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All My Friends Are Superheroes

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"One of the saddest, funniest, strangest, and most romantic books. . . . Brilliant!"--The Bookseller (UK)

All Tom's friends really are superheroes. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, Perf is hypnotized by her ex-boyfriend, Hypno, to believe Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later, the Perfectionist is sure Tom has abandoned her, so she's moving away. With no idea Tom's beside her, she boards a plane. Tom has until they land to make her see him.

This tenth anniversary edition adds short stories, illustrations, and a foreword to the cult classic that has been a bestseller in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden.

Andrew Kaufman is the author of The Waterproof Bible and The Tiny Wife.


151 pages, Paperback

First published October 19, 2003

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About the author

Andrew Kaufman

17 books440 followers
ANDREW KAUFMAN's critically acclaimed first book, All My Friends Are Superheroes, was a cult hit and has been translated into six languages. Kaufman is also an accomplished screenwriter, film-maker and radio producer and has completed a Director's Residency at the Canadian Film Centre. He lives in Toronto with his wife and their two children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,499 reviews
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.2k followers
June 20, 2017
I read this in a few hours on a train trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. The whimsy, the humour, the constant metaphor! I was a little unsure what I was walking into, but that ended up being fun. It's a story about a woman who has been hypnotized into thinking that her husband is invisible the night of their wedding. After a few months of not seeing her husband she gets on a plane to abandon the relationship, but she doesn't know that he has been beside her this entire time and has this last plane ride to convince her that he's there! It's cute and happy and I found it really clever. I would definitely read this again, or at least flip through the profiles of all the hilarious superheroes!
Profile Image for Nat.
542 reviews3,170 followers
August 2, 2018
“What would make this perfect?”

I read the description for this book and was instantly captivated by the premise of the magical blending in with the everyday:

All Tom's friends really are superheroes.

There's the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, the Perfectionist was hypnotized (by ex-boyfriend Hypno, of course) to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later, she's sure that Tom has abandoned her.

So she's moving to Vancouver. She'll use her superpower to make Vancouver perfect and leave all the heartbreak in Toronto. With no idea Tom's beside her, she boards an airplane in Toronto. Tom has until the wheels touch the ground in Vancouver to convince her he's visible, or he loses her forever.

Honestly, I’m amazed with the author’s brain for coming up with each of the peculiarities in here. Superheroes include: the Couch Surfer (“Empowered with the ability to sustain life and limb without a job, steady companion or permanent place of residence”), the Falling Girl, the Shadowless Man, the Inverse (“Shake the Inverse’s hand and the exact opposite of your life will flash before your eyes”), The Projectionist, Hypno… and with the addition of an anxiety monster appearing at the door when, you guessed it, you’re feeling anxious (“There are two ways to get rid of an anxiety monster, my friend – you either have a bath or a nap.”).

This humorous love story between a normal man and a super-heroine, The Perfectionist, explores the power of ignoring someone and how it can drive them crazy or close to it... Which I found incredible because I had just recently talked about this exact premise and how nothing is quite as hurtful as ghosting someone out of the blue. All My Friends Are Superheroes is both silly and serious, which is quite a feat to concur in writing. Andrew Kaufman definitely succeeded, though, in my eyes.

Bonus points for making this feel like a short story, since it was a lot of fun to read I never noticed the page numbers changing while reading, and also because the book itself is on the slimmer side.

And the fact that there were stories inside of stories also enveloped me further into the book. I loved in particular this love story between two invisible people, who are painted in different colors (blue and orange) to remain visible to the outside world:

(It's long but definitely worth the read.)

“Then one day, a Wednesday, the Blue Outcast worked late at the call centre. He waited for the 6:04 streetcar. Normally he got the 5:15. This is where he saw her. She was hard to miss. She was orange.

The Blue Outcast was in line for the front doors of the streetcar. The Orange Exile was exiting through the rear doors. They made brief eye contact, but nothing more.

