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Friends Like These Paperback – 3 Jul 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (3 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091896762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091896768
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 657,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Danny writes in such an enthusiastic, excitable way that you can't help being swept up with the emotion of his quest" (Heat)

Book Description

Alarmed at the prospect of turning thirty and having to - gah! - grow up, bestselling author Danny Wallace sets off on a new quest: to track down his long-lost best mates...

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Format: Paperback
I have to say that I'm surprised that some people struggled to get through this book as I found it un-put-downable(!) and read it in well under 48 hours. However, I found it did make me produce involuntary sounds akin to that of a squealing Pig at some very inopportune moments (on public transport etc.) and so I strongly advise you enjoy this books' more hilarious moments in a more private space).

As always, Wallace makes the most unbelievable stories seem perfectly normal and his writing style still makes you imagine that he is telling you the story one to one in the Pub. I personally love this style of informal writing and there are obvious similarities in this vein with Bill Bryson and Stuart Maconie. (Indeed, Maconie's 'Pies and Prejudice' is born out of a similar age realisation as Friends like these).

I think it almost certainly helps if you are between the age of 25 - 35, because there will be greater resonance with some of the chronology but if you are outside this age group - still please read it - you will not be disappointed!
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book. I did, really. Danny Wallace is an engaging enough writer and his tale of finding his childhood address book and tracking down the 12 people in it (not including the Michael Jackson fan club, though that features too) is often amusing and sometimes touching. But....

The trouble is, after the wonderfully life-affimring 'Yes Man' and the equally well-received 'Join Me', which I haven't read, this whole thing of a faux-naif modern man making the world a better place in his own small way is getting a bit overdone. Wallace knows it too: hence the many pointless digressions and often forced humour of this tale - Japanese English is a bit hilarious, isn't it, eh? The book is also dreadfully repetitive at times.

The other trouble is, it's all a bit too easy at times. Anyone can track a fair proportion of their old mates down these days what with Facebook, the net in general and a BBC expense acccount to fund flights to America, Australia and Japan in the space of a few weeks. Never once does Wallace admit the perfectly obvious truth that he saw this as his next book-writing project from the start. Nor does the premise that he has to do it all before turning 30 and becoming a boring middle-aged man ring true. His wife is clearly far too nice to force that on him.

I'll admit to a bit of jealousy here. I come from a generation where you inevitably lost touch with most of those friends who weren't reliable letter-writers if and when you moved away from your roots. Now that email has made letter-writers of us all and social networking keeps us in touch with everyone, that need not happen any more. Plus Wallace is obviously such an amiable man that he can get in touch with more lost friends than I ever had to lose in the first place.
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Format: Paperback
Danny Wallace, writer and TV presenter, is heading towards his 30th birthday and having an identity crisis. His friends all seem to be moving on and as he looks around his grown up house at his grown up display cushions, he starts to panic. One day he opens an old box of paraphernalia from his childhood and finds an address book. Realising he's lost touch with all his old childhood friends; he sets about tracking them down...

Friends Like These is a warm, funny, honest, heartwarming book about rekindling lost friendships and making the transition from being a twenty-something to a thirty-something. As someone who is only a year off doing just that, I could really relate to Danny's feelings. We all wonder what old friends are doing, and we now have the likes of Facebook and MySpace to keep us connected...but Wallace takes it a step further. He actually meets up with them all in person. Now he doesn't have your average group of friends to start with. He's godfather to Jamie Oliver's daughters; one of his best friends is the bass guitarist in a rock band and his girlfriend works on Big Brother! However, he came from ordinary beginnings and wonders if he will find that all his old friends have ended up working in IT! He wonders if they too are nervous about the impending milestone, and would like to make the transition easier by sharing it with friends who have had an impact on his life.

Friends Like These is very easy to read. Danny Wallace started his career as a journalist, so the style is punchy and witty, with nice bite-size sub-chapters. His observations on childhood, on growing up and on friendships really made me smile and the ending is quite poignant. This is one of those books that will make you sigh with satisfaction when you've turned the last page, and maybe feel a little warm inside too!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an easy and fun read that, assuming you are of a certain generation, takes you back to your childhood with a fantastic nostalgic trip down memory lane. So many of the things he talks about mirrored my own childhood memories while at the same time taking you on a fantastic journey so typical of Wallace's books.
Maybe not quite up there with Join Me, it is still laugh-out-loud funny and typically poignant.
Great book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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