I’m not sure how I ran across The One Hundred Year Old Man, but I’m glad I did. I was struggling through Moby Dick and Wizard and Glass (neither of which I finished, though Wizard and Glass has a fighting chance), and I needed a nice, light read. This novel fit the bill perfectly. I’d never heard of Jonas Jonasson (I don’t even know if he’s written many other novels), and I read somewhere a comparison of this novel with Forrest Gump, which, it seems, everyone likes. And I think it’s an accurate comparison.
The One Hundred Year Old Man is about, well, a one hundred-year-old man who climbs out of a window and disappears. He meets some new friends, is responsible for a few deaths, and hides out on a farm with a gangster and an elephant, among other things. And that’s only after his hundredth birthday. The novel also interweaves his life story before his hundredth birthday, when he got drunk with Harry Truman, had dinner with Stalin, and saved the future wife of Mao Tse-tung. And he crossed the Himalayas. By the time this novel starts, he has certainly had a full life. We follow him on his past adventures and his future adventures – and there are plenty. I promise I haven’t spoiled the whole novel. It’s fast-paced and super-fun.
I enjoyed every minute of The Hundred Year Old Man. It was exactly what I needed after not being able to get through those two others. I was in a rut, and Jonasson got me out of it. I’ll certainly have to investigate whether he has written other novels and how I can get my hands on them, as I loved this novel. I might even have to read it again.
A side note: This is the first novel I read on my new, shiny Kindle Paperwhite and the first book I’ve successfully checked out and read from my liberry’s Overdrive system. I should probably write a review of the former since I now own the Paperwhite and the Nook with Glowlight, but all I’ll say is that the Kindle is by far the better product, and if you’re going to choose one of them, choose the Kindle. Also: Downloading an Overdrive book onto a Kindle? So easy. That is all.
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