Narrator: Steven Crossley
Series: The 100-Year-Old Man #1
Published by Blackstone Audio on September 11, 2012
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Historical
Length: 12 hours
Source: Audible Plus Catalog
It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages.
What a fun, quirky story! The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is reminiscent of Forest Gump and Allan Karlsson is every bit as endearing and loveable. Steven Crossley, the narrator, who was new to me, made the story that much more entertaining. He was able to convey the wit of Allen’s antics perfectly.
Allan, a Swedish man with unique talents (specifically blowing up things), has had a hand in many – possibly every – historical event in his century-long life. Of course, Allan never intended to play a role in any of the events he inadvertently participated in. The only things he truly cared about were having food to eat, vodka to drink, and a place to sleep. He was a simple man. But over the course of his life he’s met everyone from Franco to Truman to Gorbachev. He’s spent time as a research subject for Hitler’s top scientists, a prisoner in the Russian gulag, and a coffee server the scientists in Los Alamos where the atomic bomb was created.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared was such a pleasurable listen. I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed it as much had I not listened. The narration made the story for me. Not only was it fun to be along for the ride of Allan’s exceptional life but his story was also one to make you think. I found myself thinking, what are the most important things in life? Is it imperative to change careers every so often? And are those answers the secret to a long, happy, and healthy life?
This was a book club choice and, per usual, not something I would have picked up on my own. But if you’re looking for an entertaining listen, I’d highly recommend giving Allan’s story a listen.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: