Jun 26, 2014

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

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and DisappearedThe Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Back on my feet again!

To finish this book is probably the second hardest thing these past six months.


The title of this book is so intriguing, I was like, is this a Fall Out Boy song or what, at first, suggesting that the hope was beyond high. Yet again people say don't expect too much if you don't want to fall into the hole of disappointment.

But, no. I am not THAT disappointed.

The Hundred-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared tells a story about a hundred-year-old-man who climbed out of the window and disappeared (of course, duh!). Allan Karlson is the name. He's lived for one hundred years and in his 100th birthday, he decides to get out of his bedroom window, JUST because he does not like Director Alice, the woman in charge of Old People's Home, where Allan lives. And he does.

Then he goes to another adventure in his life and take me with him, along with the memory of other adventures he had been.

Interesting enough, Allan is not the usual kind of centenarian (the fact that he's 100 years old does make him unusual). The story goes way back to the day Allan Karlson was born in 1905. It goes back and forth, telling the story of Allan's life from 1905 to 2005. Allan did not have any interest in politics yet his life adventure always intersects him with anything politics. The historical figures like Winston Churchill, Mao Tse-Tung, Truman, Kim Il-Sung AND Kim Jong-Il (this is totally WEIRDDD), and even STALIN AND SOEHARTO appear in this book, no I mean in Allan's life, plainly because of Allan's expertise at blowing things up.

As promising as this may sound, THERE ARE, though, some boring passages. Like, whenever it tells about the investigation on the vanishing centenarian (this is probably why it took so long for me to finish reading). But then again if he did not escape in the first place, we wouldn't hear anything about the extraordinary past Allan Karlson had lived. I guess I'd rather listen to how Allan get to have dinner with Stalin than how some detectives find themselves giving up looking for centenarian for SO MANY TIMES.

This book is filled with smart and witty humor. The fact that Allan had once been in contact with Indonesian former president Soeharto is stunning. As an Indonesian, some parts of what's written about Indonesia is true: the lame bureaucracy and a rather corrupted society. I read this book during Indonesian presidential election and I couldn't think of any better time to read this than now!

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