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onlywords

Words of a Bibliophile

"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

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

In this improbable dark comedy, the titular 100-year-old man has a history of being at the center of and even influencing historical events. Some parts of the book are quite funny, but the writing (or translation) style can be tedious to go through due to its propensity for long-winded indirect speech. Instead of something like this:

"Who are you?"

we get a lot of this:

But he, on the other hand, had no idea who was addressing him. Would the stranger be kind enough to shed some light on that?

This can get tiring to read after 300+ pages.

The main character doesn't have any opinions, has no motivation aside from vodka, and is not very relatable (it's hard to root for someone when you know he'll always survive any tight spot, conflict or all-out world war, despite people around him getting killed right and left). The villains in the story are never really bad, and when it comes to world leaders they are mostly stupid.

(show spoiler)


I would probably have enjoyed this better if I were a history/war buff, but unfortunately I am not. Two-and-a-half stars.