One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak (2014)

index.aspxWell known from his years writing, co-producing, and acting on The Office (US), B. J. Novak has finally brought his comedic genius to the printed page with his first book, One More Thing. In this collection, Novak showcases his fiction in the form of both short stories and flash fiction (pieces under 1000 words), which covers a wide variety of topics and genres. This book includes a lot of clever wordplay, some quick twists, and many engaging characters, a few of which appear multiple times in interconnected stories.

Perhaps my favorite piece in this collection was “The Best Thing in the World Awards,” where an awards show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris seeks to rank the best things in the world. Love always wins, but this year is threatened when Nothing becomes a front runner. Novak has a lot of wonderful wordplay in this section, asking questions like if Love wins, does that just mean Love is better than Nothing? and is saying Nothing is Better than Love really a win for Love?

Another favorite is “Sophia,” where a man orders a sex robot that develops intelligence and falls in love with him. Finally, “The Something by John Grisham”—a story about how John Grisham’s newest book accidentally makes it to the public with a working title—was hilarious and would certainly appeal to readers familiar with Grisham’s work (though it should be noted that this piece is not actually written by Grisham, but rather about him).

The audio production of this book is a lot of fun and brings quite a bit of star power to it. Novak himself reads the vast majority of the collection, with help from well-known actors, actresses, and musicians. Among these are Rainn Wilson (The Office), Mindy Kaling (The Office, The Mindy Project), Julianne Moore, Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, and Katy Perry.

 

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