Thursday, 30 May 2013
The 100 Year old man who jumped out of the window and disappeared
By Jonas Jonasson
Allan Karlsson is 100 years old tommorrow and the old people's home have organised a party for him complete with balloons, lot's of food and even the town mayor! But instead he gets up, jumps out of his window and disappears.
There's an entire plethora of reviews out there that range from 'Hilarious' to 'Agonising' and maybe that's because humour is a highly personal and selective thing. This is more 'Yes Prime Minister' than 'Black Adder' although it is extremely silly. The story interchanges between the 100 year old Allan and his early and rather extraordinary life, where he meets an assortment of political leaders and managers to influence world history on a grand scale.
Although I found the book to be amusing in places and probably did learn a bit about world history along the way, it was pretty agonising to read! The convoluted story of how he meets a succession of historical figure just got on my nerves after a while and most of the characters are very much of the wafer thin variety. I certainly didn't find it a page turner and during the course of the week what I really wanted to do was rip the pages out and throw them into something very hot. Maybe the entrance to hell itself.
But as I said, humour is a very personally and subjective thing and perhaps this would appeal to a more high brow, political satire kind of palate. Maybe a radio four listening, telegraph reading, Downton Abbey watching, Jane Austen reading type of guy. As for me I found myself wanting to throw myself out of my own window, although I don't mind a bit of radio four occasionally, but I'm more of a Black Adder kind of guy.
Fans of 'Fly Fishing in the Yemen' would probably like this one.