Friends Like These Paperback – 3 Jul 2008
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"Danny writes in such an enthusiastic, excitable way that you can't help being swept up with the emotion of his quest" (Heat)
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...See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
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!
Maybe not quite up there with Join Me, it is still laugh-out-loud funny and typically poignant.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Friends Like These is a lot of fun – it tells the story story of what happened to Danny Wallace when, as an adult, he decided to try to get in touch with his former childhood... Read morePublished 2 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
His best book so far - laugh-out-loud funny one minute and touchingly nostalgic the next. I loved it!Published 6 months ago by Tommy Free
Sadly this negative review is nothing about Danny Wallace. I am generally fond of his books.
I am voting this one star out of five as it was bought on Kindle and my... Read more
I loved this story of catching up with old friends, I find it quite inspiring! Although unlike Danny, most of my old friends do actually work in some form of IT! Hanne was right!Published 13 months ago by Heather
I say that because, like a previous reviewer I found myself snorting, and indeed crying with laughter whilst on various modes of transport and in company. Read morePublished on 12 April 2014 by CJS
Again this was recommended by a friend who said it was the best book she'd ever read!
It was a light read that was quite nostalgic, it was inoffensive but a bit more of a boys... Read more