Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thoughts about a bestseller

For mother's day my daughter bought me a book, what else? Of course she knows me, but when chosing a book for me she wants to be sure that I'll love it. So this time she decided to buy a bestseller: The hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared or - in this case - der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand - by Jonas Jonasson.

I thanked her heartily and felt unsure what to expect. I generally have my doubts when there is such a hype. These books sometimes (but not very often) are really fantastic, most times just average and there are times my taste is totally different from mainstream.

So I startet reading with limited enthusiasm wanting to give the book a chance not wanting to disappoint Anna.

The book is overloaded with stories supposed to be funny. The writing style is elaborate and strains to be humorous throughout all the 412 pages. The problem I have with the mostly childish jokes is that most of them don't make me laugh. Ok, a book must not neccessarily be funny. If the story is insteresting with good twists and some suspense I easily can go without laughs.
There are gripping parts, but there's no climax and the ending is quite colourless and fanciless.

Allan is excruciatingly unemotional and unpolitical without strong opinions, interested only in eating, drinking and explosions. He has inexhaustable patience but no conscience. There are other more interesting characters  but besides Stalin they are all dispassionate.

All this doesn't mean that the book wasn't entertaining. It just didn't justify the international hype.

For my German review click here

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