to survive in the wild and find friends of equal spirit. He soon gets involved in a number of lethal accidents which could be interpreted as murder and cause the police to hunt for him and his companions in all of Sweden. During the course of events Allen Karlsson's past comes in handy, for he is not only an explosive's expert, but also has international connections.

Whether you regard it as a comedy, a criminal story, a satire, or an abridged lecture in 20th century politics, it is a book worth reading and the essence of it is the freedom we are all craving for.
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am 6. November 2012
This is a completely off-the wall story which is really irresistable. There are serious messages not very far below the surface but the fast moving parallel story lines and crazy humour are enough to keep you entertained on their own. Clearly the alcohol consumption and antics of the eponymous hero would finish off any normal human being some decades before his or her 100th birthday but nobody could regard Allan Karlsson as 'normal'. Having influenced world events for the best part of 50 years, his final adventure probably requires even more suspension of belief but who cares when it's all such fun! How many more literary categories can the Swedes now take over?
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am 26. Januar 2014
Jonasson beschreibt seinen Helden mit viel Einsicht in die Gegebenheiten verschiedener Altersphasen und gibt
der Geschichte eine klare Struktur. Jedoch, zum Schluss hin fühlt man Längen
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am 22. November 2014
This book was an absolute pleasure to read. The simplicity of it's structure and language are used in contrast to the witty and charming take on an extraordinary central character's life. This is the art Jonasson brings to modern novel writing- the story twists and turns, is accessible and engaging, while being sufficiently understated to allow characters and plot to shine through.

In terms of style, it would classed as a black comedy, though elements of drama and action-adventure are thrown in in good measure.

Highly recommended read for those seeking a gripping yet intelligent novel.
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am 17. August 2014
Ich habe den "Hundertjährigen" verschlungen. Eine sehr fantasievolle Geschichte, die perfekt reale Geschehnisse mit erfundener Plotline verknüpft. Man bekommt einen Einblick in die wichtigsten politischen Vorkommnisse des 20. Jahrhunderts, liebevoll erzählt und gespickt mit witzigen Details. Die Geschichte bleibt einem in Erinnerung, sie ist irgendwie magisch.

Da ich so begeistert war, habe ich das Buch an meine ältere Schwester und meine Mama weitergegeben und beide waren ebenso begeistert wie ich.

(Der Film kommt übrigens absolut nicht an das Buch heran.)
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am 6. November 2013
Hatte das Buch in D auf deutsch gelesen...und es hat mir so gut gefallen...dass ich es fuer einige Freunde in Kiwiland bestellt habe...natuerlich die englische Version...die mir persoenlich genauso gut gefaellt...Fazit: Sowohl die deutsche als auch die englische Uebersetzung sind enorm unterhaltsam...und das Buch hat ein neues Licht auf unsere Schul-Geschichtsstunden geworfen...

Kleines Manko: Die Lieferzeit war etwas lange...

Mit freundlichen Gruessen aus der Suedsee

Guenther Willisch
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