Books

Book 239: All My Friends Are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman

Kaufman, Andrew - All My Friends Are Super HeroesWhat a great book! I’m not sure where or why I decided I needed to read it but I’m glad I did. I think it was on one of the blogs I follow or one of the podcasts I listen to (I think it might’ve been Pop Culture Happy Hour, but I’m not positive), but either way I’m glad I read it.

One reason I thoroughly enjoyed this book is that it reminded me a lot of Perry Moore’s Hero. The heroes in both of these novels are not your standard superheroes, they have unique talents and abilities. What this novel did differently than Hero was to explain why the most mundane tasks are actually superhero worthy. Kaufman talks about choosing a superhero name and speaks to the mundane portion of superheroes regardless of their talents and reminds us that they are (mostly) all human.

“The final stage of finding your superhero name is accepting how little difference it really makes. Okay, there’s this one thing you can do, a thing you can do like no other person on the planet. That makes you special, but being special really doesn’t mean anything. You still have to get dressed in the morning. Your shoelaces still break. Your lover will still leave you if you don’t treat her right.” (77-78)

And this is one of the things that aligns with Hero and I really loved it. In addition to this there are some great descriptions of the superheroes in this work that just made me laugh out loud including:

“The Forced: He can explain something that’s happened to you in a way that you’ve never thought of it before, a way that offers wisdom and insight, a fresh perspective you would never have thought of on your own – but he can only do it using quotes, characters and situations from Star Wars.” (130)

I mean seriously one of the protagonists is named The Perfectionist and her special ability is to make everything perfect by putting them into order.

I believe this is a novella as it’s only about 111 pages with a compendium of additional superhero and what was great about this piece, aside from the uniqueness and awesomeness of the characters was the succinctness of the story. Basically, according to the back of the book, Tom and The Perfectionist (Perf) were getting married and a former lover of Perf caused Perf to no longer be able to see Tom.

Everyone else could see him, but Perf couldn’t and the story was Perf trying to move on and Tom only has the time of the flight to make Perf see him. I won’t say what happens at the end, but I though tit was perfect and I actually didn’t guess what was going to happen.

Recommendation: Definitely check it out! I thoroughly enjoyed it and even though it’s a comic novel I teared up at the perfection (hardy har har) at the end of the piece.

Opening Line: “Tom and the Perfectionist sit in the designated waiting are of Gate 23, Terminal 2, Lester B. Pearson International Airport.”

Closing Line: “And she sees him.” (Whited out.)

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4 thoughts on “Book 239: All My Friends Are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman”

    1. I know what you mean! They were all sort of like that where I wasn’t sure if they were blessings or curses. And I think that’s where the mundane/normalcy of it all merges on the superhero aspect.

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