Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thoughts on Long Lost Friends and review of "Friends Like These" by Danny Wallace

I just attended my 30th high school reunion – whew! Where had the time gone? It seemed like one minute I was walking across the stage at graduation and then wham, its 30 years later.

Needless to say I was a little nervous about attending. I hadn’t seen the majority of my classmates in 30 years. When we graduated, most of us just scattered. (which doesn’t say much for the holding power of my hometown!)

(Top pic - me and Donna; Bottom pic - me, Diane and Phyllis)

But a strange thing happened….

The minute I walked through the door on Friday night, and saw the smiling faces of the people I had grown up with, many from grade school through high school, it was like something clicked, and we were all just back being friends again. It was amazing.

I think the fact that our class had banded together through some rough times (our town was hit by a devastating tornado one month before we graduated, wiping out a big chunk of town) accounts for our closeness, plus we all just knew each other and there was a lot of love there.

I was reminded of a book that I received to review, Danny Wallace’s “Friends Like These: My Worldwide Quest To Find My Best Childhood Friends, Knock On Their Doors, And Ask Them To Come Out And Play,” that hit on this very same subject, reconnecting with old friends.

Danny Wallace has a pretty normal life. He has a wife and goes to brunch, and his new house has a couch with throw pillows. But as he nears 30, and receives a box of childhood mementos from his mom, Danny can't help wondering about his best childhood friends, whose names he finds in a long-forgotten address book. Where are they now-and where, really, is he?

Acting on an impulse, Danny travels the globe from London to Berlin, Tokyo, Australia, and California, risking rejection and ridicule to show up on his old pals' doorsteps. Memories of his 1980s childhood, from little Michael Jackson to “Ghostbusters,” overwhelm him as he meets former buddies who have blossomed into rappers and ninjas, time-traveling pioneers, mediocre restaurant managers, and even Fijian royalty. Danny's attempt to re-befriend them all gives remarkable new resonance to the age-old mantra, "friends forever!"

This was one of the most fascinating, hold-my-sides-cause-I’m-laughing-so-hard books that I’ve read in a long time. Wallace’s gift for comedic writing is just stellar, and you really feel like you are along for the adventure of finding his friends. Whether you’re about to turn thirty or are on the cusp of fifty…this book will make you want to look up your childhood friends – just to say “remember when…”


christine(booktumbling) said...

I loved this book. It was thoughtful and so so funny. And it really did make you wonder where those long lost buddies are now.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I'm so glad you had a nice time at your reunion!

I have an award for you here!

xoxo~ Renee