Rated Reads

One More Thing

by B. J. Novak

Rated: High

I picked this up after I heard it was funny, and I can always use funny. So, even though it’s by an actor I’ve never heard of (why, yes, I DO live under a rock), I figured, why not give it a try.

Although the subtitle says that it’s “stories and more stories,” I think the more accurate description would be “jokes, observations, and a couple of (proper) stories.” There are 64 vignettes in the book, many of which are derivative. I often didn’t mind; some of the shortest “stories” were some of the funniest ones.

My favorite of the whole book was “The Something by John Grisham,” where John Grisham’s newest novel gets published with his place-saving title instead of a “real” one. I was guffawing at the idea that Grisham’s novel would not only get published with such a bad title, but get rave reviews because he’s John Grisham. I also enjoyed “No One Goes to Heaven to See Dan Fogelberg,” which is an imagining of what heaven will be like, and how, maybe, we won’t want to spend time with people we didn’t know well in life, even if they are family. However, some of them — like the “Comedy Central Roast of Nelson Mandela — made me uncomfortable, and I thought Novak’s humor was more mean than observant. But, for the most part, like in “Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Missing Bicycle” — a spoof on Encyclopedia Brown — or “Bingo” — where three cousins are vying to win Bingo at a resort, only to lose to their grandpa — or “Closure” — where a girl whose boyfriend has broken up with him gets absolute closure in the form of a hit man — I was highly amused. And the discussion questions at the end of a couple of stories, as well as the end of the book, I thought were a nice touch.

A side note: I listened to the audio book of One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, read by Novak and an assortment of other actors, and I’m not sure I would have liked it as much as I did if I had actually read the book. There’s something about listening to humor as opposed to reading it that makes it work better for me.

Rated: High for lots of language, both mild and strong. Most of it was unnecessary, but I don’t think I expected anything less.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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One-More-Thing-Cover
  • One More Thing
  • by B. J. Novak
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: