Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared

Phew! By the time I wrote the title, I was wrecked by two bouts of cough.
(Psst . on the sides, this cough has been the major reason I have been away from blogosphere. First the baby got it (and it was so disconcerting :( ) then K and then I had to bite the flu bait :( 

Anyhoo, I have been so desperate to write this post (and many more!) 

I read the '100 year old man' as a recommendation on Amazon kindle bookstore. I had completed 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy and had my reservations on trying yet another Swedish author. But one review which claimed it to be the 'literary Forrest Gump' (not exact words) caught my fancy. I started reading with a lot of doubt. It is literally the story of a 100 year old man who climbs out of the window of the old age home on his 100th birthday. Then starts off an adventure - most bizzare! He meets a local thug, a hot dog vendor, 'The Beauty' , the hot dog vendor's brother and a goon. The how? where? make the book a funny read.  The writer then brings about episodes in the earlier life of  the protagonist - Allan - and we get to see he has had a most phenomenal life. He had travelled from Sweden to America to China to the Middle East and many more. He had met movers and shakers of the world. The twists and turns are absurd but the ludicrousness of them sure does bring a smile on ones face. It drives home one of my favourite saying 'There are only a few matters of life and death ' . Rest all should of course be dealt casually and things fall into place. 

Enjoy the book for a taste of the simpler and 'cooler' things in life. Each page did make me chuckle :) The climax lost some momentum and get a bit haphazard but then the author managed to get the story on board again.

Putting forth some of the weird bits of the book that I liked the most :-

Aparently Allan's father had nailed some planking around a little bit of earth, and proclaimed the area to be an independent republic. He called his little state The real Russia but then two government soldiers came to pull down the fence. Allan's father had put up his fists in eagerness to defend his country's borders, and it had been impossible for the two soldiers to reason with him. In the end, they could think of no better solution than to put a bullet between his eyes, so they could go about their task in peace. 'Could'nt you have chosen to die in a less idiotic manner?' said Allan's mother to the telegram from the consulate.

There was a problem with the Boss's partner - his conscience was'nt sufficiently flexible. the Boss wanted to diversify into more radical schemes such as soaking food in formaldehyde. He had heard that washow they did things in some parts of Asia and the Boss had the idea of importing Swedish meatballs from Philippines, cheap and by sea. With the right amount of formaldehyde the meatballs would stay fresh for three months if necessary even at 100C. But his partner said no. In his opinion, formaldehyde was fine for embalming corpses, but not for giving eternal life to meatballs.

Take British India for example, which was now on its way to falling to bits. Hindus and Muslims could not get along, and in the middle sat that damned Mahatma Gandhi with his legs crossed, having stopped eating because he was dissatisfied with something. What sort of war strategy was that? How far would they have got with such a strategy against the Nazi bombing raids over England?

He did however already know one thing; in certain situations it was best not to know or at least best not to leave any way of proving that you knew what you knew.

..but Allan interrupted the two brothers by saying that he had been out and about in the world and if there was one thing he had learned it was that the very biggest and apparently most impossible conflicts on earth were based on the dialogue : 'You are stupid, no, it's you who are stupid,no, it's you who are stupid#. The solution, said Allan, was often to down a bottle of vodka and then look ahead. 

These are just a few, pick the book to truly enjoy some 'weird'. 


Deeps said...

Interesting, am quite tempted to pick this one up. I already have such a huge list of yet-to-read books in the shelf, and now this..sigh!

Renu said...

Thanks for referring it, hope I get it in my library:)

Featured Post

Business with acquaintances

I have always found it weird having to interact with people I know personally in an official setting. But I have had innumerable such scen...