Book Review: THE ACCIDENTAL FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD MAN by Jonas Jonasson

title in white type writer print next to an old man walking with a stick on a light teal background

Genre: General Fiction
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: yes - second book

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED*

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE ACCIDENTAL FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN: and old man with a walking stick besides the title sounded by a hashed border against a teal backgroundIt 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 harbouring a suitcase full of contraband uranium, on a nuclear weapons mission for Kim Jong-un…

Soon Allan and Julius are at the centre of a complex diplomatic crisis involving world figures from the Swedish foreign minister to Angela Merkel and President Trump. Things are about to get very complicated…

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

This is a sequel to a hugely successful book, that worked in part because it was so strange and bonkers. Any sequel is going to have a hard time living up to that – and this book is one that struggled.

I enjoyed the first half of the book more, and actually found the middle a little dull. The start was very enjoyable – an old man accidentally involved in the North Korean nuclear programme, spouting inane chemical formulas to play for time – before getting tangled up with Trump and Merkel.

The middle is decidedly less international and mapcap than the first half. In scale it’s more like the present day story of the first book. However, it less less funny as the inciting incident felt a little tasteless (it’s about neo-Nazis). I also missed the international bent of the first half, and how all these international leaders get caught up in the insanity that is Allan Karlson. Instead, the international aspect only appears through his news updates from his tablet. It felt as if the overarching story of the first half had been forgotten.

However, the story line of the first half comes back for the finale, with all the bizarre coincidences I love about these books.

I was a bit sad that the rest of the cast of the first book don’t feature – Benny, Bosse and Gunnilla have been utterly forgotten, leaving Allan and Julius to find a new friend. They’re not even mentioned, nor is the woman Allan gets with at the end of the first book. Having just read the first book, this inconsistency was quite noticeable. You also have to pretend that only one year has passed between the end of the last book (which clearly states it’s set in 2005) and the start of this one (which says its 2017), but that’s nothing major.

All in all, though, these two books have been a nice respite and palate cleanser from my usual fare of fantasy – but I am itching to dive back in.


Read my reviews of other books by Jonas Jonasson:

The Hundred-Year-Old Man (this series):

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