x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend: Poignant 'kid lit for grown-ups'

Matthew Green offers a memorable account of a boy's relationship with a figment of his imagination.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
Matthew Green
Sphere
Dh46
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend Matthew Green Sphere Dh46

On the book ’s cover, Imaginary Friend is spelt out in crayon letters, evoking childhood nostalgia or at least some pretty embarrassing moments for those who possessed an overactive imagination in their youth. If you did fall into the latter category, there’s no shame in it since, according to Matthew Green’s debut novel, your imaginary childhood companions were as real as you could get.

Take the narrator, for instance. Budo is the creation of eight-year-old Max Delaney, an intelligent well-read boy whose peers leave him alone to his own devices, a mercy for which he is eternally thankful. Budo doesn’t mind Max’s isolation either until the day Max disappears right before his very eyes. Desperate to find his only friend before it really is too late, Budo navigates a strange and twisting path through the invisible world of the make-believe and pushes himself beyond the limits imposed by harsh reality.

Here’s a novel that falls into the “kid-lit for grown-ups” genre. Sometimes amusing, mostly poignant, with a heartbreaking moment to spare, Memoirs is one of the few of its kind that could be counted as truly memorable.