“Friends Like These” by Danny Wallace

It’s the summer of 2006 and Danny’s mum sends him a box of stuff from her attic. It’s a mix of things from his childhood, including his first ever address book with his twelve best friends addresses in, and he realises that he’s lost contact with all of them. Coupled with the fact that he know owns display cushions and has DIY responsibilities around the home, it quickly dawns on him that he’s becoming a man. He starts on a quest to update his address book and meet up with his twelve friends before he turns 30 and when he will have officially grown up.

This was a brilliant book. It’s written in a very informal style, almost like a journal, but with the feel of a friend writing you a letter to tell you what they’ve been up to. Danny is only a few years younger than me, so the memories and reference points made me nostalgic for my own childhood and adolescence, and written with a genuine warmth that makes it feel very inclusive and I was completely immersed in the quest myself.

There are times when things don’t go according to plan, with some poignant and emotional moments, from revelations to rekindling of friendships, but overall, it’s a very satisfying story to read, great fun and I’m off to find out if any of his other books are available for download.

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