Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

I have been looking forward to this book coming out for awhile now. I think I was probably one of the first at the library to read it, which was pretty exciting. If you don't recognize the name, you might recognize BJ Novak as Ryan from The Office. Of course, his career is larger than that but that's where I first encountered him.


Good Reads' SynopsisB.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut collection that signals the arrival of a welcome new voice in American fiction.

Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, Novak's assured prose and expansive imagination introduce readers to people, places, and premises that are hilarious, insightful, provocative, and moving-often at the same time.

In One More Thing, a boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover that claiming the winnings may unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins - turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A school principal unveils a bold plan to permanently abolish arithmetic. An acclaimed ambulance driver seeks the courage to follow his heart and throw it all away to be a singer-songwriter. Author John Grisham contemplates a monumental typo. A new arrival in heaven, overwhelmed by infinite options, procrastinates over his long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who debate how to stage an intervention in the era of Facebook. We learn why wearing a red t-shirt every day is the key to finding love; how February got its name; and why the stock market is sometimes just... down.

Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, from the deeply familiar to the intoxicatingly imaginative, One More Thing finds its heart in the most human of phenomena: love, fear, family, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might make a person complete. The stories in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.

What I Thought: Maybe my expectations were too high for this one. I was hoping for laugh out loud funny and unfortunately, that's not what I got. The stories were clever and some were amusing but I didn't chuckle once. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be all that funny and just insightful. I don't know. A couple of the stories did resonate with me but not on a humorous level. I like Novak's writing style and I won't give up on him just yet but, I was just looking for something more.

Rating: * * 1/2

No comments:

Post a Comment

I want to hear what you have to say. Really!