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Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend | [Matthew Dicks]

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear. Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, but most just say he’s "on the spectrum". None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from everyone.
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Publisher's Summary

Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination - the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend...real or otherwise.

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, but most just say he’s "on the spectrum". None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.

When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him - and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo's very existence. Narrated by Budo, a character with a unique ability to have a foot in many worlds - imaginary, real, child, and adult - Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming...and heartbreaking conclusion.

©2012 Matthew Dicks (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (259 )
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4.2 (220 )
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  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 08-24-12
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 08-24-12 Member Since 2005

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Brilliant Book"

    I could not stop listening to this book, both the story and the reader were exceptional. Matthew Brown was able to capture the inventive and creative personalities of each imaginary friend and to make the childlike personalities sound "normal" rather than contrived. The innocence of Max and all the imaginary friends shone through. The author was able to take the serious subjects of autism and child abduction and combine them with a fantasy background that was brilliant and magical. The insight into an autistic child's thought process were excellent, as well as his parents struggles and those of the caring teacher who tries so hard to help Max learn and relate to his peers. The imaginary friends belong in a Spielberg or Scorcese film, I truly hope that happens one day as I would love to see them come to life. I believe this story will appeal to young and old alike and would be a great YA read. I can't wait to share this touching, magical,inventive and brilliant story!"

    39 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 09-03-12
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

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    "Simply difficult"

    This is a story of a little boy. The little boy's name is Max. Max is special and smart but he is different from other kids. Max has an imaginary friend named Budo. Nobody else can see Budo. Max gets into trouble. Budo finds ways to help Max. Budo can talk to other imaginary friends. Some adults that seem nice are really not nice. Max has trouble knowing when he is in danger. Budo must find a way to save Max. If you like very short sentences, then you will like this book.

    Seriously - that is how the entire book is written and read. I thought "ROOM" was about as simple and close to a child's writing as a book could get but this book drops down several more levels and the story isn't strong enough to make up for it. I found myself wishing that an adult would take over parts of the story to break the monotony of the robotic child-like delivery but that didn't happen.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 10-31-12
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 10-31-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Ho-Hum"

    I found this book to be too slow & boring. Parts of the narration is annoying to listen to. Two thumbs down for me.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 08-31-12
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 08-31-12 Member Since 2003

    glam

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    "Strictly Medicinal"

    By "strictly medicinal" I mean that after a few chapters this book became just another background chat rather than the inventive and engrossing story that was promised by the book's title and by its many enthusiastic reviews, including a blurb by Jodi Picoult. I think the unusual perspective on a person's world as seen through the eyes of an imagined character, or characters, has terrific potential but with this novel that potential was only partially realized.

    While I thoroughly enjoyed Budo and Max's perspective on the adult world around them I didn't think these observations were developed enough, and instead the book went off on other tangents such as the interactions amongst his peer imaginaries, including a pointless shape-shifting caper which lasted for most of the second half of the book.

    I also wanted a more developed exploration of Max's place "on the spectrum", further description and stories of incidents relating to his actual autism/asperger's situation and how it affected his parents and their interactions. I wanted more from Max's inner landscape and more insight into how he saw the world around him.

    Yet the book was enjoyable enough, just not up to my expectations.



    19 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Beulaville, NC, United States 08-26-12
    Amazon Customer Beulaville, NC, United States 08-26-12 Member Since 2009
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    "This book captured me completely!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend the most enjoyable?

    Even tho this was "written" by a completely fictional character, you never get the impression that it isn't real.


    What other book might you compare Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend to and why?

    I'm not sure that I've EVER come across a book comparable to this book. Sure, I've read and listened to some other great books. It's just that none of them came from this perspective. :-)


    What about Matthew Brown’s performance did you like?

    Nothing about his narrative took away from the storyline. It just flowed as a good story should. His performance was "spot-on". You're never distracted by thoughts of how bad or how good the narrator is. It's after you've listened to a truely great performance that you can fully appreciate just how well the narrator did.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "and you thought imaginary friends aren't real..."

    If this book ever makes it to the big screen, I will DEFINITLY be going to the theater. No waiting around for it to be out on DVD.


    Any additional comments?

    This book had humor as well as sadness in it but in the end, you come away from it with that warm, fuzzy feeling.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Provo, UT, United States 02-20-13
    Elizabeth Provo, UT, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Really enjoyed"

    I was intrigued by the premise of this book, a book written by an imaginary friend. So, I picked it up to give it a shot. In the first couple of chapters I had already shed a few tears, the story was sweet and poignant.

