Hello again, internet people. I’ve been doing a lot of audiobooks lately, with the work commute and the introduction of a gym membership into my life (I feel like a proper adult now). Here’s the latest installment of Amanda Reads, from yet another audiobook!
Apparently I remarked over dinner at PF Chang’s that I was at high risk of falling in love with BJ Novak by the time I finished listening to One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories. Promptly forgetting this conversation, I remarked to the same friend a few listening hours later that I was, in fact, in love with the author of the book—but not in a creepy way, obviously. I never have creepy crushes on unattainable celebrities that are based on nothing substantial (I’m looking at you, childhood crush on Rupert Grint).
Anyway, when I started listening to One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had mostly experienced Novak as an actor and writer on The Office, which I loved, but I didn’t know what to expect from his written (and/or spoken) work. I have also not read many short story collections, so it was with no particular expectations that I pressed play.
I still wasn’t sure what to expect after the first few stories. Some of them were very short, some funny, some serious, and all of them quirky and idiosyncratic. I enjoyed wandering around my house with a man whispering stories at me (hence my short lived imaginary romance), but I wasn’t always sure how to take those stories.
One More Thing made me laugh out loud a few times. It made me say “what the f*@$” quite a few times. I enjoyed the little phrases that were woven between different stories, linking even the most apparently unrelated ideas to one another. Some of the stories seemed profound, others humorous, and there were a few at which I just shook my head. Since this is one of the first short story collections I’ve read in its entirety, and definitely the first that I’ve read at my own volition, I can’t say whether it was typical or atypical for the genre.
Ultimately, I am glad to have listened to the audiobook, and would recommend this collection to anyone looking to branch out into the short story world because it’s fairly accessible, and because I like my short stories with a little humor. As a caveat, I think that in spite of the fantastic voice performances, I think I might have liked the collection better had I read it in print because I could’ve spent a bit more time digesting the stories and unraveling some of the more surprising/unusual parts.