I had vaguely heard of this book and then I saw it in a Swedish bookshop. Feeling that it would be rude not to support a Swedish author, I decided to buy the book (in English). After all it is 'the International Bestselling Sensation' as it says on the front!
The blurb: Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn't want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not...
Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque* and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan's earlier life is revealed. A life in which -remarkably- he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.
My verdict: Honestly? Well... The story flows. You feel for Allan (after all, he was 100 years old and not allowed to have some vodka? That's just not on!) and his adventures in the present sound very plausible. He (Allan) has a very dry sort of humor and he doesn't dwell on the bad things too long. As long as there is vodka, he is fine. His past is revealed in detail as well and every bit as fantastic as the present, if not more. The ending was totally unexpected and fitted perfectly to the whole story. He might have been 101 by the end, but nowhere near being finished.
So, would I recommend this book? Eh... YES! It is hilarious. I laughed and chuckled my way through the book, which probably earned me some strange looks at Copenhagen Airport (where I read part of it). I for one am glad to be supporting a Swedish author!!
*Picaresque: pertaining to, characteristic of, or characterized by a form of prose fiction, originally developed in Spain, in which the adventures of an engagingly roguish hero are described in a series of usually humorous or satiric episodes that often depict, in realistic detail, the everyday life of the common people.