The Blue Outcast changed his routine. He took that streetcar, the 504, at 6:04 every day. The Blue Outcast and the Orange Exile noticed each other more and more. They made eye contact for longer periods of time. The Blue Outcast made sure to be at the end of the line for the front doors of the streetcar. The Orange Exile made sure to be first out the back doors. They began waving to each other as they passed on the street. They still hadn’t chatted or exchanged names. That didn’t seem to be the point.

Six weeks after they’d become aware of each other, a thunderstorm rolled across the city. The rain backed up the storm drains. Lightning struck close to the Blue Outcast’s call centre. It was 7:30. He’d missed the 6:04. He was the only one in the office. The sound boomed through the room. He looked out the window to see if there was any damage.

At that exact moment, the Orange Exile was looking out the window of her apartment. The call centre and the Orange Exile’s apartment were directly across from each other, on the second floors of three-storey buildings.

The Blue Outcast looked at the Orange Exile. Lightning cracked again. She put her index finger in her mouth. She pulled it out. It wasn’t orange any more. It was invisible. She held it up for the Blue Outcast to see.

The Blue Outcast cried. His tears cut streaks of invisibility down his face. He stepped back from the window. He undressed. Naked, he left the call centre. He walked to the ground floor, stepped into the rain and looked across the street where orange feet and orange legs were standing in an orange puddle.

They stood in the rain. The Blue Outcast looked up at the sky and held out his arms. He let rain fall on his face. He looked down at his hands and didn’t see them. He looked back across the street and couldn’t see the Orange Exile.

Neither of them has been seen since.”

This was riveting.

With plenty of heart and more than a little humor, All My Friends Are Superheroes has  me intrigued to check out other works by Kaufman in the near future.

Oh, and I also listened to this next song on repeat while reading, thanks to the most recent Skam update.

Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying All My Friends Are Superheroes, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!


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Profile Image for Melki.
5,589 reviews2,310 followers
November 8, 2018
Tom is just a regular guy, though all his friends are not. They are SUPERHEROES with SUPER POWERS! True, their powers may be somewhat odd. There's The Businessman who can calculate the net worth of passersby, The Couch Surfer, a man imbued with the ability to live off of his friends' generosity, and Tom's new bride, The Perfectionist, whose source of power is her need for order.

Alas, their love story goes pear shaped on their wedding day when a suggestion made by one of Perf's old beaus, Hypno, makes Tom invisible to his wife.

Now Tom is floundering, attempting to solve a riddle that will get his love to see him again . . . before she walks out of his life for good.

This is the perfect storm of quirky, romantic silliness, and it proved to be just the right book at just the right time. I loved, Loved, LOVED it.

And now, it's confession time.

I, too, am a superhero. I am The Rememberer. I am empowered with the ability to remember conversations (yes - only conversations, not impressive things like obscure historical facts or sports scores). I can remember what someone once told me over twenty, thirty, even forty years ago. Of course, when I bring up a tidbit that someone casually mentioned so long, long ago, the subject is so startled, they deny ever having said such a thing. Vehemently. "I never said that," they say. "Yes. Yes, you did," I say. This goes back and forth for a while, but always ends the same way.
THEY think I'm THE CRAZY ONE!

Phew! Being a superhero is exhausting. In fact, sometimes it sucks.
Profile Image for Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh.
167 reviews501 followers
April 5, 2014
3 ½ stars. It'll make you smile. The perfect mental gargle after a few heavy novels, creative and just plain fun. Fantasy with a judicious touch of magical realism, everyone in it's a superhero (except for the main character) but they’re subtle about it, we're not talking a bunch of flamboyant cape wearers. Instead each person’s strongest characteristic is what defines their super-power, bet you’ll find yourself wondering what yours would be...
It can be silly, so prepare for a few eye rolling moments but there’s some depth to it as well. This is Kaufman’s bestselling debut, if you like him read The Tiny Wife. It’s darker and I thought quite a bit better, but that's more about my personal taste - I like dark.
So if you're into stories that are strange and unusual, give this one a try.

Cons: I need more fleshed out characters. This one’s got about 40 which is seriously too many for a 120 page book:) Don’t worry though, they make brief appearances flowing in and out of the story - no need to try and keep track of them at all.

