All My Friends are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman
What a quirky, little read that was. Honestly, that book went by in a flash; a great rainy afternoon read that’s for sure. The story was nothing particularly special but the premise was fun and overall, I was pretty satisfied. Tom is our protagonist and he is unusual in the sense that he’s the only one of his friends who doesn’t have a super power. Nevertheless, he’s still very much immersed into the superhero world, so much so that he marries one, The Perfectionist. However, due to Hypno, the Perfectionist’s ex-boyfriend, on their wedding night, the Perfectionist was hypnotised to believe that Tom was invisible and she hasn’t been able to see him since. There are two parts of the novel; the past and the present. Tom is looking back at his past experiences with all his superhero friends as he attempts to think of a way of showing himself to his wife before she moves away and forgets about him for good.
I’m unsure how to discuss this book because not an awful lot happens but you find out tons of things about the superhero world. Interestingly, the world itself is ordinary, with standard aeroplanes and restaurants, but the people within it are not. I liked this idea because it somewhat reminded me of a Marvel movie minus the action? That said, as tends to be with short novels, I found that all the characters were too basic to form any attachment to and, in the end, I wouldn’t have really cared if the Perfectionist saw Tom again or not. I want to know more about Tom and his life before superheroes but he turned out to be quite a boring character.
At the end of every few chapters, there would be a couple pages dedicated to introducing a few more superheroes ranging from ‘The Couch Surfer’ (who spends his entire life without a job and mooching about on friends’ sofas) and ‘Mistress Cleanasyougo’ (who, you guessed it, cleans up as she goes) to ‘The Chip’ (who has a chip on her shoulder that she cannot remove without her super-strength but she cannot use her super-strength until the chip is removed, haha) and my personal favourite, ‘The Stress Bunny’ (the one everyone invites to parties, TSB absorbs all the stress from anyone within a 50ft radius). Again though, I wanted to see them IN the world and interact more. I think the concept has such potential for a really elaborate story but instead is composed of short, snappy profiles that aren’t very memorable.
Like I said previously, it’s not a groundbreaking novel, you won’t put it down after finishing it and be lost for words (at least I wasn’t) but it managed to maintain my attention enough for me to read it all at once so there’s definitely something there. An odd, bubbly read to have a go at if you’re after some light fiction and have a spare couple of hours on your hands.
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A book that’s under 150 pages ✓
Happy Reading Bookworms!