2000 - 2007

All My Friends Are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman

All My Friends Are Superheroes seems to have developed a cult following. The book’s biggest fan is Scott Pack, but the premise didn’t really appeal to me and so I resisted reading it. All this changed when I saw the author, Andrew Kaufman, at the Fire Station book swap event. Andrew Kaufman had me crying with laughter for several hours and so I decided to give his book a chance. Unfortunately, I didn’t find his writing as funny as his real life appearance, but I admire the book’s originality.

All My Friends Are Superheroes is a heartwarming romance. The characters aren’t the flying, invisible, super-strength superheroes we are all used to seeing in Hollywood films – they are just normal people with an extreme aspect to their personality. Tom has married The Perfectionist, but at their wedding her ex, Hypno, hypnotized her into believing that Tom is invisible. Unable to see her husband the Perfectionist thinks Tom has abandoned her and so Tom has to do everything within his powers to show The Perfectionist that he does exist and that he still loves her.

It is a clever idea for a book, but I think the magic relies in the humor and this book failed to make me laugh. The book is peppered with examples of Tom’s superhero friends, many of which were very cleverly thought-out, but I’m afraid I failed to see the funny side.

The Projectionist can make you believe whatever she believes. If she believes interest rates are going to fall, and you have a short conversation with the Projectionist, you will too. If she believes that, no, in fact, you didn’t signal when you turned left, causing the Projectionist to ram her car into the back of yours, so will you.
Her downfall began when she fell in love with the Inverse. She absolutely, 100% fell in love with the Inverse. She projected all this emotion onto him but the Inverse, being the Inverse, simply reflected the opposite of everything she was sending.
Strangely, neither the Inverse nor the Projectionist can let go of the relationship. 

This quirky humor really clicks with some readers, so if you found the above extract amusing then I highly recommend that you get this book.

It is very short (100 well-spaced pages) and I read it in under an hour, so it will be appreciated by those looking for a quick, light read. I thought the ending was lovely, but I’m afraid that most of the rest of the book fell flat for me.

Recommended to those who like quirky, humorous books.

Would it be wrong to suggest that men seem to enjoy this more than women?

… utter treasure of a book… Bart’s Bookshelf

What starts off as a seemingly clunky metaphor, becomes a beautifully surreal examination of the complexities of relationships. ResoluteReader

…a wonderfully quick read… Winstonsdad’s Blog


16 replies on “All My Friends Are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman”

It probably does appeal more to males Jackie I think its the whole superhero thing with the book ,I do think the humour is universal thou ,many thanks for the mention ,all the best stu

Stu, Superheroes/comics do seem to appeal to men more than women. I agree that the humor in this book isn’t particularly male, but there is something about it that just didn’t work for me. I wish I could put my finger on what it was 🙁

Interesting how you came across this book. Usually I find it’s the other way around – I go to an author event based on my admiration for his/her writing, but am often disappointed with the author in person!

Can’t comment on this book as I haven’t read it, but I do agree that some books can appeal more to men than women and vice versa, and it’s a lot harder to put your finger on than the stereotypical thing of “women like shopping and romance, men like football and violence”. Although, for what it’s worth, I am a man and the superhero premise doesn’t appeal to me at all 🙂

Andrew, I have had several experiences similar to yours – the best authors are often terrible public speakers. This is also the third time I have been persuaded to read a book after an impressive public appearance and the third time I have been disappointed by the book. I think the main lesson is that finding a talented author who is also an amazing entertainer is very rare. 🙁

As stujallen says, the superhero theme probably appeals to guys more than gals. Have to say, I loved this book, but as a bloke and a big fan of superhero comics in my time I am most likely exactly the target market this type of thing is aimed at.

As you came to the book swap and have the book, you’ll know I loved it so much that I gave a quote for it. Definitely a woman, last time I checked. I know plenty of other women who’ve loved it too (eg book swap regular Stephanie – she of the magnificent cupcakes). Sure, the premise may superficially (no pun intended) appeal to boys with fond memories of comic-book reading (recent and no so recent) but the themes are of human relationships and the strange character quirks we all have, and those are universal. Maybe you didn’t like the book not because you’re a woman but just because for whatever reason it didn’t appeal to you as an individual. Nothing wrong with that – no book has ever been written that everybody loves.

Marie, I did like the book – I just didn’t love it. I know that you and a few other women loved it, but it does seem that this book is loved by far more men than women. I know gender stereotyping can be bad, but there are some books that tend to appeal to one sex more than another and I think this is one of them. Sorry 🙂

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