"Mr. Opportunity. He knocks on doors and stands there. You'd be surprised how few doors get answered."
Profile Image for Andy Marr.
Author 2 books645 followers
September 7, 2022
Incredibly clever, for the most part. But there were other, smaller, parts that didn't quite work, and others (smaller still) that were too clever for their own good. I'm not sure that makes much sense, but you'll see what I mean if you read it.
Profile Image for Barry Pierce.
531 reviews7,105 followers
May 6, 2015
This is such a nice, short fairytale. Nothing more. You can read it in less than a half hour. Makes you feel happy and full of awe at Kaufman's wonderful story writing ability.
Profile Image for Sara.
27 reviews
January 10, 2012
Not sure where to start. Well, let's start from the cover: "Buy it, borrow it, steal it but just make sure you read it". Dear Mr. Scott Pack (whoever you are), if I ended up in jail for stealing this book I would be really, REALLY pissed off. I think the author wanted to be all deep and profound, trying to convey a message camouflaged under a weird story (is there a story? I just saw a collection of episodes and descriptions). Well, if there was a message, I thought it was VERY, VERY well camouflaged. All I see is a bunch of 'superheroes' who aren't real, aren't fictional and, most of all, aren't interesting. I kept waiting for a big revelation to finally understand the point of wasting my time reading about useless 'superpowers', but no revelation came. I really can't understand it - maybe it's just me, but how can you define this 'an adorable book' or an 'ode to love built to last'?! Again, maybe (probably) it's just me. I'm usually cheesy enough to understand this kind of thing, but maybe this book goes beyond my 'superpowers' - after all, I'm just a 'regular'.
Profile Image for emma.
1,788 reviews43.1k followers
May 16, 2022
there was a phase of my life when all i would read was YA contemporaries i bought from target with my babysitting money and obscure library books my mom found in women's magazine book recommendations.

this is a relic from that era.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago
Profile Image for Toby.
828 reviews325 followers
March 8, 2014
This book is totally adorable. It's not going to change your life, it's not Earth-shattering prose, it's just plain unadulterated pleasure to read.

I wish I could've finished it in one sitting but it's difficult to finish 107 pages on the bus journey to work. But then again if I had finished it without pause I wouldn't have known what it was like to put it down and feel the need to pick it up again.

There's not much I can tell you without spoiling it BUT it is a wonderful love story AND the superhero metaphors work really well 98% of the time.

To list some comparitive adjectives may be the simplest way to review it: funny NOT hilarious, nice NOT brilliant, short and sweet NOT epic and overly descriptive, playful NOT absurd.

My least favourite aspect are the short interludes where Kaufman introduces some other superheroes, most of which are trying too hard to be funny and fail completely and I do mean eye-rollingly bad attempts at jokes that might have been funny if i'd read this when it was first released in 1999 and I was 17.

edit: I'm just floating this review in an immature contest to be the most liked versus Leah's review of the same book which is actually better than mine.
Profile Image for Leah.
499 reviews65 followers
June 18, 2012
A perfectly sweet little book. I read it in less than an hour, which I love.

It has something of the romantic comedy about it, and something delightfully quirky that I have come to associate with Canadian creations - although admittedly I am mostly thinking of Scott Pilgrim here. A little off-centre, a little tongue-in-cheek, it's kind of like one perfect slice of cake: not too big, not too small, leaves you feeling all warm and gooey inside without feeling overindulged.

The little vignettes of twentysomething life are charming and heart-tugging, from a first kiss after being painted into a corner, to realising you don't need so much stuff after your moving van with all your possessions inside is stolen. Now that I think about it, there was a lot of the slightly surreal sweetness of this book in the recent Australian film Griff the Invisible.

As with many short stories and short novels, I can see this being a really lovely movie, done properly. But that's not the point. I think the quote on the back said it best, that this book would be replacing flowers and chocolates as romantic gifts in the future. I can't think of nicer praise to give.
Profile Image for Wiebke (1book1review).
860 reviews503 followers
February 27, 2016
This was a very fast but cute read. The story is so imaginative. I liked the things that made people into superheroes and the way that affected their lives. And the story about Tom and The Perfectionist is just so cute. I couldn't put it down!

