###################The most entertaining book I have read this year is ‘The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared’. The author, Jonas Jonasson ,was inspired by his grandfather’s storytelling abilities and has certainly carried on the family tradition with a vengeance.
The story begins just as the title suggests with 100 y.o. Allan Karlsonn escaping from the Old Folks Home to avoid his big birthday party. Soon after, at the bus station, Allan gets into bad company and so begins an extraordinary adventure full of wonderfully improbable characters including Sonja the elephant. As this adventure unfolds we learn that Allan’s 100 years has been full of improbable adventures. He is something of a Forrest Gump character who by chance and mischance has met first Madame and then Chairman Mao, Stalin, Presidents Truman and De Gaulle and been present at, and helped in the development of the atom bomb. Each adventure is of course beyond belief but at every turn you have the sneaking thought, “Well, it could have happened this way”.
This is a charming and very funny novel woven through with great historical moments. Enjoy it, then buy it for all your friends!
Very briefly: There has been heaps of publicity aroung J. K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”. What is it like? It is a seriously good black comedy which starts well and gets more and more involving with its sharply observed characters and social conflicts. I was interested to talk to a man who grew up in the area where “The Casual Vacancy” is set. He loved the book and told me that it was absolutely ‘spot on’.
Finally let me mention “Blackwater Moon’ by Australian author Michael Radburn. This is Michael’s second book and it is an excellent thriller full of suspense. The characters and settings are beautifully drawn so this is much more than your average thriller. I highly recommend it.