Short summary - Karlsson on the Roof - Astrid Lindgren

Scandinavian literature summaries - 2023

Short summary - Karlsson on the Roof
Astrid Lindgren

The cycle is about a “moderately well-fed man in the prime of life”, who lives on the roof and loves to misbehave.

Part 1. Carlson, who lives on the roof

The kid is a favorite and very spoiled, but that day everything went topsy-turvy. Offended by the whole world, the Kid goes to his room. He was standing at the window, when suddenly a small plump man with a propeller on his back and a button on his stomach flew past. So the Kid met Carlson, who lives on the roof.

The kid immediately learned from his own experience that Carlson is “the best in the world” in everything, and most importantly, the best playmate in the world. True, he did not check the safety valve of the Kid's steam engine very successfully, and it exploded, because of which Carlson had to urgently go home. Mom and dad, who came running to the sound of the explosion, do not believe the stories of the Kid about Carlson, believing that the Kid is just fantasizing.

A few days later, Carlson arrives again and involves the Kid in new games - for example, playing in a tent.

The kid even managed to visit Carlson on a visit to his house on the roof. They walk on the roofs all evening, not only playing pranks, but also doing useful things - for example, they feed a child left unattended by their parents, and do not allow two crooks Fille and Rulle to rob an unsuspecting village boy. Soon Carlson meets the Kid's friends - Christer and Gunilla - and immediately starts a new game. He plays ghost, which turns out to be very useful, since thieves get into the Svantesons' apartment - the same Fille and Rulle. However, those, frightened by the ghost, run away without stealing anything.

But then the Kid's birthday came, and he finally received his own dog as a gift - a dachshund named Bimbo. And on the same day, the whole family of the Kid finally met Carlson. Dad warned mom, Bosse and Betan that they should not tell anyone in the world about Carlson, because then they would no longer see a quiet life, and besides, no one would believe them, and if anyone did believe, they would not give them rest with their questions until the end of their days!

The birthday is over, and the Kid says goodbye to Carlson until the fall - the next day he will leave for his grandmother in the village. Carlson says that he will also fly to his grandmother, and then return to his roof. And in the fall they will meet.

Part 2. Carlson, who lives on the roof, flew in again

After spending the whole summer in the village, the Kid returned home, however, after asking his mother about Carlson, he only heard that she had not heard anything about him. After a while, Carlson appears. Meanwhile, Malysh's mother, who had been feeling unwell for a long time, went to see a doctor, where she found out that she had anemia "due to overwork." The doctor advised her to leave current affairs for some time. As a result, Malysh's parents decide to hire a housekeeper, their choice falls on a certain Miss Hildur Bock, a professional in this business, since no other housekeepers responded to the advertisement in the newspaper. The kid, who expected to see a pleasant, young, beautiful, and sweet woman in the house, "like a school teacher" was simply frightened by the appearance and character of Freken Bock. He dubbed her "housekeeper." Her harsh nature is not to the liking of only the Kid (dad is at work all the time, and Bosse and Betan are busy with their own affairs). However, after some time, dad flies to London on a business trip, and Bosse and Betan end up in the hospital with suspected scarlet fever, leaving Malysh and Carlson alone with the power-hungry Miss Bok. In the future, friends make fun of her, but not seeing Carlson, she thinks that real ghosts have wound up in the house. Dreaming of appearing on television so that her sister Frida "falls off her chair", Hildur writes a letter to Swedish television, asking to send a reporter. However, the deception is still revealed, and Carlson, having pretty much mocked Miss Bok and the features of her figure, forced her to go to the world. In the future, Malysh and Carlson recognize the brilliant culinary talent of the housewife, and she prepares a special sauce for them, Hildur Bock. Having begun to eat it with great appetite, friends fall into tears due to the excessive spiciness of the dish. At the same time, Mr. Peck from TV comes to visit. Frustrated by the lack of a ghost story, Peck immediately invites Hildur to perform on the Master Cook program and tell the Swedes how to cook her delicious sauce. Everything falls into place - mom and dad return to Stockholm, Bosse and Betan are discharged from the hospital (it turned out that they were not seriously ill), and Miss Bock, having prepared a cake with whipped cream for the Svanteson family, goes to the TV studio and fulfills his dream. The whole family (together with Carlson) gathers at the TV to watch a program featuring Miss Bock.

Part 3. Carlson, who lives on the roof, plays pranks again

A whole year has passed since the events of the first and second parts. It's summer again, and this time Toddler's parents are happy to tell him that they want to go on a cruise around the world with him. Bosse was going to go to a yacht club to learn sailing, and Bethan was going to a peasant farm to learn horse riding. In addition to everything, dad received a letter from his distant mean and rather nasty relative Julius Jensen, whom everyone in the Svanteson house did not like, but he regularly visited them and decided to come this time, just when his parents started going on a cruise . On the same day, an article about a certain flying barrel was published in a Stockholm newspaper - someone nevertheless noticed Carlson and the authorities, suspecting him of a spy, announced a round sum for him - 10 thousand crowns. Having learned about all this, the Kid refuses to go with his parents around the world, and dad, on the contrary, says that he will go anyway and will definitely take his mother with him. As a result, the mother again decides to call Miss Bok, so that during their absence she would run the household and look after the Kid. They decide on that - on the appointed day, mother waits for Miss Bock, everyone leaves, Carlson soon arrives, swearing that the Kid locked the window due to heavy rain and now Carlson is very wet. Showdown with Miss Bock also does not work - everyone is too busy and waiting for Uncle Julius. However, when the latter arrives, there is nothing to rejoice at: he does not appreciate Carlson’s “salute”, he offends Malysh by demanding to remove the dog, and even pesters him with questions about school during the holidays, and Miss Bock inflicts a real insult, saying that the chicken cooked by her is too tough. Carlson sees in Uncle Julius excellent material for his jokes and re-education, which he begins to do. Depicting various mythical creatures, he first shocks the superstitious uncle Julius, and then makes him start to become kinder and imbued with love for the whole world.

10 thousand is a serious amount. The old acquaintances of Malysh and Carlson - Fille and Rulle find out about this and are going to climb into the Svantesons' apartment again. This time, Carlson is preparing something worse for them than ghosts and everything that happened. Having set up a lot of traps and built a mummy, Carlson, nevertheless, at first gets confused in his own traps, and then is disappointed to see that the thieves are no longer afraid of this. However, Miss Bock and Uncle Julius, who got up at night, find the whole company and, despite the stories of Fille and Rulle that they are secret policemen, they quickly expose them (uncle’s watch and wallet were gone, and Miss Bock recognized in Fille’s compliments an ingratiating phrase that he spoke to his bride, her sister Frida). Using Malysh's small toy gun, Carlson forces Fille and Rulle to return the watch and wallet, earning Uncle Julius' deep gratitude. Subsequently, Carlson, on the last day of the departure of the Kid's relatives, appears in a newspaper article, telling the editorial office who he is, and receiving 10 thousand crowns, coins in the 5th era. And thus the peaceful life of the Kid's family ends.

In the following days, the uncle continues to get kinder, falls in love with Miss Bok and even, unexpectedly for everyone, proposes to her, making her shine with happiness. Everyone is happy and satisfied, Miss Bock invites the Kid to the wedding, and Frida, judging by the telephone conversation, burst into tears with envy (her fiancé Philip turned out to be a thief). The newly minted Mrs. Jensen leaves home to pack and move to Västergötland, Julius, having packed his things, gets on his train, and the Kid and Carlson arrange a real feast on this occasion in Carlson's house, which lives on the roof.