Monday, 16 December 2013

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (2009) / Storočný starček, ktorý vyliezol z okna a zmizol (2013) / Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann (2009)


Have I already told you about how I met Stalin? Seemed nice at first but then got pissed off and and spitted a lot. What about Truman? Good lad, we had a drink or too... I met Mao Ce-tung and we got along well together. Except for the political topics. I really dislike politics. I’ve always known that Kim Jong-il, that little boy who cried sitting in my lap once, would make it big. Yeah, I met him as well. Also de Gaulle, Churchill and general Franco, well actually everybody except for Adolf Hitler or Pippi Longstocking maybe. But only because I was in USA making coffee for the scientists, who were trying to invent an atomic bomb. Gave them some pointers too. I know I talk too much. I’ve always been too chatty… I can speak several languages too. I learnt some Spanish during blowing up things in Spanish civil war (they allowed me to wear my own sweater instead those annoying uniforms) and also Russian (a school named gulag)…
Does it sound at least a little bit believable?
I don’t know…
Does it sound like fun?
I think so!
WARNING! When reading this book you might experience some uncomfortable feelings caused by all the adventures Allan Karlsson, aged 100, experienced and you did not.
Even if you’re well bundled up, it is bold to cross the Himalayas with only the help of a homemade map of the world and a compass. In fact, Allan could have walked north of the mountain chain and the Aral and Caspian Seas, but reality and the homemade map didn’t exactly match up.
Because he really lived a rich life. Even his family was little quirky, so we know where did he get his impeccable personality.
“For Allan’s father, the whole thing had acquired a personal dimension since Lenin had forbidden all private ownership of land the very day after Allan’s father had purchased twelve square metres on which to grow Swedish strawberries. ‘The land didn’t cost more than four roubles, but they won’t get away with nationalizing my strawberry patch,’ wrote Allan’s father in his very last letter home, concluding: ‘Now it’s war!’ ”
So the whole book is like this. You read something like this and you don’t even know what to say. Swedish strawberries? What? Growing them in Russia? What? But then you go like awwww.
Some say that Allan Karlsson is like something between Forest Gump and the good soldier Schweik. Allan also seems/pretends to be a little dumb while being extremely cunning at various crucial points in his life when making the history and somehow everything works out well. Only he doesn’t run as much as Forest does. And his life philosophy seems very similar to Schweik’s “It has never happened before that the things wouldn’t result somehow” – my attempt to translate my favourite quote from Schweik and Things are what they are, and whatever will be will be” – from The 100-Year-Old Man…
Allan lives through a lot of good things, lots of tragedies as well, but his life is never boring even after he gets old, which is the usual age for people to stop doing anything remotely entertaining and start spending all their time praying and discussing one’s diseases. Because of that Allan decides to climb out of the window (he lives on the ground floor) and leaves the retirement house without mentioning his plans to everyone. Not that he has any. To make it short soon he has pretty pissed off Swedish mafia at his heels, dead bodies are piling up but Allan is always fresh and well disposed.
Bucket was the leader; he decided which newspaper kiosk was to be robbed of cigarettes next. He was the one who had chosen the name – The Violence, in English, not Swedish. And he was the one who unfortunately asked his girlfriend Isabella to sew the name of the motorcycle club onto ten newly stolen leather jackets. Isabella had never really learned to spell properly at school, not in Swedish, and certainly not in English. The result was that Isabella sewed The Violins on the jackets instead.
 If you’re looking for a good gift for your family/friends/partner, which you could also enjoy yourself – those kinds of gifts are always the best – pick The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
Už som vám rozprával ako som stretol Stalina? Najprv sa zdal milý, ale potom sa strašne rozčúlil a pľul všade naokolo. A čo o Trumanovi? Fajn chlapík. Dali sme si pohárik alebo dva… Stretol som aj Mao Ce-Tunga a dobre sme spolu vychádzali. Teda až na politiku. Politiku nemám rád. Vždy som vedel, že Kim Jong-il, ten malý chlapec čo mi plakal na kolenách, to ďaleko dotiahne. Samozrejme, aj toho som stretol. Rovnako ako de Gaulla, Churchilla alebo generála Franka, vlastne asi každého. Možno okrem Adolfa Hitlera a Pipi Dlhej Pančuchy. Ale to len preto, že som v USA robil kávu pre vedcov, čo sa snažili vynájsť atómovú bombu. Tiež so im dal zopár tipov. Viem, veľa rozprávam. Vždy som bol taký… Viem hovoriť viacerými jazykmi. Naučil som sa čo-to po španielsky, keď som vyhadzoval do vzduchu veci v španielskej občianskej vojne (dovolili mi nosiť vlastný sveter miesto tých hlúpych uniforiem) a tiež po rusky (škola gulag)…
Znie to aspoň trošku dôveryhodne?
Eh, no neviem…
Znie to ako sranda?
To teda hej!

