Minutes before his 100th birthday party, Allan Karlsson decides to escape. He's not really interested in the party and he wouldn't mind some alcohol, which the nurse strictly forbids. Allan climbs out of the window and heads to the bus station, where he's asked by a young gentleman to look after his suitcase while he uses the bathroom. Allan makes a split decision to steal the young man's suitcase, hops on a bus, and heads out of town going as far as his money will take him. What he doesn't realize is that he's stolen drug money and now has a gang after him. He meets many interesting characters along the way and they get in a lot of trouble. At the same time, we learn more about Allan's past and world events that he was part of making happen.
This book is quirky, which makes it a lot of fun to read. Though the telling of what Allan does once he escapes out of the window from his birthday party is good, I enjoyed the telling of his past the best. I was actually reading this book while on vacation in Asia, as Allan was talking about meeting China's Chairman Mao and the North Korean leaders, I was seeing the border between South Korea and North Korea, then heading to Beijing. I think being in the general area where Allan helped bring the book to life that much more for me.
First Line: "You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to tell others of his decision."