May 22, 2022
A Whole Bunch of Stuff
There are stories that you don’t expect to like, and instead you fall in love with them. Stories for some reason you feel you either have to read or are forced on you, and yet you end up deeply wanting to read them. There are stories that seem awfully foreign and yet somehow you find yourself right at home.
A few years ago, I had the great pleasure of encountering just such a story. The obligation came willingly. I actually asked my mother to pick out a book that she had read and that she thought I would like, and sent it to me with the promise that I would do so. So she sent me a thoroughly unexpected book. It was the story about a Swedish centenarian, a former explosives expert turned nursing home escapee on the run, not just from the nurses, but from a mobster and the law, with an elephant nonetheless. A Swede name Allan Karlsson. He was a man who knew he needed to go somewhere, but when he jumped out the window had no idea where it would take him. And let’s say that book felt a bit foreign, at least at first. Has anyone had the pleasure of reading that book? It is an unexpectedly fun one. My intrigue turned to laughter and then to depth, until all those characters somehow became family in Jonas Jonasson’s delightful book, “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.” And by the end of his crazy, unexpected adventures, it became a beloved way of shaping how I see the world. And more importantly, how I want to be part of it.