Reread this February 2016 and just loved it like the first time. Go read it, if you haven't yet!
Profile Image for lucky little cat.
545 reviews100 followers
January 24, 2019
Brief, relentlessly ironic, mordantly funny, and true. Kaufman's Everyman hero Tom is the one mere mortal in his lively circle of friends.


Eh, my heroes have always been Schoolhouse Rocky and Zero. And Willie Nelson.

Therefore, Tom is also the outsider-storyteller sharing his insights with us, mostly about twenty-something life and romance. He describes well-known local characters such as the Spooner, who's unerringly attracted to anyone who needs overnight emotional support; Tom's old commitment-phobe girlfriend Someday who wistfully vanished; Tom's soulmate the Perfectionist who's utterly in her element planning their Perfect Wedding; and a host of idiosyncratic others.

Personally, my favorite scene is when, while visiting an art gallery, Tom and the Perfectionist embarrass the crap out of Tom's eternally laid-back BFF the Amphibian just by being themselves and trying too hard. :D You'll know the book is for you if you even half-enjoy this:

Part of the problem with finding your superhero name is that it may refer to something you don’t like about yourself. It may actually be the part of yourself you hate the most, would pay money to get rid of. Certainly the Perfectionist had a hard time coming to terms with her superpower.
The Gambler, OneNight and Brutally Honest all spent years accepting their superpowers.


Really, can't you just hear Brutally Honest and the Gambler saying, "It's just me, babe. It's the Way I Am." (OneNight wouldn't stick around long enough to explain.)

My superhero name would be The Burning Procrastinator. (And my stripper name would be Dixie Cooper. And I am not proud of that.)


Edward Lear (and his bird in the bush) would have completely approved of Kaufman's brand of absurdism.
Edward Gorey would have probably requested more loners, cats, and missing persons.
Profile Image for Max Urai.
Author 1 book31 followers
August 23, 2013
The title of this book is "All my friends are Superheroes."

Congratulations, you have now read the one good thing this book has to offer.
Profile Image for Melina Souza.
357 reviews1,846 followers
February 11, 2020
3.5 arredondei pra 4
Achei essa leitura bem divertida e criativa.
Na noite de seu casamento, Tom se torna invisível para sua esposa, A Perfeccionista que foi hipnotizada pelo seu ex-namorado, Hipno.
Todos enxergam Tom, menos A Perfeccionista (e por mais que as pessoas falem pra ela que ele está ali, ela não consegue acreditar). Seis meses depois, cansada e triste de viver sem enxergar seu marido desde a noite de seu casamento, ela decide entrar em um avião para Vancouver e recomeçar sua vida.
No avião, Tom percebe que essa é a última chance de se tornar novamente visível para sua esposa e salvar seu casamento.

Enquanto acompanhamos essa situação bizarra, somos apresentados a outros super heróis nem um pouco convencionais e também a história dos dois.

Adorei!
Profile Image for Greg.
1,106 reviews1,809 followers
January 17, 2019
Nearly twenty years ago I remember I spent awhile making up a story in my head about people with super powers. It was around 2000, and I was probably influenced by some of the X-Men anti-mutant problems they were always involved with. It was about people who were treated like feared and treated like garbage by normal people because they had superpowers, but their superpowers were mundane and boring, like a guy who could warm up a cup of coffee with his hands, but they didn't generate enough heat to cause anyone harm or really do much good except for making something a little warmer. For awhile I thought that it would be a good idea for a story or something and then I probably thought of something else that would make a good idea for a story that I would never write and I started to play with that new idea in my head while walking around.

I didn't know what to expect when I started to read this. I'm not even sure what made me decide that this was a book that should be put on the pile of books I made a few months ago that I meant to read soon. But it was short, and the second book on the top of the pile, so I read it.

The book turned out to be a very good balance of quirky and sweet that could have easily slipped into possibly nauseating twee but managed not to.

The book is about a guy Tom who lives in Toronto, and like the title says, all his friends are superheros. He meets them when he befriends a superhero called the Amphibian, who is as comfortable being in water as being out of water (and who is an anomaly in the book because with webbed toes and fingers actually is visibly 'different' in some way). Most of the superheros though are more just personality quirks, that if looked at the right way are super powers.

