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Mainstream - Friends Like These - Danny Wallace

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Friends Like These
Danny Walace
Little, Brown and Company 2009
403 pages

Yes Man author Danny Wallace ‘s latest book is on the unusual side. Friends Like These is the story of Wallace ‘s quest to track down twelve long lost childhood friends in the span of a year. You would think such a personal endeavor would be of minor interest to anyone else than Danny Wallace but Friends Like These makes for a good read.

Friends Like These begins a few months before Danny Wallace ‘s thirtieth birthday. He realizes he is becoming a responsible person who owns display cushions: in other words, an adult. He is quite trepidatious about this and wonders what happened to him. Fate makes it so his mother sends him a box of stuff he left behind when he moved out of the family home. This proves, of course, to be a treasure trove of memories and includes an address book with the names of 12 friends from his grade school and high school years.

Wallace decides to update the address book by getting in touch with each of the twelve friends in person. In an age of Facebook and myriad other social sites, you would think such a task would be easy. Not so.

Wallace’s easy going conversational style makes Friends Like These a smooth read. His at times humorous observations on growing up at a time when Michael Jackson’s Thriller first hit the charts and growing up now can connect with most readers, especially readers in their thirties. There are no life changing events or revelations here yet Wallace leads the reader into a few reflections on life, the universe, and everything (to quote a Douglas Adams title).

I doubt Friends Like These by Danny Wallace is, for most readers, worth the hardcover price but it will be once this book comes out in paperback.

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