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The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared: A Review of the Bestselling Novel by Jonas Jonasson

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared: A Hilarious and Unforgettable Adventure

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live a century of life, witness some of the most important events of the twentieth century, and then escape from a nursing home on your 100th birthday? If so, you will love The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, a bestselling novel by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson. This book is a witty and whimsical tale of Allan Karlsson, a man who has a knack for explosives, a love for vodka, and a penchant for getting into trouble. In this article, we will tell you what the book is about, why you should read it, and how you can get it.

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What is the book about?

The book is a combination of a present-day adventure story and a flashback of Allan's extraordinary life. Here are some of the highlights:

The plot summary

The book begins with Allan deciding to skip his 100th birthday party at the nursing home where he lives. He climbs out of his window in his slippers and heads to the nearest bus station. There, he accidentally steals a suitcase full of money from a criminal gang member. This sets off a chain of events that involves Allan meeting various quirky characters, such as a friendly hot-dog stand owner, an elephant lover, a former criminal, and a beauty with a dog. Together, they try to evade the gangsters, the police, and the media, while enjoying their newfound wealth and freedom.

Meanwhile, the book also reveals Allan's remarkable past through flashbacks. We learn that Allan has been involved in some of the most significant explosions of the twentieth century, such as the Manhattan Project, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll. He has also met and influenced many famous historical figures, such as Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Charles de Gaulle, and Kim Jong Il. Along the way, he has experienced love, loss, war, peace, friendship, betrayal, and vodka.

The main characters

The book features a colorful cast of characters who accompany Allan on his journey. Here are some of them:

  • Julius Jonsson: A hot-dog stand owner who becomes Allan's first friend after he escapes from the nursing home. He is loyal, kind-hearted, and resourceful.

  • Benny Ljungberg: A young man who has studied almost everything but never finished anything. He joins Allan's group after they help him fix his car. He is smart, curious, and optimistic.

  • Gunnela Björkund: A beautiful woman who lives in a farmhouse with her dog Buster and her elephant Sonya. She falls in love with Julius and invites Allan's group to stay with her. She is brave, generous, and adventurous.

  • Bo Gustafsson: A former criminal who goes by the name "The Expert". He is hired by the gang leader to track down Allan and the suitcase. He is ruthless, cunning, and persistent.

  • Inspector Aronsson: A police officer who is assigned to investigate Allan's disappearance and the murder of the gang member. He is honest, diligent, and frustrated.

The historical references

The book is full of historical references that add humor and irony to the story. Some of the events and people that Allan encounters are:

  • The Spanish Civil War, where Allan helps the Republicans by blowing up a bridge.

  • The Manhattan Project, where Allan helps the Americans by delivering the uranium needed for the atomic bomb.

  • The Cold War, where Allan helps both the Soviets and the Americans by providing them with information and explosives.

  • The Korean War, where Allan helps the North Koreans by sabotaging the American planes.

  • The Iranian Revolution, where Allan helps the Ayatollah Khomeini by smuggling him out of France.

  • The Berlin Wall, where Allan helps a German couple by blowing up a hole in the wall.

  • The Bali bombings, where Allan helps the Indonesian police by identifying the terrorists.

Why should you read the book?

The book is not only entertaining, but also insightful and inspiring. Here are some of the reasons why you should read it:

The humor and satire

The book is full of humor and satire that make fun of politics, religion, war, and human nature. The author uses absurd situations, witty dialogues, and ironic twists to create a hilarious and absurd story. For example, Allan manages to escape from a prison in Iran by dressing up as a woman and joining a group of pilgrims. He also manages to save a cat from a tree by using a rocket launcher. The book also mocks the stereotypes and prejudices of different countries and cultures, such as Sweden, Russia, China, America, France, and Indonesia.

The life lessons and wisdom

The book also offers some life lessons and wisdom that can inspire and motivate you. Some of them are:

  • Age is just a number. You are never too old to have fun, learn new things, make new friends, or go on an adventure.

  • Life is unpredictable. You never know what will happen next, so you should be flexible, adaptable, and open-minded.

  • Don't take life too seriously. You should enjoy the simple pleasures of life, such as food, drink, music, nature, and animals.

  • Don't worry about things you can't control. You should focus on the present moment, not on the past or the future.

  • Don't hold grudges or hate anyone. You should forgive and forget, and be tolerant and respectful of others.

The reviews and ratings

The book has received positive reviews and ratings from critics and readers alike. It has sold over 10 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 40 languages. It has also won several awards, such as the Swedish Book of the Year Award in 2010 and the Specsavers National Book Award for International Author of the Year in 2013. It has also been adapted into a movie in 2013 and a sequel in 2018. Here are some of the reviews from Goodreads:

"This book was an absolute joy to read! It was funny, clever, original, well-written, engaging... I could go on and on."

"This is one of those rare books that makes you laugh out loud. The adventures of Allan Karlsson are so outrageous and improbable that you can't help but be amused."

"This book is a masterpiece of satire. It pokes fun at everything from politics to religion to human nature. It also shows how one person can make a difference in history."

How can you get the book?

If you are interested in reading this book, you have several options to choose from. Here are some of them:

The different formats and editions

The best places to buy or download the book

The book is widely available in bookstores and online platforms. You can buy or download it from various sources, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple Books, Audible, etc. You can also borrow it from libraries or friends. However, before you do that, you should check the price and availability of the book in your country or region. You should also make sure that the format and edition of the book are compatible with your device or reader.

The sequel and the movie adaptation

If you enjoyed this book, you might also like its sequel and its movie adaptation. The sequel is called The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man, and it was published in 2018. It follows Allan and his friends as they get involved in another series of mishaps and adventures around the world. The movie adaptation is called The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, and it was released in 2013. It is a Swedish comedy film that stars Robert Gustafsson as Allan and features many of the scenes and characters from the book.


In conclusion, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a book that will make you laugh, think, and wonder. It is a book that celebrates life, history, and humanity. It is a book that you should not miss. So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy of this book today and join Allan on his amazing journey!


Here are some of the frequently asked questions about this book:

What genre is this book?

  • This book is a mix of different genres, such as comedy, adventure, historical fiction, and satire.

Is this book based on a true story?

  • No, this book is not based on a true story. It is a fictional work that uses historical events and figures as a backdrop for Allan's adventures.

How long is this book?

  • This book has 384 pages in the paperback edition and 11 hours and 56 minutes in the audiobook edition.

Who is the author of this book?

  • The author of this book is Jonas Jonasson, a Swedish journalist and writer. He was born in 1961 and has written four novels so far.

What are some other books similar to this book?

  • Some other books similar to this book are Forrest Gump by Winston Groom, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.


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