I dislike doing gif reviews but oh gosh this book made me…
and my mom fry something spicy with lotsa cili padi in the middle of the night that made my eyes teary as heck so its a given.
Memoir of an Imaginary Friend is, a children novel that was put under parenting section by the publisher, about an imaginary boy named Budo who managed to convinced his human, Max, that he’s real. Max is smart but autistic boy with anti-social tendencies. (probably Asperger syndrome) Budo is the creation that somehow manifested into reality and the unknown. The book was written in first person point of view by Budo with quite a simple style for easy reading. The plot made it quite an interesting adult reading so its quite suited for older grade school readers.
Truth to be told, I never had imaginary friends. I used to try to act like I have one since its far easy than saying I was people-watching. I’m weird but not that weird. Mr Dicks somehow cultivate the imaginary character into someone that is real and tangible enough for readers to feel empathy for. Budo was born out of imagination and the constant theme of dying were prevalent through the book. He was constantly afraid that Max will kill him by growing up and be independent. In a way, he is quite selfish and wanted what life has to offer despite his limitation – he’s imaginary! He desired life and of learning new things and meeting new people and places. He was in constant agony whenever he was unable to help Max but cheered when he could. He had a mind of his own. He’s in some sense, a living being devoid of physicality but compensate with his humanity.
Budo made the book philosophical and often asked questions more than he could provide answers. He’s neither a child nor an adult. He was far more matured but somehow has childish quality in him. I could say he’s quite a remarkable narrator I’ve encountered in the genre. Often giving depth to a situation without being sarcastic over it.
As for the plot moved from the introduction of an invisible boy and his friendship with his human, he observed the plight Max had to face daily with his condition and the bullying. Along the way a larger sized conflict was introduced which made the book evolved into just a story about an imaginary friend but into an epic storytelling of an imaginary being fighting against all odds to save his human and meet new people and save the day. Budo was an earnest child who is not a child who tempted fate even if it mean dying. It was such a clever approach on the idea of living and dying that’s borders on spirituality but not enough to sound overtly religious.
The book reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book in term of writing style and slight tone of ghostly haunting. Until around the climax, I had the feeling of the story venturing on JM Barrie’s Peter Pan with its power of imagination and the possibility on creating a life of its own just by believing in something. For something written in simple prose without embellishment for the sake of literature itself, “Memoir of an Imaginary Friend” might surprise you by reminiscing on the past self and question what’s reality is and the sacrifices that was endured for the sake of realism.
The book is so deep. I’ve cried buckets reading this book….
p/s: its quite weird that the author had to use pseudonym for UK and Australia