For the month of December I’m going to list a book a day that would be great for the 2018 reading challenge! For today I picked the category Lost in Translation, but this one would also fit into the Octogenarian category.
December 1st Pick: The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson and translated by Rod Bradbury.
This book is filled with a lot of action and adventure – especially considering the main character just had his 100th birthday.
There are two stories happening within this novel. In the present day, the main character, Allan Karlsson finds himself turning 100-years-old. He is a resident of a nursing home and despite the elaborate birthday party about to be thrown in his honor, he just wants to celebrate his birthday with a little bit of vodka. Allan escapes the nursing home on his quest, but it doesn’t stop there. He finds himself at a train station, entrusted by a stranger to watch a suitcase, a suitcase that is filled with cash and most recently, belonging to some criminals. Allan briefly searches for the man that left the suitcase, but instead boards the train with it in tow and begins an adventure of a lifetime. For anyone else, it would be just that – but Allan Karlsson has a long and full life, and throughout the present day adventure, there are flashbacks to some pivotal and crucial points in 20th century history, revealing the story within the story. It is in these vignettes, we learn that in similar to the present, Allan through his life has always had a knack for finding himself in precarious situations. It is in these flashbacks we see how Allan has left his impression on everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle and in doing so, he left his imprint on the last 100 years of history. This is a unique story about a man, his life, and the impressions one can have on the world, as well as the magnitude of living for a century.
This novel was also made into a movie in 2013.
If this book is appealing to you, you might also like A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman