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61
4.3 out of 5 stars
Friends Like These
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2008
You cannot fault the unfailing optimism that coats the stories told by this guy. They just make you feel that little bit better.

Outrageously positive, thoughtful and very, very, funny, Danny Wallace decides to track down the twelve names he discovers in his old school address book. His journey's take him from Berlin to Loughborough to L.A. and every tale is told with such a lightness of heart that you feel that you are right there with him.

The theme is not disimilar to Wallace's last book, 'Yes Man', but it is a formula that works- he obviously believes that if it aint broke, don't fix it: hilarious anecdotes about hope over varying degrees of adversity will always make for a great read.

This book might not change your life, but it will certainly warm your cockles for at least a little while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2008
Danny Wallace and his amazing wife Lizzie are good friends of mine. Well, no they're not actually, but I know that they would be if I ever met them. Danny writes so openly that I really feel I know him, and that we've got heaps on in jokes to laugh about. This book make me laugh uncontrollably and cry equally so.

Danny undertakes these adventures so we don't have to, but the thing with Danny is that you get inspired to do things to. After "Yes Man" I found myself being really open to new experiences. After "Friends Like These" I really will arrange to meet up with those long lost 4 year old pals...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2008
I don't want to give anything away about the 'plot' so that you have it all to savour. This book is pure pleasure. It's what learning to read was all about! I was laughing out loud every few minutes & cried buckets too. What an amazing writer Danny Wallace is. I'd loved all his other books (especially 'Join Me') but this is the best yet. My Danny Wallace books are the 1st ones I'd grab to take on a desert island or rescue from a house fire LOL! The only tragedy was knowing it would come to an end. I read it greedily in 2 days flat & can honestly say I feel really bereft now! Buy this book immediately or before if you can.
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on 20 April 2013
Ok so I hate to be the bringer-downerer of this review section because you guys seem to have liked this book, as did I - overall. But: The book I read by Danny Wallace previously, entitled 'Join Me', seemed a bit self indulgent but I put that down to the fact that he started his own cult and so naturally he was going to talk a bit about himself. But sadly this wasn't a once off. A great subject - but so self indulgent time after time. When your world is interesting I get that you want to bang on about it but there is a fine line between that and what comes across as narcissistic. I think he's crossed it but you may well think he's still banging on about how interesting his world is. Like I said, a fine line.

Secondly, he brought every single solitary italic he could muster together from the depths of hell and he commissioned them all to star in this book. I know italics help to stress select words, select being the key word. But have a look for yourself and see. It's too much. I hope he writes his next book with a disabled italic feature.

Although it doesn't seem like the case I do like this book though, enough to give it four stars so that's a lot of like. Danny has a talent for recounting situations in the kind of way that people actually think. He's a brilliant writer and I may even buy yet another one of his books. But I will stand in the store and read ahead before purchase just in case another gang of italic shaped words hit me like a freight train once again.

Thank you, I just needed a rant.
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on 24 July 2011
I'm not sure how many books I've read in my lifetime but at 47 and always an avid reader it must run into thousands. I've always been sceptical of book reviewers claiming that they've read a book and found it so rib achingly funny they've cried with laughter. I've read a lot of books claiming to be funny and never hardly raised a smile, some where I've smiled fairly often and a few where I've even found myself chuckling quietly fairly regularly but I've never literally cried out loud with uncontrollable laughter...until now!

Thanks to this book I've experienced the joy of having tears streaming down my face for the first time in a long time. Added to that, I also went through a period when I was missing my old school chums and wondering how they all were after not seeing them for over 20 years. At the time I thought this must be a common theme as one got older, especially taking into account the success at the time of Friends Reunited.

However, most of the people thatI spoke to directly about it couldn't really understand it and felt no urge to reconnect with any of their childhood friends and some thought it was really quite sad and weird. It did make me feel I must be some sort of freak at the time and even though I did reconnect with a few old friends and had a couple of pleasant evenings out with them it didn't really lead to a rekindling of old friendship. I think was partly because of the lukewarm reaction I'd had about the whole process which I had somehow let dampen my enthusiasm.

