Book review: All my Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

Rating: ★★★★

Tom’s friends are all superheroes. They all have a special power, and he’s the only ‘regular’ in the group. Tom is married to the Perfectionist, who has the power to make everything perfect. But on their wedding day, the Perfectionist suddenly can’t see Tom anymore. Now it’s been months since Tom has disappeared (although everyone else can still see him), and they’re on a flight to Vancouver. Tom has to convince his wife that he exists before the plane lands.


Tom’s friends are not really superheroes. Each person’s super power is really just something that stands out about them, something that makes them special. We have Hypno, for example, who can hypnotise people, when really he’s just good at convincing you to do stuff. The moral of this little novella, I think, is that Tom is actually just as much of a superhero as everyone else, but he can’t find anything special about himself. This reflects what a lot of people in the real world think – that everyone around them is somehow more interesting and more special than they are.

I wasn’t really sure how I felt about this book at first. I haven’t read that much magical realism, but I think I’m not a big fan of it. I like books that are either fantastical or completely real – things in between confuse me and also tend to come off as a bit pretentious (in my opinion, of course). When I was about half-way through I thought I would give it three stars, but then I finished it and actually realised that I had quite enjoyed it. So four stars it is! Although I think it might be more of a 3.5 for me.

It was definitely not what I expected. For some reason (I really don’t know where I got that idea), I thought this would be about a boy whose friends are all really special and cool and who feels invisible among them. Technically I did get the story right, but I was so convinced that this was going to be a children’s book. I have no idea why. Instead I got a story about lots of adults and their problems, all described in strange, magical ways. There is this one superhero who can make every day feel like Sunday. It’s described like a super power, but really he’s just the kind of guy who never leaves the house, orders pizza and binge-watched TV shows. That’s my super power right there.

There’s not much I can say about the plot – really not that much happens. The book is barely 100 pages long and it’s a super quick read. The present day chapters are set on the plane to Vancouver, but most of the story is events from Tom’s past, or strange little bits of information about other people. The writing style is very readable and quite nice.

If you’re a fan of magical realism and strange little novellas, I definitely recommend this.


‘Till next time and happy reading!



4 thoughts on “Book review: All my Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s