Little blue books are becoming a thing with me. It could be a newly-found addiction. Next week I will try something that is already read.
I read this book a while ago. No, that’s not quite right. I started reading this book a while ago and finished it sometime later. My book reading is strange and I can often put a book down for years whilst in mid-read and come back to finish it off much later. This book was not like that, but it did take some will-power to see me over the rump of its initial appeal.
I happened upon the novel by way of my neighbour and former cycling companion. He had started reading my blog and was interested in some of the stuff that I had been reading. He never gave me any feedback on my own writing, but I expected as much (or as little). The Hundred-Year-Old Man came as part of a bilateral book exchange. He got Graham Swift’s Waterland and I got this. At first, I thought he had the best out of the deal. On second thoughts, I think he got the best of the deal.
This little blue book is knowingly amusing. It plays with the genre of the ageless protagonist not only living through world-shaping events, but also playing an unwittingly major role in those seismic changes. It is amusing and annoying in turns in the same way that Forest Gump was. It does, however, keep its true soul to the end when the author speaks, Jonas Jonasson, and this left me with a rather enjoyable bitter-sweet aftertaste.
It’s not something that will live in my memory for all time, even now it is fading, but it was worth the read. I am, however, looking forward to getting Waterland back and must build a bridge to reestablish contact after a number of very quiet months during this endless winter.