Friends Like These
- Ebury Press
- Publication Date:
- 02 July 2009
- Travel Writing
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There are so many ways to find old friends and past classmates now. Most of them involve using the web. Which is great way to find people, but what about actually seeing them again? Danny Wallace is 29 yrs old. He is somewhat concerned with his impending 30th birthday."On the brink of change? On the brink of finally, undeniably, irrefutably becoming ...a man?"At the same time he is pondering his approaching adulthood and all that goes with it - aquistion of display cushions, buying coasters, eating at a pub that features a sausage of the week - his mother gives him a box. It's filled with old photos, letters, mementos and an address book from his childhood.Wallace decides he must update his address book before he turns thirty. And so begins the hunt to find and reconnect with 12 friends from his youth."Sometimes, to be at peace with what's coming up, you have to be in touch with what's already happened."What follows is hilarious, heartbreaking, thought provoking and thoroughly entertaining!Wallace's writing style is wry, witty and self deprecating. He has a way with words and had me laughing out loud many, many times in the first few pages and I wasn't even into the thick of the book yet. (The headlines from the Loughborough Echo are priceless!) The tone is familiar and you feel like would like to sit down and have a pint with Danny and his mates to catch up.I keep up with some of my childhood friends, but often wondered what happened to others. (Sally from Jellicoe Cres. - where are you?)Friends Like These is a great memoir and hugely entertaining read that will have you asking 'whatever happened to....?British author Wallace also penned the book Yes Man that was made into a movie starring Jim Carrey.
I've said it before: I have a bit of a crush on Danny Wallace. He has such a wonderful, self-deprecating humor, such joie de vive, and such a talent for turning "stupid boy projects" into moneymaking books! In this tale, with his thirtieth birthday looming, he sets of to track down twelve childhood friends with whom he has lost touch. He throws himself into this project as fully as he does any other (see Yes Man, Join Me, or Are You Dave Gorman for other examples). The result is an enjoyable, often hilarious, and thought-provoking adventure. Why do we lose touch with good friends? Why not make the effort to renew those friendships? What does it mean to be "grown up"? Wallace discusses these questions during his whirlwind search, and he left me with a hankering to look up old friends too! Highly recommended.
I love what Danny was doing; meeting old friends again. I find that I am doing that through Facebook which I have found to be a good alternative to face-to-face meetings. Of course I don't live near many, well most, of the people I chat with on Facebook. So for me it is really the only option since I don't have a publisher paying for me to flit around the globe on such missions. I am certain that when I am nearer in location to some old friends we will get together again.I think I'd have enjoyed this more if it weren't so very similar in style to 'Are You Dave Gorman' by Danny Wallace and Dave Gorman and if I hadn't JUST finished reading that book before purchasing this one to read. I do like Danny's writing style and much prefer it to Gorman's; Gorman can get a bit whiney at times.
Danny Wallace, the perpetual boy-man, is about to turn 30. For Wallace the big 3-0 symbolizes “Adulthood, Responsibilities, and Display Cushions!” And he’s not sure he’s ready for the transition. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, with a stroke fortuitous timing, Wallace receives a box of childhood memorabilia. While perusing through his personal collection of 80’s artifacts, Wallace discovers a long forgotten address book containing: “The Twelve” -- the names and addresses of twelve former childhood friends. Friends Like These follows Wallace’s continent- hopping race to re-discover “The Twelve” before he turns 30. Wallace is a gifted comedic writer who knows how to deliver a story for maximum laughs. The on-going saga of ManGriff, the man- animal, he creates to outprank a former prankster-friend is laugh-out-loud hilarious! But not every re-acquaintance with one of The Twelve ends on a jocular note. Some friends are profoundly touched by Wallace’s re-entry into their lives while others are unwilling or unable to rekindle the childhood friendship. Still every step and misstep along the odyssey to find “The Twelve” is notable. As Wallace reflects, “And those, small, lost moments – once remembered – can often mean more than you could ever guess. Like a forgotten joke, or a final hug, or a local restaurant’s fourth anniversary. In the past few months, I had a whole host of new moments to remember.” Friends Like These is a humorous memoir with a life-affirming message!
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