“It all begins with a hot air balloon trip and three bottles of champagne. Allan and Julius are ready for some spectacular views, but they’re not expecting to land in the sea and be rescued by a North Korean ship, and they could never have imagined that the captain of the ship would be harboring a suitcase full of contraband uranium, on a nuclear weapons mission for Kim Jong-un. Yikes! Soon Allan and Julius are at the center of a complex diplomatic crisis involving world figures from the Swedish foreign minister to Angela Merkel and President Trump. Needless to say, things are about to get very, very complicated.”
I’m super excited to be part of the TLC Book Tour for Jonas Jonasson’s The Accidental Further Adventures of the 100-Year-Old Man, because the first book, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, was the very first book I reviewed on this blog!
Heads up, Trump supporters. You’re going to hate this book. 😉
Something that makes this sequel different from the first book is it takes place in our present time. It’s so current that President Trump, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Angela Merkel, and Margot Wallström are characters in the book. Current events and world conflicts in our reality serve as the backdrop for Allan’s misadventures. So there is a lot of political commentary and satire; Allan and his companions are the conduit. Jonasson doesn’t even try to be subtle, but he uses humor to keep the cynicism to a minimum. I have to be honest, though. There were a handful of times when it got cringy, where it just barely teeters over the edge into “punching down” territory. Overall, though, the humor is used to get a message across. And because of the realistic cast of characters, that message gets uncomfortable.
Ultimately, our eccentric, elderly protagonist Allan and his friend Julius are entertaining, extremely quirky, and somehow, lovable con men. Allan is infuriatingly moderate (and I think that character trait is used well). He’s so next-level carefree he’s apathetic, in a goofy sort of way. Everything that happens in this book is unbelievably off-the-wall, which makes it fun, and Allan’s dgaf attitude is so outrageous, you can’t help but laugh the whole way through. (Except food and alcohol. He very much cares about food and alcohol.)
An American Perspective Isn’t Front and Center
My favorite aspect of this book is that it’s written from a non-American perspective. There’s a big picture here that we simply don’t get from a US-centric point of view. American exceptionalism is taken down a few notches by having Margot Wallström play such a strong character in the book, as well as portraying Trump and Bannon as minor nuisances more than anything else. Also, the US isn’t blameless when it comes to the game of international politics. There were so many moments where all I could think was:
Through Allan’s happy-go-lucky personality, Jonasson takes moments in current events and sums them up tl;dr style. And because Allan has been having these incredible adventures throughout his very long life, the repercussions of a number of historical decisions become a little more clear. Readers are left seeing exactly how simple and complicated international relations are. Which is kind of depressing, but things are moving so fast, you don’t have time to dwell on it.
This book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you enjoy political commentary and satire woven into your books like I do, you’ll enjoy this fun, often silly, fast-paced adventure!
Check out what other readers have to say about The Accidental Further Adventures of the 100-Year-Old Man by visiting other stops on the tour.