Author Will Schwalbe describes his friendship with unlikely college-buddy Maxey through marriage, divorce, and career changes up until the present day, noting what makes their bond so special and enduring.
What starts out with a slight vibe of The Secret History, Donna Tartt’s sinister novel about a privileged college clique...progresses into something more like Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie ... Reductive though this may sound, We Should Not Be Friends is an object lesson in the difference between male and female communication styles ... We Should Not Be Friends is a mild but often moving book, watered with a few perhaps inevitable bromides about 'sharing' and personal 'journeys' — but also salted with Schwalbe’s well-established literary intelligence and a palpable empathy. I don’t know if Schwalbe fully let his guard down, but — swimming with stingrays, learning to breathe deeply — he stepped out of his comfort zone, and for this: applause.
Offers a rare view of male friendship, which has received far less attention than platonic closeness between women ... Heartening ... Seasoned editor that he is, Schwalbe knows how to structure a book for maximum effect ... On one level, that's what this book is about: the long haul. But it's also about the closely observed ups and downs of a frequently uneasy relationship, which required deliberate effort to sustain ... This book is Schwalbe's payback, his way of expressing his gratitude by using the tools with which he is most comfortable.
The book really shines when it delves into the ups and downs of its main characters ... Frankly, a book written solely about Maxey would have worked nicely ... There’s also a thoughtful – and honest – examination of the times that the pals sometimes fell short of being there for one another.