    As the story went on I couldn't help but fall in love with little Max and his way of dealing with and seeing the world. Max is a special needs kid, and though they never come out and say it based on how he was described I would say he is Autistic. But Max has this great imaginary friend who is always there for him through thick and thin.

    The story was good, great pace, good writing, and good feeling to the whole story line. More tears were shed by me before the book was over but I also found myself jumping off my couch and punching the air in triumph for the characters in the book. This is a book worth listening to.

    Warning: The F bomb is dropped about 20 times throughout the whole book, and there are a few times the adults in the book take the Lords name in vain. Just giving those who care about this a heads up. I would have given the book 5 stars had the language not been in it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna LAKE ARROWHEAD, CA, United States 12-07-12
    Joanna LAKE ARROWHEAD, CA, United States 12-07-12 Member Since 2012
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    "LOVED IT!"

    Too bad about the spotty language throughout although I understand. I was truly hoping to be able to allow my kids to listen to it. What a great idea in regards to narration. Very clever and insightful to bring one into the mind of a child with autism and/or asbergers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russel Davidson, NC, United States 11-29-12
    Russel Davidson, NC, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent Third Person Story Telling"
    What made the experience of listening to Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend the most enjoyable?

    Didn't we all have an imaginary friend or two growing up? Almost re-living my childhood but I had no clue about all that my iFriend could do.


    What did you like best about this story?

    You knew that in the end, from the very start, Budo was going to take the fall. But that was a real part of the intrigue: How would he "disappear"? Was there an iFriend heaven? Did it hurt to disappear? Could an iFriend save another iFriend from disappearing? And like every good book should do, you get all the answers in due time.


    What about Matthew Brown’s performance did you like?

    Matthew Brown's performance was integral to selling all the concepts that the rest of us grew out of. Through his timing and a true commitment to closing the deal, he pursuades us to drop those walls we had constructed at 11, 10, 9 or maybe even 8 years old, in order to grow up. Matthew Brown's storytelling transported me back to days long past, to the hot, muggy summer days in South Carolina where, all a 10 year old Southern boy had to do to take an ok sort of day all the way up to a day to never forget, was stay out of Moma's way, playing the day away with your most reliable pal. 3333


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mara B. Champaign, IL USA 09-30-12
    Mara B. Champaign, IL USA 09-30-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Wonderful book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I loved the storyline and thought the narration was perfect--you really feel like Budo is sitting next to you talking to you!


    What other book might you compare Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend to and why?

    It's going to draw obvious comparisons to Room because of the child-like narration and the "child in jeopardy" storyline, but I think Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is a quirkier and sweeter book (though not obnoxiously so).


    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely loved this book, and would recommend listening to it on audio if at all possible--the narration was great! The story is told by Budo, the imaginary friend of eight-year-old Max. Budo has a surprising preoccupation with his own mortality, as he's lived a lot longer than most imaginary friends he's met and has watched some of his closest friends disappear once their children no longer need them. Max's Asperger's Syndrome has led him to continue to rely on Budo for years, but Max's parents and teachers are constantly pushing Max to engage more with the "real" world, and this makes Budo very nervous. He absolutely loves Max and wants the best for him, but is terrified by the prospect of "poofing" out of existence and being forgotten. When Max is placed in extreme jeopardy and seems to need Budo more than ever, Budo faces some VERY tough choices about what to do. The book is incredibly imaginative and Budo's world is peopled with a wide range of memorable friends, both imaginary and real. And it's a tearjerker...I think I cried throughout the entire final hour of the audiobook!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crystal a maddox 09-26-12
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    "Wonderfully Creative"
    Where does Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The most novel approach thus far, I loved the perspective of an imaginary friend. I also felt that the author's background (teacher) provided a unique insight to on children that are often difficult to love because they do not respond in predictable ways.


    What other book might you compare Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend to and why?

    Indomitable Will a biography of LBJ by Mark Updegrove (sp?). Both books use creative approaches in assiting the reader in gaining insights on the mindset of the main character. Mark's book provides insights on LBJ via the impressions of the participants engaged with LBJ. Dickes book uses the suppositions of the imaginary friends regarding the motivations of thier human friends. I felt Dickes book humanized that spectrum of autisim. I thought it also makes a compelling argument regarding the beneficial societal aspects of thoughtful approaches to mainstreaming children with challenges while at the same time providing a cautionary tale regarding the special protections required for the most vuneralbe children.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I loved the narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The book opened me up to the wonder and magic of childhood imagination. It is also a caution regarding how we must really touch back with young ones to ensure that we understand how they are processing confusing experiences.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters are a little lilmited and stilted but I suspect this is to remind us that the worldview of a child is simplistic.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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