2016 will forever be remembered (by me) as the year I fell in love with Swedish fiction. After having A Man Called Ove recommended to me at Books & Brews, I read it and subsequently devoured 2 more books by Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry and Britt-Marie Was Here. I loved all three of them. As a result, Goodreads and my reading friends suggested I try The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. I was NOT disappointed!
Now, obviously, my expertise in Swedish authors is limited to just 2, but limited experience never stops Americans from having bold opinions! Jonasson's style is very reminiscent of Backman's- subtle but poignant, funny and at times, profound. It's understated and somewhat slow-moving, but the story and the characters were enough to draw me in and keep me there. Allan Karlson, the 100 year old man, is something of a Swedish Forrest Gump. He interacts with historical leaders like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, not to mention major soviet leaders and influences world politics despite his personal loathing for all things political. Like Gump, Allan is completely endearing and unassuming. You love him even though he may have been responsible for the creation of the atomic bomb.
A hundred year old man, a red-headed Swedish woman who cusses like a sailor, an elephant, a misprinted Bible, and Mao Tse-tung- this is a book you will definitely be surprised by. You know you're intrigued! Go ahead- make 2017 your year of Swedish literature!