Tom meets, falls in love with and marries the Perfectionist--whose superpower is that she needs order so badly that she can will it in to being with her mind (as an example of other superheros he had previously dated the superhero Someday, whose powers were the ability think big grandiose things along with an unlimited capacity to procrastinate). On their wedding day one of the Perfectionists ex's, Hypno, puts her in a trance that causes her to have a negative hallucination. She can't see Tom any longer.

The story part of the novel is Tom trying to figure out how to get the love of his life to see him again. Mixed in with the main story are anecdotes and chapters listing some of the other 249 Toronto superheros. For me it was the mini-stories about the other superheros that made this book. The book becomes a kind of celebration of the little idiosyncrasies that make us unique (and maybe with how ultimately ineffectual or useless most of the superpowers are it's also a bit of a warning about just relating ones entire life around one aspect of our lives?)

It's a much more charming book than it might sound like from my description, and could quite possibly be the best book I've ever read that came with a blurb on it from someone whose fame comes from the Marketing / Business world.
Profile Image for Doug.
1,897 reviews647 followers
July 12, 2018
A clever little book and a very quick read (it's actually only 88 pages, since there are a lot of blank pages and it starts on page 7!). Had the Goldsmiths Prize (given to innovation in the novel form) been around back in 2004, it would have been a shoe-in to at least be nominated, if not indeed win. Basically a modern day fable on the difficulties in fitting in and finding true love, I think anyone can relate to at least parts of it.
Profile Image for erigibbi.
743 reviews633 followers
October 5, 2017
Tom sta cercando di risolvere un problema serio: riuscire a tornare visibile agli occhi della donna che ama per la quale è appunto invisibile da 6 mesi. La donna in questione non è una donna qualunque ma sua moglie. Tom è ormai sconsolato e si sente anche un uomo mediocre perché da un anno è circondato da supereroi. Non supereroi classici, muscolosi e perfetti, tutt’altro. La stessa moglie di Tom è una supereroina: la Perfezionista. Purtroppo però Perf, nel giorno del suo matrimonio, ha subito un incantesimo da parte del suo ex, Ipno, che le impedisce di vedere Tom (ma lei ovviamente non ne è al corrente e infatti è convinta che Tom l’abbia lasciata). Quando sta per atterrare a Vancouver Perf cerca di utilizzare i suoi poteri per dimenticare questa triste vicenda che le sta logorando il cuore e Tom ha così pochissimo tempo per cercare di farsi vedere da lei ritornando visibile.

Si tratta di una bellissima storia d’amore, molto originale e per quanto drammatica possa essere è stata anche una storia a tratti divertente. Un tributo all’amore molto toccante e che vi può riscaldare il cuore in una giornata grigia e deprimente.

Trovo poi bellissima l’idea dell’autore di parlare in questo modo dei “supereroi” i cui superpoteri sono stati utilizzati come categorie per esplorare manie, fissazioni e debolezze dell’uomo. Ve ne cito alcuni: il Bradipo, la Presenzialista, l’Ospite, Una Notte E Via e infine il Consolatore; per non dimenticarci di Perfezione, la protagonista femminile del libro.

Volevo comunque lasciarvi alcuni passaggi che mi sono piaciuti particolarmente nella speranza che capiate l’inglese (altrimenti scrivetemi nei commenti che vi darò una spiegazione):

But because they all have a superpower, and everyone they know has a superpower, having a superpower is nothing special to them. What’s special to them is not having a superpower.

[…]

‘I don’t remember a single monster before I met you,’ he’d told the Amphibian. ‘Now they seem to be all over the place.’

‘You mean there wasn’t anything you were afraid of?’ the Amphibian had asked him.

‘Lots.’

‘What did they look like?’

It was a funny question.

‘They didn’t look like anything. They were ideas’.

[…]

She was still feeling reckless. She took off his skin. She took off his nervous system. She lifted up his rib cage. His heart beat in her hand. And there, underneath it, she found a jewelled golden box. She opened it. Inside she found his hopes, his dreams and his fears. She stared at them. She was surprised to find them there and surprised at how beautiful they where. At the exact moment, the Perfectionist fell in love with Tom.

