I recently signed up for Audible membership, the Amazon Kindle section that sells audible versions of books. Sorry, obvious really! It was during the recovery period following my prostate cancer surgery when I was finding it very difficult to concentrate on reading anything, so I thought I’d give Audible a try. It’s £7.99 each month for which you get one credit for one book. It sounds like a lot compared with Kindle Unlimited, but many books cost £20+ on audible so using your credit for one of these is good value. Also however there are monthly members offers with books costing only a fraction of the normal cost. So, don’t use your credits for these!
In addition I’m a regular user of Goodreads
and have now signed up to their annual reading challenge of meeting a self imposed goal of so many books across the year. I’ve chosen 52, but that won’t be too difficult for a book addict like myself, so the real goal is to review EVERY book I read here on my blog and try to engage with fellow bookaholics through following each others blog. Perhaps you can help?
It’s the story of Allan Karlsson who, on the day of his 100th birthday, decides to “escape” from the care home where he now lives. A special party has been arranged for him, but he dislikes parties and REALLY dislikes the boss of the place, Alice. So, he climbs out of his bedroom window and starts walking nowhere in particular, reasonably dressed except for the fact that he’s still wearing slippers.
You need to know that it’s initially set in Sweden, only because of the place names and the names of some of the people he meets. I’ll tell you a little of the beginning to warm you up, but I promise there will be no “spoilers”!
He arrives at the bus station, and decides that a bus ride would be nice, no particular place, just to get out and about for some time. While he is waiting for the bus to arrive at the deserted bus station, he has a bit of an altercation with an uncouth young thug! After an exchange of “verbals” the thug instructs Allan to look after his large, heavy suitcase while he goes to the toilet. Allan agrees, but within a few seconds his bus arrives and …… rather mischievously …… he decides to walk off with the suitcase and on to the bus with it! He purchases a ticket and the bus departs!
This is the beginning of one of the funniest books I have ever read. It describes Allan’s adventures in two alternating parts, current time, and Allan’s past life. His current adventure involves a criminal gang, a very large sum of money, a hot dog stand operator, the police, an elephant ……… I think you’re getting it. His past life however is just as funny because Allan is an explosives expert has not only witnessed some of the greatest events in 20th Century history …… he’s been involved in them (!) …. meeting Churchill, Truman, Oppenheimer, Mao, Stalin …. and many others.
The book is written by Jonas Jonasson and narrated by Peter Kenny in the Audible version. The narrator was brilliant with different voices for each character, Allan sounding like a classic 100 year old man with a rather hoarse voice and surprisingly a North of England accent. The opening words describing the book on Goodreads are just perfect:
“A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over…”