In his latest, British humorist and TV personality Wallace (Yes Man) takes readers along on his quarter-life crisis quest to reconnect with childhood friends. Just months from his 30th birthday, Wallace found that “the evidence of impending adulthood” was all around him: he and his wife were eating healthy food, patronizing trendy bars rather than the neighborhood pub, and renovating their London home. When his parents send him a box of childhood mementos, Wallace gets the idea to locate as many childhood friends as he can before his next birthday. Traveling across the United Kingdom, out to Japan and elsewhere (even entertaining a trip to Fiji for one former school buddy), Wallace rediscovers shared memories, creates new tales and fulfills old dreams (including seeing a live Michael Jackson concert). By juxtaposing verbal snapshots of his childhood with his adult life and those of his friends, Wallace presents an entertaining (if somewhat shallow) look at the lives of a reluctantly maturing generation; fans of Gen-X and Gen-Y culture writers like Chuck Klosterman should find their overseas counterparts eminently relatable.
I had read that Danny Wallace’s other books are funnier than this one, but this book was hilarious to me. It is the first book of his I have read. Man-child Danny Wallace fears turning 30 so badly that he retreats into a large cardboard box retrieved from his parents’ attic. In the box, he finds relics and remembrances from his childhood, including an address book that contains only 12 names — the names of youngsters whom Danny was convinced would be his friends forever.
So where are they all now? Life got in the way — darn pesky life! — and everyone has lost touch with each other. Danny makes it his mission to find each of the 12 people on the list and “update his address book” — a whimsical project that takes him from the UK to Australia, Japan, Los Angeles, and Berlin, among other places. Some people might dislike this book on the grounds that it’s “too” light. Indeed, the philosophizing about the meaning of friendship and the validity of rekindling old friendships pops up maybe a few too many times in the book, in the same lighthearted manner, with nothing much to add to the last time it was mentioned. .I found myself interested in each of Danny’s old friends, every sentence seems to make you laugh out loud. He has a great sense of humor and you just want the book to go on forever.
Read the book…you’ll love it
Thanks Valerie and Hachett for this wonderful book..