I was given this book by the Swedish author Jonas Jonasson for Christmas. Any book which can make me laugh out loud is an instant hit, and this does just that on several levels. Partly from the humour of the sublime moments that are created, and the wonderful manner in which disparate plot elements neatly join up to save the protagonists life, yet again. The story unfolds as Allan awaits his 100th birthday party at an old-peoples home - a party he has no interest in attending. Making good his escape, he unwittingly attracts the interest of a local crime gang. As he slowly escapes the party and then the gang, Allan gathers around him and unlikely gang of his own - including an elephant. While this story is wonderful in its own right, we also learn of Allan's life story which starts from a humble Swedish village and takes him all over the world. On the way he inadvertently rubs shoulders with many of the most powerful world leaders. A particularly poignant moment is when he is with Mao Tse-tung and Kim Il-sung are picking out a holiday destination for Allan and Herbert Einstein (the dim witted half brother of Albert). This occurring shortly after Kim Il-sung was going to have Allan and Herbert shot for impersonating a Soviet Army marshall and his aide. This is a beautifully crafted story which deserves to be read several times.