Michelle's Reviews > Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 12, 2014

really liked it

So far I've only read two reviews of this book - one loved it, one found it irritating. I'm going with loved it. Yes, there does seem to be a trend in books to have children or child-like narrators. Yes there's also a trend in having stories with high functioning autistic characters. But I didn't find this story unoriginal, or a copy of an idea. I found it page turning, easy to read, and very heart-warming. And you know something, heart-warming ISN'T a criticism, despite what professional critics may have you believe ;)

Max struggles at school. He is bright and intelligent, but socially inept. He has no friends - and he doesn't desire friendship. He reads, he writes, he plays with his lego and toy soldiers but struggles to play catch with his dad. Max's mother worries about Max, but his father is convinced - or tries to convince himself -that Max is just a 'late bloomer'.

Max has Budo - his imaginery friend, and it is Budo who tells the story. So we see life through Budo's eyes. Budo's knowledge of the world and how it works is learned from Max, Max's parents, his beloved teacher Mrs Gosk, and Budo's night life. Because Max never imagined Budo sleeping, Budo doesn't. When Max is asleep, Budo visits the hospital and the gas station - places which also don't sleep. These places play an important part in the story when something terrible happens to Max, and it is up to Budo to figure out how to save his beloved "imaginary" friend.

I don't usually read books with autistic characters, because I read to get away from my world - the motehr of an autistic child. But there is a wonderful passage where Budo celebrates Max's bravery at getting up every day to face a world that wants to change him, that is uneasy with him and sometimes cruel to him. I've often felt that about my own child, who is low functioning compared to Max, but the author put it into words so much better than I could :)
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Matthew Dicks Hi Michelle,
I don't usually comment on reviews (not advisable as an author), but I couldn't help but thank you for your kind words in regards to the book and the description of Max in particular. I am an elementary school teacher who works quite frequently with autistic children across the spectrum, and Budo's words about Max's courage are very reflective of my own feelings about these extraordinary children. I'm so happy to hear that the story rang true for you. Thanks so much for taking the time to review.

Michelle You're welcome, and thank you for writing your story :) I heard you interviewed on Radio New Zealand and loved the story of your imaginary friend Johnson Johnson. My imaginary friends (Bud and Sandy, from the tv show Flipper) once took me on a walk far from home and would "push me out the windowsill". i was about 4 when they left, they were much meaner than Budo :)

Matthew Dicks Wow, I wish I had known about Bud and Sandy while writing the book! A mean imaginary friend. I would have never imagined suck a thing.

Perhaps an idea to use in a sequel.

Thanks again.

back to top