“One More Thing: Stories and other stories” is a compilation of short stories written by B. J. Novak. Am I the only one flummoxed by his choice of name? B.J.? Over Benjamin? Sure, Benjamin is too long and doesn’t sound cool but hey, it’s Hollywood! You can make up a name and voila! You’re not B.J. anymore! Now that that’s out of my system, let’s review his book, shall we?
The first few stories were lackluster. Like someone who realizes that he’s lacking in the looks department and tries to compensate for that by trying to be funny. Unfortunately his real talent lies in coding and not humor.
B.J.’s stories try to convey irony, satire and wit. It’s full of what if’s. What if the rabbit in the story “The rabbit and the tortoise” went for a rematch? What if you went to heaven and found your grandmother performing unsavory acts? The beginning of the book didn’t grip me. Some stories made me smile faintly, some made me ponder a bit. They weren’t very good, but they weren’t that bad either.
But if you soldier on, convinced that B.J. surely must have left a gem somewhere in the book, you will find it. There were a few memorable stories. One of my favorites was “Confucius at Home” wherein the servants at Confucius’ home keep quoting every sentence spoken by him, to Confucius’ chagrin. A hungry Confucius asks his servant for noodles and the servant shouts to the cook “CONFUCIUS SAY: BRING NOODLES”. And so on. The story’s funny. Really.
Here are some more quotes:
If you love something, let it go. If you don’t love something, definitely let it go. Basically, just drop everything, who cares.
But nobody remembers how long anything takes; they only remember how good it was in the end.
All eyes are beautiful, I said, which is why it’s such an easy compliment.
Some stories are hits, and many are misses. You’ll read it, crack into a faint smile and maybe forget about it. Read the book if you’re a big fan of B.J. Novak and would like to delve into his mind. And if you’re easily impressed.
Rating: 6.3/ 10