Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop Cyber Monday Deals Week in Fashion Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Kids Edition Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now Cloud Drive Photos

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars14
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2014
I confess that when I bought One More Thing: Stories and other stories, my expectations were low. I braced myself for a comedian's memoir, not unlike the tens of recent precedents. I foresaw a series of anecdotal tales with varying levels of humour and, if I was lucky, a little pith. I knew Novak only from The Office and, regardless of others' plaudits, I never rated his acting. All of which is to say: I was expecting a car crash.

My expectations were confounded. I thoroughly enjoyed this wide-ranging collection of short stories, which deftly covers every aspect of the human condition. Some stories are a couple of sentences; some are considerably longer. Some are funny; others thoughtful; others genuinely moving. Others miss the mark, but this latter category is by far the smallest. He litters the text with some mildly irritating "discussion questions", which have a tendency to point to the obvious or become indulgently self-aware, but they're easily skipped.

While the stories are clever, however, Novak's ear is excellent. At his best, he crafts lines that live long in the memory, and captures characters and dialogue with the deftness of a literary great. I could write about his use of language all day long, but I'll restrain myself to a handful of examples.

While spinning one corporate yarn, Novak uses the pitch-perfect phrase

"more than 140,000 distinct units of social media approval"

This phrase could have been uttered in any one of tens of meetings I've endured over the past twelve months. It captures so perfectly that self-affirming desire of so many corporate shills to name things in ways which are understood by everyone but familiar to no-one.

Novak is also possessed of a poetic ability to use adjectives in a metaphorical, rather than literal, way. This seems to have become rarer in recent years, for reasons that I don't fully understand. But Novak has a teacher "nodding without moving their head", and some "bold, capital numbers" to name but two examples.

I feel obliged to single out some individual stories for comment. If I Had a Nickel was, perhaps, the only story which was far longer than its point required. Closure felt tricksy, rather than clever, and didn't make much of a point. Beyond that, most of the stories are pretty good. Some are brilliant.

Recently, I've given poor reviews (in both senses of that phrase) to books by Paul Carr and Dave Cicirelli which cover much the same ground as Novak's One of these days, we have to do something about Willie. And yet, Novak communicates more and gives more pause for thought about the same topics in a short story than either of those two managed in their respective books combined.

The Man Who Invented the Calendar is one of his "Just So" style stories, which I had previously read in the New Yorker without ever mentally attributing to Novak. Indeed, it is one of the weaker of these stories in the book, but I suspect reading it will provide some indication as to whether one might like the book as a whole.

For my money, this book is great. It is a bold and captivating literary debut, and the most thoughtful and enjoyable book I've read in some months. Novak is a bona fide literary talent, and I'll hunt out his next work.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2014
“One More Thing” by B.J. Novak is a collection of stories for a new generation, a debut work written by man who is still more known as actor and producer of comedy series "The Office", but after this collection will certainly expand the circle of people who will be familiar with his work.

Inside, reader can find around seventy short stories, some of them more like anecdotes told in sentence or two, while some others go up to fifteen or so pages, without some common theme that characterizes the entire collection instead ranging from SF and love stories to the interesting satire and contemplation of youth.

Novak manages to surprise the reader while his stories are written in different styles and narration - sometimes being over-romantic, sometimes simply playful and silly – providing unexpected actions from his characters and behaviors that could not be foreseen. His writing certainly will not appeal to fans of classic stories, but it seems that this fact does not bother him too much because his stories are intended for the new generation, accustomed to obtaining quick and concise information.

And although I cannot say that I liked all the stories in collection, far from it, even that all of them are funny, few of them such as "Kellogg's" are truly excellent and will remain in the memory of the reader after closing the last page.

Novak has a talent for humor, and in which direction it will continue to take him in terms of writing, it remains to be seen. But what is certain is that with “One More Thing”, his first collection of stories, B.J. Novak made a good entry into the literary waters therefore making his collection recommended for reading.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2014
I didn't really know what to expect from B.J. Novak as an author of short stories but these absolutely floored me. I couldn't get enough of them and enjoyed reading each, mulling it over and diving into the next one. Recommended for those who enjoy alternating between deep thoughts and quick giggles.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 February 2015
This book of short stories includes a huge range - from funny to classic, from one-liners to longer page turners. As a result there's probably some stories you won't enjoy, but equally there's guaranteed to be some you will! Definitely recommend this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 October 2015
I bought this largely on the Amazon reviews - big mistake. The content is tedious, rambling and plainly self-indulgent. This, I assure you, is of zero artistic merit .... and not even mildly amusing. It is self-indulgent drivel.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 February 2014
You may well want to listen to this alone or with someone who loves you very much because you're going to frequently laugh out loud. B.J. Novak, known to many of us as the writer/actor/director of the hit TV comedy The Office has given us a hilarious debut with One More Thing. It's a pastiche of what we experience as humans - love, hope, fear, acceptance, ambition and more. Novak is obviously one blessed with an outre imagination and the ability to surprise. The 63 stories and vignettes are short, sometimes a bit longer and all infused with insight and rare humor. I mean where else will you find that wearing a red T-shirt all the time just might help someone find love?

These pieces cover a vast range of places and themes. To do justice to each in addition to his own entertaining narration we're treated to readings by Lena Dunham, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, Julianne Moore, Carey Mulligan, B. J. Novak, Katy Perry, Jason Schwartzman, Emma Thompson and Rainn Wilson. Each performance is a praiseworthy original.

Enjoy this rousing yet spot-on sensitive collection then share it with your friends - they'll thank you for it.

- Gail Cooke
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 November 2014
Love these stories, easy to read a story whenever I have a minute.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 February 2015
LOVE IT! Great stories all worth a read
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2014
A wonderfully charming, funny yet sincere read. BJ Novak's short short stories will remind you of those written by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald. A really great book for all ages.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 December 2014
Adults will serious enjoy this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.