Publisher: Random House Audio (February 4th 2014)
Audio Book: 6 CDs
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
From an actor, writer, and director of the hit TV comedy The Office (US version): a story collection that was “workshopped” at comedy clubs and bookstores on both coasts.
B.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.
So I ended up listening to this guy while I walked back and forth to work as per a recommendation from my friend. B.J. Novak narrates (along with a bevy of celebrity voices) an assortment of his (fictional) short stories.
The Book Part:
And when I say assortment, I really do mean an assortment. There’s really short stories and medium stories, and long stories. Love stories, retellings, life stories, and really, really weird stories. The stories started off great, I was literally laughing out loud as I walked down the street. But about half way through, I wasn’t connecting as much. Not sure if the stories weren’t as good, or I was tired of the extreme amount of satire (which I usually love). That being said, there are a few I just loved (the John Grisham story was hilarious.)
“So far only goes so far.”
The Audio Part:
B.J Novak narrates most of it. If you like his voice, you’re good to go, he has a pretty distinct voice. But I think because they’re his stories and he’s narrating, we really get the tones of the stories. I like that some of the stories feature other voices, too. There’s a few of his The Office co-workers (Rainn Wilson, Mindy Kaling) who pop up along with a bunch of big name celebs like Carey Mulligan and Emma Thompson! I made it into a game to guess who that voice was (I wasn’t very good. Though Mindy’s was pretty obvious).
Overall: It was a fun listen with a mix of stories I found hilarious to stories I was kinda iffy of. Good voices and it’ll keep you on your toes with the huge variety and random-ish stories. It’s also a lot of weird so take it with a grain of salt. I might have skimmed it if I was reading it, but I definitely don’t regret listening to it.
If you love something, let it go.
If you don’t love something, definitely let it go.
Basically, just drop everything, who cares.
Find B.J. Novak:
a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.