Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Kids say the darnedest things, and so do their imaginary friends. Matthew Brown voices those darnedest things in the audio version of Matthew Dicks's Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.

Budo, the novel's narrator, declares that imaginary friends are real; they're just a different kind of real. Budo is imagined by Max, an autistic child who, Budo explains, "lives mostly on the inside." Budo understands Max's special needs and he doesn't try to change Max; instead, he helps his human friend cope with the challenges of his life, including being kidnapped by a trusted adult.

Budo points out that each imaginary friend is different. They appear as their human friends imagine them. Brown doesn't merely give voice to these friends, who include a flat outline drawing, a puppy, a fairy, even a giant; he gives them whole personalities, making the listening experience expand beyond audio into other senses.

In Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Dicks creates an entire new dimension co-existing with the human world; Brown steps into that dimension and melds the two worlds seamlessly together. While the rules of Dicks's imaginary microcosm aren't always consistent--after all, it is imaginary--Brown treats the imaginary sphere as though it is as normal as... well, reality.

Readers may find themselves on an emotional roller-coaster as Brown puts not only sound but also soul into the humor, the frustrations, the fears and the realizations of these unusual characters. Dicks has written a heartwarming tale; Brown ratchets up the warmth with his endearing narration. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

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