I am a 73 year old man transported back to heroic tales of childhood and was scared, afraid and anxious reading this wonderful tale. The cry for happy ending will keep me happy for a month.
I love Budo. His unconditional acceptance and love of Max is heartwarming and inspiring. Yes, I know he's imaginary, but that doesn't make him any less real. (You'll see.) Matthew Dicks created one of the most charming, lovable characters I've ever met. He injects humor, warmth, and an insight into what it's like to be "on the spectrum" as well as the challenges for those who love someone "on the spectrum". This is a beautiful story... alternately funny, heartbreaking and thought provoking. (Great narration, too!) Do yourself a favor. Even if you don't have an available credit, buy this book. It's THAT good!
Yes, I would listen to this book repeatedly just for the performance of the narrator. It's not just that he creates a unique voice for each character, he actually creates the characters. The way each character is performed suggests that he spent some serious time thinking about their complexity and motivation. Many wonderful actors can play a single part extremely well- this one plays dozens of parts extremely well all at once.
As for the story, it was charming and original, if at times a bit awkwardly paced. The subject matter has been done, but certainly not from this angle. The author has found a way to explore the autism spectrum both intimately and objectively- from the point of view of somebody who understands the child inherently and has a window on his life that isn't open to any other person. This is not necessarily something I would have originally purchased in written form because I normally like my reading to be a little more fast-paced, but something about the narration moves the story along and engages me with it to the point that I would now certainly buy the hard copy.
This story has several endings, but at the ultimate ending, I felt warm, happy, and relieved... but at the same time, the ending felt a little forced, as though the tone did not match the tone of the book.
Hands down, Budo was my favorite performance. After all, we hear the entire story through his voice and Mr. Brown makes him a truly loveable guy with interesting thoughts and a beautiful character arc. I think what the actor managed is to bring both a genuine youthfulness to the performance- as might be expected from a small child's imaginary friend- along with insight, responsibility, and wisdom that comes from somewhere else entirely.
I would of course like to have dinner with Budo, the most individual imaginary friend in the world... however, since he is not -my- imaginary friend, I would essentially be dining alone. Because of that, my next choice would be Mrs. Gosk, the wonderful teacher. I would like to meet the woman who is so intelligent, so creative, and so loving that she manages to reach and understand every one of her students on an intimate, personal level... even a child with moderately severe autism.
Even if you think it's not your thing, even if you normally read galloping crime novels or intricately woven fantasy universes or voluminous biographies, give this a listen. You won't regret it. That is, if you have retained anything at all of your childhood imagination!
Book nerd for life!
What does it mean when an adult is about to cry at work while listening to an audiobook about imaginary friends? I didn't really have one. I made up twin imaginary friends who lasted about 2 days. But this book, wow. I just may believe in them again. I laughed out loud and I had tears and sad faces during a few parts. How can something "not real" (both fiction & imaginary friends) give you so many feelings? I loved it. I loved the different characters and how it suddenly became a suspense. Don't mind me, just get this book.
Say something about yourself!
Not only is the the story of a good one, but telling it from the perspective of an imaginary friend is fresh and insightful into the world of autism spectrum. Even without that interest I can see many people enjoying the story of Boodo and Max.
Oswald. He was initially misunderstood, but his willingness to sacrifice himself for Max and his belief that he would live on because of that made me feel affectionate toward him.
When Max escapes and is finally able to make decisions for himself.
Actually I enjoyed taking breaks to digest some what I'd heard during each listening.
This was a wonderful book. Yes, it is simple but not in the way of one reviewer said. One lines and childish. It is told by an imaginary friend of a child. An autistic child. I'm not sure how complicated you would want it to be with that premise. It's simple in the fact there are no twists and turns and complication in the plot and for me, it flowed, didn't leave me with question or whys, it was a complete simple story. Funny, smart and witty, this book had me within 20 minutes. I smiled, I laughed out loud , my heart raced and yes, I even felt a lump in my throat. I got this book because it was different from any other book I had read and I am so very glad I did. If you are looking for different, this would be it. The narrator was also very good. Reminded me a little of Kirby Heybourne, one of my favorites. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves audio.
The idea of telling a story from the perspective of an imaginary friend was interesting in itself, but beyond this the story deals with autism on a very intimate and personal level. As someone who has grown up in a family that cared for several foster children with varying degrees of autism, I could relate to much of what the story dealt with, and really appreciated how the author acknowledges how difficult it can be for families and others to understand and relate to kids like Max. I would recommend this story to anyone interested in autism, whether or not you know much about it. Aside from being informative, though, the story is also quite entertaining and the reader does his job well. The only criticism I would offer is that some of Budo's narration is a little redundant. Overall, definitely an audiobook worth listening to. I recommended it to my mom and she loved it!
Nice, light-hearted, easy read but enjoyable. And a relatively original idea. If we can forget Drop Dead Fred ever happened. Lots of similarities to the The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime. If you liked that, you'll probably like this.
Ididn't read it. I just bought the audio book
Teeny, Because she seemed to help move the conscience of the characters in the right direction.
The bathroom stall. Great payback for bullying. I bet he will think twice before that happens again.
Oswald, I would love to ask him what it was like to feel lost and alone.
I almost stopped listening in the first hour of the book. So glad I didn't. The bully scene was what stopped me. It was a charming story. I never had an imaginary friend. It is great to imagine what it is like for kids who do. How in the world could the author write a story from this perspective. It was great!
I loved this book. It was so fresh. Like nothing I had read before. I was so attached to the characters, on the edge of my seat about the ending and always wondering how anyone has the imagination to think of what "life" would be like for an imaginary friend. The mark of a great book is I miss the characters now that they are gone.