The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
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A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over . . .
After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).
It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.
how this had come about. He had by a rather roundabout route met a Mr Hutton in Paris, and this Hutton was a man who seemed to be close to ex-President Johnson and also to have a high position within the CIA. When Hutton heard that Allan knew Yury Borisovich from long ago, and that Yury possibly owed Allan a favour, then Hutton had worked out a plan. Allan hadn’t listened very carefully to the global political aspects of the plan, because when people started talking politics then he stopped
described in too much detail, so he was grateful for the direction of The Beauty’s question. He couldn’t remember everything, he said, but you can cover a lot if you sit at a school desk for three decades, and do your homework once in a while. Benny was an almost-vet, almost-doctor, almost-architect, almost-engineer, almost-botanist, almost-language-teacher, almost-sports-coach, almost-historian and almost quite a few other things. And for a bit of variety he had taken some shorter courses of
[Silence for five seconds] ‘Did you get that?’ ‘Well, err, yeah. I’ll be in touch as soon as I know more…’ ‘And next time, call my pay-as-you-go mobile. Haven’t I told you to use it for all business calls?’ ‘Yeah, sure, but isn’t that only when we do business with the Russians? I didn’t think you’d have it turned on now that…’ ‘Idiot.’ [followed by grunting and then the conversation ends] Chief Inspector Aronsson read the transcript and then put the new bits of the puzzle into place. The
was happening out in the world. Among other things, the Soviet Union had exploded its own atom bomb one and a half years after Allan’s meeting with Stalin, Beria and the sympathetic Yury Borisovich. In the West, they suspected espionage, because the bomb seemed to be built according to exactly the same principle as the Los Alamos bomb. Allan tried to work out how many clues Yury might have picked up in the submarine while vodka was being drunk straight from the bottle. ‘I believe that you, dear
to take things a bit easy occasionally. For example, he had a hunting cottage outside Kraskino, a couple of hours south of Vladivostok. He stayed there as often as he could, preferably in the winter — and if possible on his own. Except for his aide of course, marshals couldn’t drive their own cars. What would people think? Marshal Meretskov and his aide had almost a whole hour’s drive remaining to Vladivostok when they saw, from the winding coast road, a pillar of black smoke. The distance