Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson

The accidental further adventures of the hundred-year-old manA review by Annabelle Lee

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man is the sequel to Jonas Jonasson’s hit comedic novel The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared and this review contains spoilers for the first book.

Given that the main character, Allan Karlsson, was 100 years old at the start of the previous book, Jonasson hadn’t originally intended on writing a sequel. The success of the first novel alongside and the comic tragedy of the current state of the world inspired Jonasson to explore how Allan’s innocent outlook would play out in a modern climate.

As you may have assumed, this book follows our hero, 100-year-old Allan Karlsson, once again. We left him at the end of the last book happily settled with his friends and a sweetheart on the beaches of Bali, and this story picks up essentially where the last one left off.

This time we follow Allan and his friend on an unplanned international adventure in which he winds up in the midst of dealings between the US and North Korea. Unlike the first novel, the entire story takes place in the present time, with only very brief mentions of his past experiences.

Allan Karlsson’s evolution

As you would know from my earlier review of The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared, I am a huge fan of the first book. As such, I was incredibly excited to read the sequel. To prepare, I reread the first book immediately before diving into this one. This was a mistake.

Allan Karlsson’s character is what makes these books come alive, but the band of friends he picked up during the last book, including the first love of his life, made you feel like you were spending time with friends. I was confused and disappointed that most of these characters simply disappeared with no mention at the start of the sequel. Not even a brief explanation, it’s just like they never existed.

Additionally, Allan has hardly aged, he is about to turn 101, but suddenly he is in modern day (about ten years after the first book), using technology that was non-existent in the first book. In order to create the story he wanted to write, Jonasson has banked on his fans not having read the first book for years and forgotten the details. It feels a bit like a betrayal to have left beloved characters in a happy place and come back to only a few of them in an alternate universe.

Time jumps vs sequential storytelling: what Allan lost

As this book follows a linear sequence, unlike the first one which jumped back to stories from Allan’s past, Jonasson has lost much of the tension and character development. Even Allan, who was innocent and happy-go-lucky initially, is now obsessed with his device. He gets grumpy and fed up at the situation he finds himself in. He has lost what previously made him such a charming and standout character. It begins to feel like Jonasson is trying hard to make a comment on the world and its leaders, to the detriment of the joy which made the first book so magical.

The Conclusion

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man tries to capture the charm and wit of the first book in a modern context, but it falls far short. If you enjoyed the original and want to revisit the Hundred-year-old Man, treat this book as a standalone novel. Separated from comparison to the first, it might be a bit of light fun, but with a barely disguised agenda. 2 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer Annabelle Lee

Annabelle Lee is a chronic book nerd who loves nothing more than a good story and some people to talk to about the story. Congratulations, you are now those people. Occasionally she puts down a book long enough to take care of her kids and even to write and illustrate some books of her own. You can find her horribly punny series of picture books for grown ups on Facebook and Instagram, or all good online bookstores.

DMZ discovered Annabelle Lee at Impact Comics’s festival where Annabelle showed us her hilarious adult picture books.

Annabelle Lee can be found on Facebook, Instagram and AMAZON. Buy her books on Amazon!!!

Book details

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9780062838551
Release date: 2018
Imprint: Fourth Estate (HarperCollins)
Format: paperback, pp. 448
Category: fiction

Reviewer Annabelle Lee

Annabelle Lee is a chronic book nerd who loves nothing more than a good story and some people to talk to about the story. Congratulations, you are now those people. Occasionally she puts down a book long enough to take care of her kids and even to write and illustrate some books of her own. You can find her horribly punny series of picture books for grown ups on Facebook and Instagram, or all good online bookstores.

DMZ discovered Annabelle Lee at Impact Comics’s festival where Annabelle showed us her hilarious adult picture books.

Annabelle Lee can be found on Facebook, Instagram and AMAZON. Buy her books on Amazon!!!