Mr. Commitment and the power of love

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 All My Friends Are Superheroes
On the search for superheroes

I wonâe(TM)t lie to you: I picked up All My Friends Are Superheroes because the picture on the cover made me smile. Inside this 106-page novella, I found a sweet and humorous look at relationships and, well, superheroes who live in present-day Canada.

Andrew Kaufman uses mostly flashbacks to twirl the reader through the story of Tom and âeoeThe Perfectionist.âe All of Tomâe(TM)s friends (and even his enemies) are superheroes but he is not âe" itâe(TM)s a wonder heâe(TM)s not dubbed âeoeThe Genetic Underachiever.âe Tomâe(TM)s superpower is the ability to continue to love The Perfectionist (his wife) in the face of adversity and despair. It is Tomâe(TM)s strength of heart and commitment to love that make him a hero in an age where commitment is used as though itâe(TM)s a dirty word.

On the night of her wedding to Tom, The Perfectionist is placed under a spell by her ex-boyfriend Hypno: Tom is rendered invisible to The Perfectionist. Six months later, and close to running out of time, Tom has only the duration of a flight from Toronto to Vancouver to reverse the spell with his power of Love (capital L, please). Undeniably, Tomâe(TM)s invisibility could be perceived as an outward manifestation of one manâe(TM)s alienation and loneliness from his partner âe" but not in this book. As soon as the story starts to tug at your heartstrings, Kaufman undercuts romance with hilarity.

While Tom and T.P. sit at the epicentre of this short story, youâe(TM)ll pay more attention to the often absurd and always witty and random descriptions of the many Superheroes who populate T-Dot. Brace yourselves for you will guffaw âe" and perhaps even snort. (If you choose to read this little gem while alone and in public, people will stare at you and it may be a viable option that you begin referring to yourself as âeoeThe Laugher.âe Purchase a cape if you must.)

For the most part, the descriptions of the superheroes are tangential to the bookâe(TM)s plot. Kaufman will endear you with this lateral approach and youâe(TM)ll look forward to all other tangents hiding within the storyline like presents waiting to be unwrapped.

Andrew Kaufman is a writer, filmmaker and radio producer for CBC Radio in Toronto. This, his first published work of fiction, is rich with a uniquely optimistic vision that spins the mundane (The Businessman), the clinical disorder (T.P.), and your university sweetheart (The Couch Surfer) into superheroes. Each is refreshingly normal, for the most part their superpowers are neither super nor actual powers. Kaufman chooses instead to take the quirks of everyday personalities and shine a super light on them. Inevitably, youâe(TM)ll contemplate: Is the gal in the cubicle next to me in fact âeoeThe Slack Meeterâe possessing the uncanny ability to call meetings when she senses Iâe(TM)m lonely and donâe(TM)t feel like working?

After all is said and done, this is a gentle love story that speaks to the idea of the perfect relationship, and the reality that sometimes love doesnâe(TM)t conquer all.

Whether youâe(TM)re a singleton or in the purgatory of an unfulfilling relationship, the last line of this book will give you a warm hug right before it leaves you shaking your fist in the air and exclaiming (as loudly as your mind will allow) âeoeWhereâe(TM)s mine?!âe

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