All my friends are superheroes

All my friends are superheroes

Fiction reviews: What’s it like to be normal in a world of superheroes – like Copycat, who steals your style so well you’re the one who looks like the imitation? Tom knows, and he wants to share his story with you.

‘All My Friends Are Superheroes’ by Andrew Kaufman is a poignant tale of love, loss and the little things life throws at you; it’ll break your heart and make you smile.

Living in a world filled with superheroes when you are just a regular guy is tough enough as it is. Tom finds out it’s about to get a whole lot harder. On the day he’s supposed to marry superhero The Perfectionist, her ex boyfriend Hypno hypnotises her into believing Tom is invisible. With his new wife unable to see him, his life spirals into despair. He can’t communicate with her and any attempt to touch her causes mass hiccupping and twitching all around.

However, Tom has one last chance to convince her to see him again – on a plane flight to Vancouver where she intends to start her new life. Will their love be stronger than Hypno’s spell? Or will The Perfectionist go on to lead her perfect life without ever knowing Tom was always by her side?

This novel may be diminutive in size, but Kaufman manages to work magic in only 108 pages. One word leaps immediately to my mind when thinking of this beauty of a book; adorable. Laced with flashbacks and brief summaries of various superheroes, this bijou work of art warms the heart and fills the soul with joy. ‘All my friends are superheroes’ is a small wonder, a bit like Henry Pym aka Yellowjacket from Marvel – especially around Valentine’s Day, when overly cheesy displays of romanticism run riot in every card shop in town. If the thought of another bad chick lit novel of shopping, shagging and alpha bitches make you gag then look no further. This book is real. It’s filled with real emotion. It’s sweet without becoming sickly, witty without trying show you just how witty it is and generally delightful to read. Economical with words, it’s distilled down to its finest essence.

Kaufman goes against convention when tackling the world of superheroes. Thoughts of ridiculously strong men in spandex pants spring to mind, yet the heroes in Kaufman’s story are just people taken to an extreme, one little quirk of theirs enhanced until it becomes their defining feature. Many characters come and go in this gem of a book but a few that stood out for me are Stress Bunny (who has the ability to absorb the stress of anyone she is around), The Seeker (who knows how to get to any place, anywhere, but once he gets there he feels compelled to move on) and The Copycat (who can mimic anyone’s personal style to the point that they look like less successful versions of themselves). Beautiful little characters like that pop up all through this relatively short book, never to be heard of again. A quirk or characteristic taken just a tad too far till it becomes your defining feature, your very name. Till it becomes the thing you loathe and yet pin your entire identity on. Believe me, by the end of the read you’ll be wondering what on earth your defining super power would be. It’s a trickier question to answer than it looks!

‘All My Friends Are Superheroes’ is like a tiny truffle of rich dark cocoa chocolate – a book to devour in one sitting then savour for a lifetime.