A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian & The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Book Pairing

Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian   The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

It is interesting how these two books are alike.  Even the covers can be compared—both have a cute, quirky look and very long titles!  The biggest threads that they share is the fact that each focus on an elderly man who is trying to better his life (while there is still time left) and the tone is funny, yet sad in some instances.  In the first novel, two Ukrainian sisters try to help their elderly father from becoming the victim of a gold-digger, a couple of years after their mother dies.  The money hungry fiancée is quite a humorous, mean character, who really stands out in her personality and makes the story entertaining.  At the same time, the fact that their dad is naive and only wants to love again, shows how old people can unfortunately be taken advantage of sometimes—and the consequences can indeed be devastating.  With the other book, Allan Karlsson has just turned 100 and he is fed up of the nursing home that he resides at.  He decides to leave the residence and then gets into a whole bunch of trouble (unbeknownst to him).  We are told of his life story from the past century and although Allan seems to take things in stride with his calm attitude, sad things do happen to him.  In this tale, there are many eccentric characters to laugh at, as if they were coming from Lewycka’s novel.  Both stories are sympathetic and funny but also thought-provoking.  A Short History of Tractors is an older publication, but if you enjoyed The 100-Year-Old Man, you should read that one too (or vice versa).

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