This month we read 'The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared' by Jonas Jonnason. Basically, the story is about a man who is 100 years old and disappears one night after climbing out of a window...!
Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
The aged man is Allan Karlsson who has lived a very strange and wondrous life, and the novel swings between his past and his present. He becomes involved with a rag-tag group of misfits, including an elephant, and we follow their road trip as they are pursued by gangsters and the police.
His past consists of various implausible situations, including inventing the atomic bomb, meeting Stalin and being the catalyst for the Star Wars missile programme.
This is a potted history of 20th Century world politics, told at a fairly break neck speed. At one point I thought to myself 'this is like reading a Swedish Forrest Gump,' only to reach the end of the novel and find another commentator had had the same thought...why can I never be original! However instead of 'life being like a box of chocolates' for Allan it is more like a bottle of vodka.
This was another book which split our group. I really enjoyed it and found it quite amusing, it would make an excellent indie film. However half of the group thought it was patronizing, unrealistic and badly written, although they did concede that some of the meaning may have been lost in translation. It got an average of 61/2 (I gave it an 8)
I actually made two 'cakes' for the book. The first being not a cake at all, but a vodka watermelon. (One of the characters sells watermelons.)You fashion this by making a hole in the top of the melon and then pouring vodka in at regular intervals and chilling it. I only did this for one day so there was a lot of vodka at the bottom of the slices and very little at the top...it was delicious though.
For the real cake I made Swedish chocolate balls, as the present day story is set in Sweden. I got the recipe here. They were so easy to make and delicious. The kidlets taste tested for me and have since insisted on making their own batch. As there is no cooking involved it is a great bake for kids.
Previous book club cakes of the month;