Title: One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
Author: BJ Novak
Originally published: 2013
This is a top shelf book.
I picked up One More Thing as more of a lark than anything – while I struggled my way through Mrs. Dalloway I needed something entertaining and simple. I had no expectations for it other than assuming I would at least like it a little given my love of short stories and The Office.
I will gladly say that BJ Novak is the first author in a very long time who made me laugh out loud while reading a book. There were a few times I sat there, rereading a story or a line, giggling uncontrollably. It was refreshing in a way I did not think it would be, to read something that was not depressing or heavy but rather quite insightful and entertaining (perhaps I should try to pick up more books along these lines in the future?).
I am envious of how Novak looks at the world. There were many moments when I read a story and found myself wondering what situation he found himself in to think of its plot. His take on events, history, literacy, love, human connection, and simple interactions is all at once accessible yet completely off the wall. In a good way. His brain has a perfect flaw in it which skews the world to suit a sense of humour so intelligent and irreverent it would be criminal not to share it.
The stories are random, some long, some no more than a couple of lines. Sometimes you just have to read a title to know what you’re getting yourself in to (“Comedy Central Roast of Nelson Mandela”, I’m looking at you) and other times it’s not until the very end of the story when it hits you in all its glory. In all instances, all lengths, formats, and subject, Novak weaves a fantastic, hilarious yarn that I would read over and over again.
Wonderful, entertaining, and at times quite brilliant – One More Thing is worth the read, the space on the book shelf, and the purchase for friends.