The idea of going behind the scenes of history is as stupendous as building a time machine. Both are undeniably wishful thinking and completely impossible. Even scientists will tell you that time travel – to the past or to the future – won’t be possible anytime soon. Impossible or not, the dreaming hasn’t stopped for the two ideas to be virtually real at least in the field of literature. “The 100-year-old Man who climbed out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson is an attempt in, not in the construction of a time machine, but at an amusing reconstruction of history. The title is quite a mouthful but it is a tongue-in-cheek journey to world events together with the stoic Allan Karlsson once you get past it.

100 year old man by JonassonKarlsson’s escape from the Old Folks’ Home is reminiscent of the scene in “Last Vegas” where Morgan Freeman’s character escapes from his bedroom in his son’s house and lands on solid ground which would have been a simple leg over the sill if done by a younger man. Karlsson lands on a flower bed wearing his brown indoor slipper. From that point you get the hint that it’s going to be one whimsical read. Each chapter seemed to have been written for a movie sequence with the flashbacks inserted at the opportune moment. Readers who are partial to history will be chuckling at the episodes of Karlsson’s once-in-a-lifetime meetings with the likes of J. Robert Oppenheimer, whom he unwittingly offers a simple solution to his predicament, Mao Tse-tung, General Franco, Comrade Stain, US Vice-President Truman with whom he shared a nice meal, and Kim Jong Il whom he counsels, to mention a few.

“The 100-year-old Man who climbed out the Window and Disappeared” is long read, but not an arduously dull one. It’s actually one fun, psychedelic trip through history over a cuppa of green tea or cappuccino with cinnamon roll.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by aoisoba on May 14, 2015 at 9:20 am

    another book on my wishlist added


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