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All My Friends Are Superheroes Paperback – October 19, 1999

46 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 19, 1999
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Editorial Reviews


’This book is like a kiss in the afternoon sun. Somebody should write Mr. Kaufman a letter and thank him for his tender heart and the way he puts things down so gently. I expect this story will replace boxes of chocolates and flowers in courting rituals to come.’ – Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?

’Here, the words "modern" and "mythology" hang together in such a wonderfully close and inventive embrace. This is a story that will steal up quietly and seduce with its originality and wit.’ – Terry Griggs, author of Cat's Eye Corner

’Andrew Kaufman's novel is funny like the quiet cracking of a heart. Here's a world so absurdly perfect in its realization that any tangent down a literary rabbit hole pulls up yet another oddball, mind-striking truth. The Fantastic Four was never so phenomenal.’ – Lee Henderson, author of The Man Game

From the Back Cover

Andrew Kaufman is a writer, filmmaker and radio producer. His writing has appeared on the McSweeney's website. He has completed a Director's Residency at the Canadian Film Centre and his film Aberistiwith was screened at festivals across Canada and Europe. He currently works as a producer for CBC Radio in Toronto.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Coach House Books; 1 edition (October 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552451305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552451304
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,100,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By alldayReader on December 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book from the first page straight through to the last page. This book is funny (laugh out loud) and fresh. It is a charming and suave love story with a most original wrench thrown in the machinery of love. No one needs to die or mistakenly break up or fall in with evil in this love story; a mere disappearance will do. Our hero (normal, not super) becomes invisible on his wedding day but only to his wife. He has to reinstate her vision of him or he will lose her forever. How's that for a premise? Actually, it sounds almost Shakespearean but given all the superheroes floating and flying and slinking around, dipping in and out, this is not Elizabethan England.

In fact we are in Canada and superheroes abound (of course: we all know about the low crime rates and fantastically cheap health care). The powers of these superheroes, at times listed in encyclopedic fashion, are indeed super and quite urbane. Their unique powers make perfect sense in the crazy world that we live in. My favorite (and I will only give away one but trust me, these superheroes are brilliantly imagined) is Mistress Cleanasyougo: "At the end of every day she folds her clothes. She never leaves scissors on the table, pens with no ink are thrown in the trash, wet towels are always hung up, dishes are washed directly after dinner and nothing is left unsaid." You go, girl.

Even with such fantastic powers, just because "you're special really doesn't mean anything. You still have to get dressed in the morning. Your shoelaces still break. Your lover will still leave you if you don't treat her right."

And so our normalhero Tom must figure out how to save his superhero wife and himself and thier marriage, but using only the good old standby powers of love and faith and ingenuity. Let's hear it for the regular Joe, er, Tom.

Great good comes from reading great books. [...]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Kid on July 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman is like getting the precise helping of your favourite food the very moment you crave it.
An excellent read that holds up over time. I first read it late last year and recently brought it with me on a road trip. Despite knowing exactly how things turn out I found myself falling for the characters again.
Do yourself a favour and buy two copies. That way you won't have to give yours away.
I'm looking forward to Kaufman's next work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mfaromantic on June 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am really torn about my ultimate response to this novella. As many others have already said it is a simple, cleverly-written sweet little story. The crispness and freshness of both the language and the premise make it charming and so very hard to resist. I loved the descriptions of the superheroes and how Mr. Kaufman was able to cast this world of everyday superheroes without making it ridiculous or absurd or weird but completely relatable and engaging.

My one criticism is that I think it lacked a level of depth that would have made this a perfect reading experience for me - particularly in regards to the two main characters and their relationship. I think the novella would have benefitted from a little more development. Similarly, I think the scenes on the plane on the way to Vancouver could have been utilized better to create more tension and anxiety - a greater sense of peril. Tom spends the first few hours of the trip just watching her sleep and thinking back rather than doing more. And while a simple ending generally suits a simple story - I was left a little let down with the end - wishing it had given me more to relish.

That being said, with a simple and clever story like this, the slightest overreach might have thrown it all off and I commend Mr. Kaufman for staying true to the story throughout - even if I might wish for a little more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CTMom on April 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I didn't know what to think about this book. It was cute & quick & I LOVED all the superpowers that everyone has.

But, it's really more of a short story than a novel & when you really break it down, more time is spent listing superheroes (that often don't even appear in the story- no matter how amusing they are), that I was sort of annoyed by the entire thing.

The story itself is very cute, if odd, & quite lovely.

But I would have rather that Kaufman had just written his story & then added some sort of encyclopedia of everyday heroes at the end rather than sprinkling the listings throughout the story- it made reading it somewhat awkward for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
A friend who gave me this book called it "a cute little book," and while he wasn't trying to stop me from reading it, he almost did. And he was right, but in the best way he could be. This is indeed a "cute, little" book, being both short (just over 100 pages) and cute (meaning light-hearted and funny). It's a sweet urban love story that is both surprisingly clever and unexpectedly poignant. More than anything else, though, this is a wildly funny and inventive little book that you'll want to recommend to both your friends and enemies, superheroes or not.
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Format: Paperback
This is my second book by Andrew Kaufman, and he blew my mind once again. I just love his style of writing, I love his wit, his sarcasm, his storytelling, his characters, his plots, his bizarre twists and turns and out of this world events, I love it all.

This book was absolutely charming and tooth-achingly sweet and short. I have been looking for this book everywhere (for some reason there is a huge lack of Kaufman in our bookstores here), and I finally found it at a random book fair. I didn't know what to expect, but I did not expect it to be that tiny. I bought it anyway, because I knew I wouldn't be able to find it again, and I had been looking for it long enough.

I started reading this book, and I knew that I would finish it then and there.

The story describes Tom's attempts at salvaging his marriage to The Perfectionist (Perf, for short, how cute is that?). The catch however, is that all of Tom's friends are superheroes, including his bride. And his bride's ex, the Hypno, who was still vying for her affections decided to hypnotize his ex so that she was not able to see her groom/husband anymore. Therefore, Tom is now invisible to Perf. And he has only a plane ride to get her to see him before it's all over.

The story is incredibly quirky, yet brilliantly written. Short, but to the point, all you needed are those 100 or so pages to get the perfect tale. I recommend this book to everyone, even those who don't read regularly, only because it is an enjoyable escape that everyone and anyone can take pleasure in and relate to.
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