This was recommended to me by a number of people and being as it was only 20p on the kindle I put it forward as our next book club read. It tells the story of Allan who on the day of his hundredth birthday climbs out of the window of his care home and disappears (no shockers there based on the title).
It is basically Forrest Gump in a novel, Allan is a bit of a naive apolitical man who is unhappy living in his care home and wants an adventure. He finds one straightaway when a man leaves him a suitcase to look after at the bus station because “he needs to take a dump”. Allan decides this is very rude and hops (well as far as a 100 year old man can) on the bus with the suitcase, unfortunately the suitcase is owned by a gang member who is now on his trail and pretty angry.
The book’s chapters alternate between Allan’s current predicament and previous key episodes in his life. Unconvincingly, Allan has been a participant in a huge amount of the key historical events of the 20th century such as the Spanish Civil War, the development of the atomic bomb, the Chinese Revolution and the Korean War, amongst many others. Unfortunately after a while these historical chapters start to interrupt the slightly more interesting but still implausible present day story of Allan, by the time I got to Stalin I had started to skim and I had also become pretty bored by the present day story by the end of the book.
This starts off promisingly and is humorous but loses its charm and starts to become tedious, for me this book could really have done with some editing in order for it to reach its potential.