I read this book as my “morning book”. The “morning book” is the book I read for about ten minutes every morning over my shreddies and coffee, so that I can avoid talking to my brother. Nothing against my brother – I love the little guy to bits, but I’m grumpy in the mornings. Anyway, the books I choose to be “morning books” are usually classics. My shreddies have seen The Great Gatsby, The Prisoner of Zenda, Du Picq’s Battle Studies and many others; I choose these books for the morning because they are usually quite hard on the eyes. Enjoyable, yes, but not exactly easy reading for a sleepy teenager.
I’m not quite sure how the Hundred Year Old Man ended up as a “morning book”, but I’m very glad that it did. For the weeks that I read it (morning books take a while) it was a little ray of sunshine in my life. This book is funny, it’s chock full of historical references and the main character, Allan Karlsson is a loveable dude.
Half of the book follows Allan’s story from the moment he breaks out of the Old People’s Home. He gets into all sorts of mischeif, makes lots of new, unlikely friends and at one point is hunted by the police for three counts of murder!
The other half of the book is about Allan’s life leading up to his hundreth birthday. Allan is a Swede who is 100% politically blind – which is why he ends up designing the atom bomb and giving it to both the West AND the Soviets…
I really recommend this book. It is an international road trip through the 20th century and it made me laugh at every twist and turn. The pages were sunny, the characters were fresh and reading it has made me realise that Sweden is actually quite a cool place to be. Long live Allan Karlsson, the vodka drinking Swede!