By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton
Perhaps you’ve read Jonas Jonasson’s “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.” If you haven’t, you should.
It is not, however, necessary to have read that book to enjoy this one.
Jonasson writes in the forward of “… Accidental Further Adventures … ,” “In creating a plot for this piece of make-believe, I draw on a number of public figures, and folks in their immediate vicinity. Several of the characters in this book go by their real names, but I want to make sure that you never forget that I have, in the spirit of my dear grandfather, made up what they say and do in the novel. What they say and do, in reality, is something that neither I nor my grandfather, can take responsibility for.”
The 100-year-old man is Allan Karlsson. He and his friend, Julius Jonsson, were in Indonesia, enjoying life compliments of a nearly unlimited fortune from a found suitcase. In the name of going beyond the expectations of their guests, the hotel manager supplied Allan with a black tablet computer and a cell phone. Allan immediately gave the cell phone to Julius, but the black tablet became his constant companion. Eventually, though, the money started to run out and the hotel bill kept climbing. As seemed to happen in Allan’s life, fate intervened, and the pair escaped the island in a hot air balloon. Though the escape was accidental, it did work out, at least until they were left stranded in a basket on the Indian Ocean.
Julius was the worrier of the two, and as the air balloon basket took on water, he shared his worries with Allan. Allan was sure that something would transpire to save them. The something was a North Korean cargo ship. Among other things, the ship was transporting 9 pounds of enriched uranium on a test run to Kim Jung-un. The cargo and the two men were unloaded in The People’s Republic. Allan Karlsson had sold himself as the expert that could explain “Hetisotat Pressure” and further North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Since the term was made up by Karlsson, some difficulty lay in the future.
With the help of Sweden’s diplomat, Margot Wallstrom, Karlsson and Josson managed to escape North Korea. By then they were being tracked by several countries who believed they were some unknown nuclear experts. Julius Jonsson’s use of the phone only managed to confuse things further. Russia’s concerted effort to instill confusion added to the mess.
The reader is introduced to a number of world leaders, including Donald Trump. Several countries become involved. And there is a subscript involving asparagus. Oh, and the ever-present black tablet plays a key roleb too. Presumably, the resultant phone bills were still being paid by the hotel.
Addendum: Jonasson is also the author of “The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden” and “Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All.” “The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden” is this month’s Ontario Public Library Book Club selection. The book club meets the second Wednesday of the month at 2 p.m. Why not stop by next week? You can listen to the discussion or join in if you’ve read the book. Maybe you’ll decide to join the club.