lip lit & giveaway: the 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared
On his one hundredth birthday, feeling reluctant to go to his party in which the Mayor and the media will be in attendance, Allan climbs out his window and disappears.
He heads to the bus station, steals a suitcase, borders a bus, befriends a petty thief, an eternal student and his beautiful fiancé, and her pets: Sonya the elephant and an Alsatian dog. He also is on the run from police and a gang of criminals. His life has taken quite a turn.
In fact, his life has taken many turns. Over the course of the novel it is revealed that Allan was good friends with US President Truman after sharing two bottles of Tequila with him, that he used his explosives expertise to support US war efforts, the Chinese anti-communists, and later Stalin (it’s worth mentioning that Allan holds no political views whatsoever). He hitchhikes with Winston Churchill, travels on a riverboat with the wife of Mao Zedong and walks across the Himalayas on foot. He hangs out with and marries Amanda Einstein (related to that Einstein), who is a corrupt Indonesian politician with ‘a lot of dollars’.
Allan is quite a cute character, innocent, like Forrest Gump, he has a hyperbolic influence on the world and a penchant for vodka. Meanwhile,the author, Jonas Jonasson adopts a very distinct and quirky narrative style. Think Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events, or even Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
An example of the quirky writing is in Jonasson’s description of the internal reasoning of Sonya the elephant:
Sonya was not about to do circus tricks for just anybody, but she happened to like this old man. He gave her fruit, scratched her trunk, and chattered with her in a friendly way… So when the old man asked Sonya to sit down, she sat down… The fact that she got an apple or two for her trouble and an extra bit of scratching on her trunk was a pure bonus. Sonya could not be bought.
Allen and Unwin has kindly offered lip readers a chance to win one of three copies of The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address with the craziest story your grandparents have told you, or the craziest thing your grandparents have done. The best three will be rewarded with a copy of the book. Get your entries in by October 5.
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is published by Allen and Unwin.