Wednesday, September 25, 2013


This is not a short book, but it's also not a long read.  Of course, if you're not really into it, and I wasn't, it seems like a very long read.  I enjoy humor as much as the next person, but this is more of a farce, and, at the risk of sounding like a heretic, I think farces work better as theatre, or even movies.  Think Shakespeare or Molière, or perhaps Forrest Gump, to whom our 100-year-old man, Allan Karlsson, has been compared by other reviewers.  Certainly the book was better than the movie in that case as well.  Here we have Allan, a Swede who escapes from the old folks' home and has a series of ridiculous adventures in which someone usually gets killed in some absurd manner, such as being squashed by an elephant.  Of course, the victims are usually baddies, but then Allan has stolen a suitcase, so he's not exactly blameless.  Before long, Allan and his merry band of hangers-on, who are not necessarily good citizens either, are on the lam.  Their moral turpitude makes them a target for inept law enforcement officials, who suspect foul play but have no real evidence of criminal activity. Allan and his entourage are equally inept, or they wouldn't be leaving corpses in their wake.  His present-day escapades are interleaved with past experiences, which usually involve a famous historical figure or event.  Does that sound familiar?  This book is not for everybody and certainly not for me.

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