I just finished B.J. Novak’s new book of short stories, One More Thing. I’m usually quick to read fun comedians’ books – Mindy’s, Tina’s, Chelsea Handler’s. But I have to say, I mostly starting reading his book because B.J. came through town and I went to see him at the Dallas Museum of Art (I’m sooooo cultured). If we’re being totally honest here, I went because he’s best friends with Mindy Kaling (I love her so much and think we’d be great friends – Mindy, holler at me!). I guess that he wrote for the Office couldn’t hurt either.
I went in not quite knowing what to expect. I really didn’t know that much about him (like that he was on Punk’d…), but he was such a light and fun yet totally intelligent presence. He read a few of his stories out loud, which I initially didn’t think would be all that interesting, but it’s great to have an animated author expressing his stories and characters exactly as he intended them to be. Including yelling the f-word out loud (LOUDLY) (my immediate reaction was as if someone had said that in church – I mean, the art museum is sacred, man!) … that’s the way to get your point across. Anyways, it turned out to be completely enthralling. Then there was a question/answer session and you could immediately see how quick and witty he is. Even boring questions had hilarious and interesting answers.
So, obviously, I had to read the whole book. When I say short stories, some of them are so short they’re not really stories. Like we’re talking a few sentences. It’s a structure that I haven’t read lately (I’m usually not that into short stories), and I have to say I found it really refreshing. He has a very unique mind – some of the stories are OUT THERE. Like you read them and think, ‘how would someone even come up with this??’ Honestly though, some, I feel like I didn’t quiiite understand the whole point. And some are surprisingly dark and serious. In all, it’s quite a mix, very varied, but yet he still manages to have some semblance of unity and continuity. And, basically, he’s adorable too, so there’s that 🙂