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Hanne, reading on Cloud 9

Avid book reader. Lover of fantasy, contemporary fiction, short stories and non-fiction. This blog is a work in progress - and it will likely always be that way.

Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

Bonkers, complete mad, cuckoo, crazy, mental, wacky, moonstruck… As the protagonist in this book remarks himself: there’s only a subtle difference between madness and genius.


“Allan admitted that the difference between madness and genius was subtle, and that he couldn’t with certainty say which it was in this case, but that he had his suspicious.”


For me, this book flirted with that line quite frequently. There are parts that are magnificently done, so utterly crazy, completely unbelievable and yet absolutely genius. But there are parts that it went to the other part of the line and became a bit ridiculous too.


There are two stories being told here: first the title story, about a centenarian who jumps out of the window on his 100th birthday and decides to take a spontaneous little journey, and the second which is the story of his life. The latter is a totally absurd lesson in 20th century history, but often went completely overboard. The first few events in his back story were really funny, but after a while it became a bit boring as the general gist of it was always the same. I even wondered why it was needed on occasion. That becomes obvious near the end in the interview with the prosecutor, but even then, I’m not sure that all of it was needed.


All in all though, I enjoyed reading this book. It’s original, light and funny, and can perfectly be slotted in between some heavier books.