The one hundred year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared.
This month’s Walking Book Club book was suggested by my husband who spent many evenings laughing out loud as he read it …
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
Written by Jonas Jonasson, and translated from Swedish by Rod Bradbury
After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his alcohol consumption). So he does what the title suggests and climbs out of the window of his old people’s home and does a runner into some of the major events of the 20th century. The book has been likened to a Scandanavian Forrest Gump … and along the way dispels a ton of myths about age and the elderly.
What happens after I read the book?
In about two weeks time I’ll send out my newsletter with questions for you and your friends to discuss while you walk (and I’ll also put the questions here on the blog). If you haven’t already signed up for the Your Brain Health newsletter you can sign up here.
Please don’t stress too much if you don’t get to read all of the book. For a start, stress is bad for your brain health (you know that now, right?), and the questions will be designed to spark discussion about broader issues raised in the book, not a page-by-page analysis!!
If you need a reminder of the philosophy behind The Walking Book Club you can read more here….
And if you’d like to read some reviews of the book, click here …
June Walking Book Club Questions…
- What would you do if you had the chance to ‘climb out of the window’ and disappear? What kind of adventure would you like to experience? Why?
- How do you imagine yourself as a hundred-year-old person? What would be your recipe for a long, healthy, fruitful life?
- Can you see any of the characters & their characteristics in people you know or politicians or celebrities?
- Choose one of the historical events mentioned in the novel that happened in your lifetime. How old were you? What are your memories of it?
- Many reviews of the novel have spoken about the humour and optimism of Allan Karlsson. How do these characteristics weave through the novel? What parts do you find particularly funny … and what makes them funny?
- What are society’s expectations of how the elderly should act? Talk about the ways—obvious and not-so-obvious—in which Allan defies the usual stereotypes.
- What are your own experiences, either as an older person yourself…or as someone who worries about an older friend or family member? Does society do a good job in terms of how we treat our older population?
Before you hit the road with your friends, leave me a comment below and tell me one thing you learned from Allan about living a healthy brain lifestyle …
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About Dr Sarah
I’m an Oxford University-educated neuroscientist, presenter of ABC Catalyst, director of The Neuroscience Academy, and author of The Women's Brain Book. The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness.
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Sounds like a good pleasure read. Will have to get it and let you know what I learn. I’m always looking for something besides brain books!
Too funny Debbie! I need to branch out sometimes too… I’ve read so many business development books this year I should be writing about that!
I really love your idea and am going to suggest it to my walking group. We usually chatter ( and that’s good for 2 out of the 3 benefits) so why not add the 3rd?
This book was one that everyone in my bookclub (ok, so we sit and eat and drink – but 4 out 5 of us are hikers) truly loved. Well written and so very thought provoking.
Kendra, you need to get that 1 out of 5 of you out hiking for your next book club meeting… have a wine when you’re done 🙂