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Friends Like These Paperback – 2 Jul 2009
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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)
Danny Wallace sets off on a new quest, to find his old best mates and see how they are dealing with growing up...See all Product description
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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.
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!
And why does Wallace give his ex girlfriend a higher and longer credit than his wife?
Think Wallace has run out of steam. :(
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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I am voting this one star out of five as it was bought on Kindle and my...Read more
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