 

VAROVANIE! Pri čítaní tejto knihy môžete pocítiť isté nepríjemné pocity prameniace z toho, čo všetko Allan Karlsson, 100 rokov, zažil a vy nie.
„Aj keď sa postaráte o poriadne oblečenie, je vskutku smelé snažiť sa prekročiť Himaláje pomocou doma vyrobenej mapy sveta a vlastného kompasu. V podstate sa mal Allan vydať severne od pohoria a ďalej na sever od Aralského jazera a Kaspického mora, ale skutočnosť a doma vyrobená mapa sa veľmi nezhodovali.“
Pretože dedulo žil bohatým životom. Aj jeho rodina bola svojská, takže človek hneď vie po kom Allan zdedil svoju mimoriadnu osobnosť.
„Pre Allanovho otca to celé dostalo osobný rozmer, pretože Lenin zakázal osobné vlastníctvo pôdy len deň po tom, ako Allanov otec kúpil dvanásť štvorcových metrov, aby na nich mohol pestovať švédske jahody. „Pôda nestála viac ako štyri ruble, ale moju jahodovú plantáž nezoštátni nikto beztrestne,“ napísal Allanov otec vo svojom poslednom liste domov. A ukončil to: „To je vojna!“
Celá kniha je vlastne takáto. Čítate niečo podobné ako toto a ani neviete čo si máte o tom myslieť. Švédske jahody? Ččože? Pestovať ich v Rusku? Prosím? Aké potom sa vám to vlastne začne zdať milé.
Niektorí hovoria, že Allan Karlsson je kríženec Foresta Gumpa a dobrého vojaka Švejka. Allan sa tiež v kľúčových momentoch svojho života kedy doslova píše dejiny zdá byť/predstiera, že je také obyčajné trdlo zatiaľ čo je mimoriadne prefíkaný. A akosi to všetko vždy dobre dopadne. Iba toľko nebehal ako Forest. Ale jeho životná filozofia sa tej Švejkovej („Ešte sa nestalo, aby to nejako nedopadlo“) veľmi podobá: „Je to tak, ako to je, a bude tak, ako to bude.“
Allan zažije veľa dobré, ako aj tragického, ale jeho život nie je nikdy nudný. Dokonca ani keď zostarne, kedy väčšina ľudí prestane robiť čokoľvek aspoň troche zábavné a začne sa celé dni modliť a debatovať o chorobách. Preto sa Allan rozhodne vyliezť cez okno domu dôchodcov (našťastie býval na prízemí) bez toho, aby svoje plány komukoľvek oznámil. Teda nie žeby vôbec nejaké mal. Aby som to skrátila, onedlho má v pätách nasratú švédsku mafiu, mŕtvoly sa hromadia ako divé, ale Allan je vždy čerstvý a dobre naladený.
„Kýbeľ bol vodca, on rozhodoval o tom, do ktorého kiosku sa vlámu a ukradnú cigarety. To on vybral meno The Violence – násilie. A na nešťastie práve on dal svojej frajerke za úlohu vyšiť názov motorkárskeho klubu na desať čerstvo  ukradnutých kožených búnd. Frajerka sa volala Isabella a nikdy sa v škole nenaučila pravopis, ani švédsky, a už vôbec nie anglický. A tak sa stalo, že Isabella vyšila na bundy nápis The Violins.“
(Violins = husle)
Ak hľadáte dobrý darček pre rodinu, priateľov, či partnera, a chceli by ste to využiť vy aj sami – také darčeky sú najlepšie – vyberte si knihu Storočný starček, ktorý vyliezol z okna a zmizol.

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