Monday, July 29, 2013

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend (5) - Matthew Dicks

If I really, really like a book I find myself still thinking like the narrator after I've finished their story. Which sounds crazy, but I'm an actor, remember? I loved the narrator, Budo, and I devoured this book fast enough that he totally got into my head.

Budo is Max’s imaginary friend. He’s real, but invisible to everyone but Max, and the other imaginary friends he meets. But he has his own emotions, his own thoughts, he can even leave the house and go on his own adventures. He is also the oldest imaginary friend he’s ever met, because Max needs him more than other kids.

I loved this book. It was beautiful and arresting, I loved the characters and I simply couldn’t put this book down.

Budo is obsessed with death. Mostly his own death, because if Max ever stops believing in him, Budo will die. He will fade away until he disappears completely. The novel revolves around this idea, of reality, and of death. Budo is lucky because he can walk through doors, and Max lets him roam around the school. Budo has his own best friend, an imaginary girl named Graham. Budo is also lucky that he looks so much more human than some imaginary friends: such as Puppy, the dim-witted imaginary friend of a kindergartener, Wooly, who looks a lot like Flat Stanley and can’t walk, or Klute, who looks like a bobble head. It is sweet, and funny, and sad, and beautiful.

There is also a thrilling bit after Max gets kidnapped and Budo has to figure out how to save him before Max is taken away forever.

This book has been compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which I also loved and remember reading in approximately one sitting. 

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