We are all guilty of observing the older generation and wondering what goes in their heads. What did they do when they were young? Did they travel or where their summers consumed with ice cream, knotted handkerchiefs on a deckchair somewhere not to far from the marital home? Apparently not. Allan Karlsson decides one day that cake is just not enough to entice him out of his bedroom and into the communal area of his old folk’s home to celebrate his 100th birthday, so he has a better idea and climbs out the window instead. He then takes us on a journey through his life in a series of flashbacks, as he escapes the confines of the home, that zoom us off to far and distant lands, where he shakes hands with heads of state, trades secrets and hides elephants in a barn.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and laughed my way through what was to become a slightly farcical journey reliving the interesting times of a 100 year-old man. I loved the way the story meandered along as if it was just another ordinary day for him making bombs, escaping camps and bluffing his way out of one extremely tongue-in-cheek scenario after another. If you are looking for a book to read that is so far fetched to be quite realistic then this is the one for you. 3.5/5
I have to admit I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this read. I found some of it just annoying and other parts quite amusing and interesting. I particularly liked the simplistic explanation of the author of the way in which the wrench between N and S Korea came about. In some ways it reminded me of Slumdog Millionaire in that the Indian boy knew all the answers from happenstance association and Allan got away with so much because of being able to solve the issue of how to make the atom bomb. It also was a reminder, although he was a real chancer, never to judge a book by its cover as one immediately has an image of a slightly rebellious/demented old codger who won’t lie down & was being suffocated in the home. So, out of 5, I feel I should give it more but will award 3.5 as sometimes it did get a bit long winded and boring in parts. 3.5/5
The 100 Year Old Man made me laugh out loud as it meandered through some of the most important periods in recent history. All crazy, of course, but a remarkable ‘feel good’ read and I loved it. 4/5.
I thought it farcical but hilarious – a well written/crafted story. Not a book I would normally read but good to get out of one’s comfort zone. 3/5
The 100 Year old man is a book I think I’ve enjoyed more since I finished it, in the best possible sense. You come to appreciate on reflection the little seemingly unimportant details that are cleverly dropped into the plot and turn out to be “crucial” in shaping major world events as we know them. I also think it’s a little tongue in cheek reminder not to judge a centenarian by their cover! 4/5
TOTAL SCORE: 24.5/35