The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared

The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

By Jonas Johasson


Allan Karlsson climbs out of the window of the Old Folks’ Home to avoid his 100th birthday party. What happens next is funny and you would expect that to be what the book is about. It turns out that what happened before that day, over Allan’s life, is even funnier.

He climbs out of the window, in his slippers, and heads to the bus station, not caring where he will go. While waiting for the next bus without much thought about it he steals a suitcase and gets on the bus. It did occur to him that the suitcase might have some shoes in it. The suitcase’s owner is a criminal and he is very upset and works hard trying to get it back.

The story goes back and forth between the current chase and events from his prior very full life.

I must admit that for me Allan Karlsson seemed to be Alan Alda. Not just because they are both named Alan but they shared a comic aloofness.

I kept seeing and even hearing Alda as I read about Karlsson. I won’t say any more and maybe it is unfair to mention this because you may now fall into the same trap if you read this book

Karlsson was an explosive expert throughout much of his life. This skill enabled him to get the attention of many world leaders including Franco, Truman, Stalin, Mao and Kim Il Sung.  He has no personal political leanings but worked for all sides inadvertently. His travels take him all over the world as he intersects with world events from Los Alamos, New Mexico to North Korea.

The book is silly. The events and coincidences are absurd. It weaves history in to a fictional life in a masterful way.  The story will hold the readers interest from beginning to end.  A rare accomplishment for any book. A great cure for the blues, especially for anyone who might feel bad about growing older.

Jonas Jonasson is a Swedish journalist and writer, best known as the author of the best-seller

The Cat In The Hat

Sections/ Thoughts

Blog: Book Reviews, comments on Authors (last two were Kids Books) Pictures: Pictures I have taken or liked, not connected to other themes What Matters: Thoughts on Core Values

 Thoughts on This Post: Most of what I have written about in this section is nor children book stories. That said think about this quote: "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."~ C.S. Lewis

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

 -Albert Einstein


The Cat in the Hat, by Theodor Geisel (Dr Seuss), was first published in 1957. It is a story about a tall human like cat who dresses in a red & white striped hat with a red bow tie.  

With his companions, "Thing One & Thing Two" they try to entertain some neighbors and wind up wrecking the house.  Finally the Cat uses a special tool to clean everything up. He then says his goodbyes and disappears just before the children's mother walks in.

The book offers lessons that need to be learned. For example The Cat in the Hat is about stranger danger. Although it may seem fun to let a big cat into your house, maybe think twice. That's just common sense for all ages.

This is the book that made Dr Suess famous. It kicked off an emphasis on beginning readers books. The focus on imagination for the characters and the ease of reading resulted in these books being read over and over again. Children learned to read from them.

Characters: The Cat in the Hat,Thing One,Thing Two, Sally, Sally's brother, Fish & Mother