But reading Danny Wallace's thoughts and feelings on the matter gave me a whole new perspective..or rather brought me back to my old one...as I resonated with him very closely and at times it felt like I was reading my own words. It really did help me to feel alot better about the whole incident of wanting to track down old friends instead of feeling embarrased at being a 'saddo'; that as well as making me laugh like a schoolgirl..couldn't be better.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 May 2011
This is my first Danny Wallace book so I was uncertain what to expect. It had sat on the shelf for a while and when I finally cracked it open I was pleasantly surprised. The premise is rather simple. Man gets to 30 (almost), realises he can no longer deny the fact he is a man and then contacts friends from a book he found to see where they are and to stave off impending quarter life crisis.
This works because it is written in a very jovial and likeable manner. I probably don't quite believe it worked out in this order in this way but it makes for a very easy to read and digestible book which makes you wonder where your childhood friends are now. Or it would if Facebook, Twitter and Friends Reunited didn't serve up this information on a plate for you. What Wallace does though is meet them - often only for short periods. And in anyone else's hands this might seem a little sad and desperate. Wallace manages to pull it off quite well. Yes the laddish approach grows a bit thin around the final third. And well yes I appreciate it because I am currently living in Loughborough and can appreciate the comments from a child who lived here and comes back.
This is a book which is fun, easy to read and will make you laugh - although not constantly. It won't linger that long in the memory. But like the friends Danny Wallace finds it leaves a warm glow when you remember it/them and know that it/they entertained you for a time - and vice versa.
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on 21 August 2009
Modern Britain is not a place that demands you grow up too fast. As someone approaching 30 I compare myself to my parents at that age - they were married with children and owned a house. I have none of these things and do not feel pressured to do them. Danny Wallace was in a similar situation and found turning 30 a burden as well, what happened to all the people he used to know? `Friends Like These' is an amusing retelling of the months leading up to the big day and how he decides to track down all his friends from his childhood.

Wallace is a very affable writer and you feel like he is in the room with you. The relaxed style and witty nature of his stories makes you feel like you should try and hire him to narrate the story for you in the pub. I really enjoyed `Friends', but it was almost equal parts humour to melancholy. Perhaps this is because I am at the same age Wallace was when writing the book that the moments of pathos impacted more than most people. The sense of unabashed joy that made `Yes Man' one of my all time favourite books is still present, but very slightly shackled by the inevitable pull towards maturity and adulthood. For me Wallace is one of the most amusing and intelligent writers in the `real life story' genre and I hope that he continues to undertake bizarre challenges.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2009
For all those who approach 30 with thoughts of 'when did I grow up?' and 'does this mean I need to have cushions on my sofa that serve no apparent purpose?', this book is an essential read. Easy to read and laugh out loud funny - the sort of book you carry from room to room because you have to keep reading it even though you need to be doing other things! An ideal gift for someones 30th birthday, it is also great for any age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2013
I think I just don't like him. I read painfully through the first half of the book, but I just find him smug and annoying rather than funny. I do like the guy when I've seen him on TV and interviews etc... but in print I want to punch him in the face 80% of the time. It was also a bit boring if I'm honest. But I'll give him 2 stars because it's probably more my taste than anything he did or didn't do.
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It you have read a Danny Wallace book before then this book is exactly what you would expect from him, funny, witty and enjoyable.
In 2006 Danny was about to turn 30 and was still trying to hang on to his youth, like most people do who are about to become that age.
One day he collected an old box from his parents and discovered an old address book with 12 names of his friends from his school days.
Danny decided to attempt to make contact with these 12 old friends in all manor of ways available to him, including using the Internet, writing letters to old addresses and dressing up in a rabbit to get back at an old friend.
Danny's journey includes trips around England, Australia, America, Japan and Germany.
The resulting journey is a full of fun, joy, pain, understanding and a celebration of friendships rediscovered.
The book is very thought provoking and makes you wonder what would happen if you yourself decided to take up the same challenge as Danny did.
By the end I didn't find the book to be quite as funny as Yes Man the first Danny Wallace book I read but it was still a very entertaining read.
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