[…]

‘We’re here,’ the Clock says.

The Perfectionist open her eyes. She sees nothing.

It’s white. All white. There’s no up. There’s no down. No horizon. Nothing. It’s just white.

‘Clock, what is it?’ asks the Perfectionist. Her voice is shaky.

‘This is the future.’

‘This is the future?’ the Perfectionist asks. Her mouth is dry. She forces herself to swallow. ‘Why is the future like this?’

‘Because it hasn’t happened yet,’ says the Clock.



E con queste, a mio avviso, splendide citazioni, concludo dicendovi che spero veramente tanto che leggiate questo libro!
Profile Image for Hanne.
222 reviews317 followers
October 13, 2013
If you’re ever nostalgic for bedtime stories, the ones that made you float to another world that was both sweet and sad but made you smile all the same, than this is the book for you. Reading this book felt like spending time with some of the best books of my childhood, but then the adult version.

The story is about Tom, a regular non-superhero, who married a superhero (‘The Perfectionist’). On their wedding day however, a mean ex-lover of hers who has the power of Hypnotization made sure that he would no longer be visible to his wife. She thinks Tom has disappeared, and for six months Tom has been trying to undo the damage, but time is running out when she decides to move away and start life anew somewhere else.

What makes this story so brilliant is that there are so many layers to it. You can chose to which depth you want to read the book. You can just read the story for what it is, and enjoy it. But given the way it’s written, it’s not very hard to go a level deeper and realize that being unique is just one small step away from being a superhero – it all depends on your definition.
Although it’s interesting to note that we might look at others and realize they have some superhero-skills, we keep seeing ourselves as ‘a regular’.

There are some special superpowers but most of them sound quite everyday. I had a good laugh though with many of them. I thought Andrew Kaufman got very creative and witty with these, being very imaginative but still describing them in such a way that they are utterly recognizable and so very, very human.

‘Mr.Late’ is always late, but something of great importance will happen to you while you’re waiting for him. It is however still extremely annoying.”
‘The Jumper’ has jumped aboard, ahead and to conclusions. He’s jumped into love and out of the frying pan.
‘Someday’ has red hair, a compact frame and two superheroes: an amazing ability to think big and an unlimited capacity to procrastinate.


Another theme is the Power of Love, and what it in the end can pull of, no matter what the odds and obstacles are. Or how perfect it is, because she’s called the Perfectionist, not so much because of her perfectionism (though she is that too, she even gets frustrated for not being able to organize snow), but because she has the uncanny ability to make things perfect for him (On cue: 3…2…1… Awwwww).
Profile Image for Bill.
1,514 reviews104 followers
February 18, 2016
So one of my wife's friends recommended this book to me because she knows I love to read and we both read The Martian, so now, apparently we are book buddies. She likes anything Chick-Lit or Rom-Commie, (people who know me, know those are not my preferred genres), so I had more than a smidge of apprehension about actually reading this one. Honestly, I was intrigued by the cover and liked the title, so decided to give it a shot. Glad I did. It was really a very good story and after an initial "Uh oh, what did I get myself into" it really took off and clicked for me. There was more than enough strange character threads and weirdness keep me entertained and the ending was really "sweet". Very well done.
Profile Image for Kelly (imaginemorebooks).
380 reviews7 followers
August 3, 2017
4.5/5 stars

Over the years I have heard nothing but praise for this book from Carrie Hope Fletcher. Ever since I have been aching to pick it up. For Christmas last year I was given the book and couldn't be more excited. Flash forward to BookTubeAThon and I finally pick it up.

First off, I really enjoyed the simplicity of the world and the magic that comes with it, but honestly, I couldn't stop thinking of Carrie! So far I have read two of her books and I couldn't help but see the similarities between this book and On the Other Side. I can clearly see where Carrie pulled from Kauffman's style! If I had read both of the books without knowing the authors I 100% would have thought they were written by the same person. If anything, I think that goes to show how much we are influenced by our favorite things. This is Carrie's favorite book, so obviously she would take her favorite stylistic things about this book and apply it to her own.

