Reviewed by Bookish Britt
Remember when you were about knee-high and swore you would be best friends forever with whoever you’d bonded with over recess? You had those bracelets with two halves of a heart, pinky-swore, or did one of the various things to reassure your naive self that no matter what, you’d always keep in touch. I know I did. With the help of social networking sites like Facebook, we are lulled into complacency that we’ve reconnected with our past BFF’s. But Danny Wallace, author of Yes Man and now Friends Like These, actually did the hard part of tracking down the friends in his elementary school address book and connecting the past with the present.
Right around when Wallace realized that his 30th birthday was looming overhead, he realized that this milestone meant that he had to be a man. He had to accept throw pillows (not for bottoms!), decorative coasters, and sausage of the month clubs. While he was sifting through a box containing his past: old drawings, photos, world cup stickers, ect, he decided that the best way to move forward was to look back. He had to track down his old friends and ask them to “come out and play,” even if it involved 3 continents and a fury of correspondence. What followed was the hilarious and awkward quest that lead to Danny discovering that his friends had solved time travel, become famous German rappers, and were even part of the Fijian royal family.
I’m really not sure what I’d do if someone from 20-some-odd years ago knocked on my door to recollect our shared childhood. To top it all off, many parts of this book have those moments that are side-splittingly funny, but make you wonder how anyone gets into that particular situation. I won’t give it all away, but if you’ve seen the movie Yes Man, you will appreciate the humor. Friends Like These also had its fair share of reflection on life in general, and the transition from “kidulthood,” when you eat Doritos and cup o’ noodle, to being a full fledged adult. It is a serious memoir in a humorous light-hearted wrapper, a candy bar with a chewy caramel center.
Being 7 years short of the transition myself, Friends Like These gave me a lot of food for thought. Like the author, I moved around my fair share and can think of my, at one point, BFF’s in at least four states and possibly two countries. But as I dig into my ramen noodles, I’m going to plug me ears and go “la-la-la, I can’t hear you” to adulthood. For now.
Brittany is a microbiology undergrad who spends far too much time with fictional vampires and werewolves. Even though she’s an Ohio native, she’s stuck in the bayou with her fiancé and cat. Check out her blog at http://bookishbritt.blogspot.