I really don’t know where to start with this one. Its just brilliant.
A month ago whilst waiting for my train I was browsing the bookstore at Euston station, and spotted this book. I loved the original ( the 100-year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared) and remember seeing they made it into a film ( currently available on Amazon Prime, amongst other places) which I never got round to watching. Partially because I didn’t want the book to be spoilt for me. I obviously downloaded this book straight away and put it to the top of my pile. It’s different to most of the books I read, its still fiction – but it almost feels real and believable with how Allans adventures are written.
We are back in Allan Karlssons crazy world, along with his new bestie, the asparagus farmer and rogue – Julius. We start out in Bali with loads of money from the last big adventure. Its not essential to have read the original book, but I think it helps a little with understanding Allan and giving validity to his life and actions. The men are enjoying life, but slowly starting to run out of money as they approach Allans 101st birthday. Julius has arranged a hot air balloon trip with some champagne, and the next big adventure starts. We meet world leaders in North Korea, America and the United Nations, make new friends and discover that sometimes luck is all you need. This is a brilliant poke at some of the characters that are currently running countries and the stereotypes that they build for themselves.
Allan is learning more about the world from his ‘black tablet’ and sharing the news with anyone who will listen. One of my favourite world observation lines from the book is around the entry and citizenship to the United States saga.
“ Yes, Julius had heard of Trump. That was his name. The polar bear may have been white, but it was a foreigner first and foremost. So it shouldn’t get its hopes up.”
The book takes Allan and Julius on a whirlwind trip across the globe, including a visit to a spiritual leader who can cure most things, as long as you believe. Olekorinko. Whilst the pilgrimage to the location amused me, I couldnt get the image of Orinoco from the wombles out of my head as I had misread the word to start with. Its rather comical to imagine a humange sized womble setting up camp in the middle of the wilderness and charging people to drink his blessed water. After that I couldn’t change how I pictured those scenes!
Overall this book made me smile, chuckle and hate the drama and politics that are taking over the world a little less. A particular highlight for me was the Russian element, working as the puppet masters. I can almost imagine the film now.. Where at certain points you zoom out on the characters to see a group of Russians as puppeteers and celebrating their victories over the world.
This is observational humour at its best.