Back to the book itself, I really did enjoy it. I read the 10th anniversary edition and apparently it features a lot more Superheroes. Personally, I enjoyed the story more than the Superheroes, but a lot of them really made me stop and think. Half the time I read about a Superhero and just think they are an exaggerated version of the worst/best traits in society. But then next I'd read about a girl who literally cries televisions and scrap my philosophical ideas of the Superheroes. Honestly, to some extent I think the Superheroes represent the average of society only turned to 100. It made me think that literally anyone can be a superhero for literally the smallest thing. But then I'd get confused as to why the main character isn't a superhero. Because surely at this point he could be classified as heartbroken man or something to that extent.

Long story short, I highly recommend this book. It is short and light and vastly different from most other books out there. Despite dealing with Superheroes and magical realism, it still feels relatable in the most primal sense. If you are looking for light magic or an escape from the world, I'd check this book out. It is deep, but at the same time light enough to help you escape from your own troubles.
Profile Image for Pranta Ghosh Dastider.
Author 16 books267 followers
December 1, 2015
An interesting concept wasn't properly used, that's how this book felt. There were information all over the places, which weren't relevant at all. Main story was tiny and rest of things felt like filler. Some places read nice, and if this was made a short story with only the main part then I would have rated it 4 stars at least.

Either way, I guess this was not my cup of tea. Romance lovers can try this out if they may.
Profile Image for Ammara.
73 reviews2 followers
September 8, 2019
I loved this book! Kaufman’s quirky take on romance and superheroes left me with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart and a stupid grin on my face. I loved the extensive roster of peculiar superheroes, I loved how in Kaufman’s Toronto there are no super villains just misunderstandings gone awry and I especially loved how in just 106 pages, Kaufman fleshes out for, a relationship in its entirety and a whimsical world where hearts break quite literally and anxiety monsters that will claw your face off if you don’t find a way to calm down.

The books follows Tom, an ordinary human being, who falls in love with The Perfectionist (a superhero that can organize anything in the blink of an eye). She’s perfect in every way until her jealous ex, Hypno, hypnotises her into believing Tom is invisible and has disappeared. After a distraught six months, The Perfectionist is convinced that Tom has abandoned her and steps on a plane to Vancouver to start her life afresh. But Tom’s not giving up. He’s booked the seat next to her and must find a way to make himself visible to her before the plane lands.

Superheroes in this books come aplenty, in all shapes, sizes and sundry personalities that’ll have you matching different types with yourself or people you know. There’s The Battery whose over-rebellious mind allows her to store great amounts of energy and release it in one blinding shot, The Stress Bunny whose strict Catholic upbringing allows her to absorb the stress of people around her, The Chip with who has a chip on a shoulder so heavy it helped her develop superhuman strength, The Inverse whose abilities include making the exact opposite of your life flash before you eyes upon a handshake and Mr. Opportunity, who knock on doors but “you’d be surprised how few doors get answered.”

Kaufman’s ironic and pithy phrasing is compelling and entertaining. So are his digressions that regularly divert from the main plot to a charming anecdote or flashback that flesh out the wacky version of Toronto as well as lays groundwork for Tom and The Perfectionist’s relationship. Sprinkled in between all the action are a couple of chapters dedicated to wittily written superhero biographies.

There were times where I wished that there were more nuanced elements to help breathe life into the central characters and that they got more time in the spotlight. But that’s understandably limited by the book’s length and superhero aesthetic. Those minor quibbles aside, All My Friends are Superheroes is a disarmingly charming tale of heartache, whimsy and magical realism with clever ideas that are stretched as far as they can go but never outstay their welcome. Well worth a read.
Profile Image for Trio.
2,903 reviews171 followers
November 11, 2021
Subtle, dry, and delightfully absurd, Andrew Kaufman's All My Friends are Superheroes is a hoot. I'm pretty sure I know almost all of those "friends", I'm pretty sure most of us do!

