I found the Swedish novel “Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann” (“The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Stepped Out of the Window and Disappeared”) among my mom’s books. As opposed to dark Swedish crime writing and films, their novels (and children’s books!) are typically wonderfully nostalgic and lovely, so I took it with me. Author Jonas Jonasson – be honest, if you had to make up a Swedish name, this is what you would go with – is from Växjö which in itself makes me nostalgic: the train I took home from school in Sweden every day was going to Växjö.
The German title is “Der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand” while its official English translation isn’t any more creative but that’s what the book is about; an old man who decides to escape from an old people’s home on his 100th birthday. It’s essentially a Swedish road movie in book form. For people who have been to Sweden, it’s a magical trip through small-town Sweden, some Swedish history and lots of Swedisms. For everyone else, it’s simply a hilariously original and well written gem of a book that should not be missed.
(Image source: mittelstern.de)