26 December 2007

Andrew Kaufman, All my Friends are Superheroes, 2005

Tom is the only normal person he knows: everyone else has one superpower which defines their lives, such as his wife, the Perfectionist, to whom he becomes invisible on their wedding night thanks to Hypno, her hypnotist ex-lover. She thinks Tom has abandoned her, but six months later on a flight from Toronto to Vancouver he has to figure out how he can finally make her see him again. This book is a very neat idea that with poor editing could have sprawled all over the place, but instead it’s tightly put together, just the right length for the kind of literate surrealist fantasy that it is. Not laugh-out-loud funny though the off-beat humour works in an intelligent Being John Malkovich kind of way, and I’d recommend this to any number of people who admire ambitious books that aren’t also self-consciously smug about their own cleverness.   PY

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