The audio is peformed beautifully by the author, who (in my opinion) could easily have a second career. In addition to a lovely speaking voice, Mr. Kaufman's comedic timing is excellent.

thank you to NetGalley and Coach House Books for an audiobook copy of All My Friends are Superheros for the purpose of my honest review
1,225 reviews42 followers
March 1, 2016
A deeply charming story of a man invisible to his superhero wife, the perfectionist. In around a 100 pages Andrew Kaufman takes the wonderful idea of everyday features taken to superhero heights through a simple love story.

The central conceit is that people have a single trait or characteristic, to paraphrase the author, that can be boiled down to a super hero name. As an aside the book also points out that the superheroes in some cases have a hard time coming to terms with their ability citing mr brutally honest, one night and the gambler as examples. Tom is in love with the Perfectionist, but at their wedding she is put under a spell by her ex the Hypno and Tom is now invisible to her.

I found it very funny indeed and in the end touching. Magical realism, allegories and indeed love stories are responsible for some really shockingly dreadful books, so it's nice to see it done well and without the brain dead moralizing that usually accompanies especially the first two genres.

A delightful way to spend an hour or two and you get the added bonus of being able to use meetings and conferences to develop your own cast of superheroes from your colleagues e.g. Captain tone deaf, or The droners. Andrew Kaufman does it very well with some of my favorites from him below.

The Sloth
The Sloth would sit on his couch, paralyzed by all the things he wasn't taking care of. Then one day, a Wednesday, he just said, 'Fuck it!' He threw his hands up into the air and said, 'Fuck it!' This was the day that the sloth discovered his superpower, an amazing ability to say 'Fuck it' and really, truly mean it.”

The Stress Bunny
If you arrive at a party and suddenly find yourself completely relaxed, there's a good chance the Stress Bunny is there. Blessed either the ability to absorb the stress of anyone in a 50 foot radius, the stress bunny is invited to every party, every outing. Her power originates from her Strict Catholic upbringing.





Profile Image for Craig Wallwork.
Author 30 books105 followers
May 7, 2019
This is my second book by Kaufman in the past three days. To say I’m bingeing on this guy is an understatement. Rarely do I do this. I can count the amount of authors on three fingers that had me want to read their whole back catalogue consecutively, and Kaufman is without exception one of those authors. All My Friends Are Superheroes is perfect in its eccentricity. It tells the story of Tom, and his wife, The Perfectionist. The Perfectionist can’t see Tom. He is invisible to her, and has been since their wedding night. To undo the spell placed upon her, Tom leans on his other superhero friends. And this is where the author plays to his strength. Kaufman’s ability to stretch his imagination to create bizarre, wonderful and funny characters is enchanting as much as it is breath-taking. What is a simple love story turns into a world beyond the scope of many a person’s imagination, and interwoven through the very fabric of this world is a fable that is timeless and beautiful. A wonderful, tragic, funny and uplifting story that will have you champing at the bit to delve deeper into the mind of Andrew Kaufman.
Profile Image for Rebecca (whymermaids).
136 reviews250 followers
September 1, 2015
What a wonderful, beautiful, heartbreakingly romantic little book.

I don’t want to say too much about this book, because knowing too much about it ahead of time would ruin a first time reading. What I will say is this book is simple and quick (120 pages) and something everyone should read.

In it’s essence, it’s a love story; a perfect, wonderful little love story told in a unique way, which also praises individuality and personality quirks and fighting to hold on to those things which are real.

Don’t be put off by the “S” word in the title if that’s not your thing; it’s moderate and creatively done, and these aren’t your cape-wearing crime fighters.

Like ginger after sushi, this is a really great palate-cleanser, and is silly and quirky and fun, and will fit in between two larger reads with ease.

It’s harder to find in the States, but well worth the scavenge.
Profile Image for Evie.
213 reviews18 followers
August 3, 2008
This book was a sweet surprise. I picked it up by chance at a yard sale knowing nothing about it. I started it before bed and when I forgot to take it to work with me the next day, all I could think about was when I could go home to finish it. Completely charming.


EDIT: I have lent this book to three people since I've read it, and all loved it. Even those who are not prolific readers devoured it quickly and joyfully.
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