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One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

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3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,036 Ratings  ·  3,317 Reviews
From an actor, writer, and director of the hit TV comedy The Office (US version): a story collection that was "workshopped" at comedy clubs and bookstores on both coasts.

B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut collection that signals the arrival of a welcome new voice in Ame
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Knopf
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Nutty and Naughty. I Love the Way This Guy's Mind Works.

I'm hesitant to give any specifics because B.J. Novak relies on the element of surprise to carry these pieces. The fun of reading the book is in being unaware of what new ways he will catch you off guard from one story to the next. Many of these pieces are not stories, but more like scenarios. I envy Novak's ability to say "What if ____________", and then come up with a bizarre way of filling in the blank with something we all wish we'd tho
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Kat Stark
Feb 29, 2016 Kat Stark rated it it was ok
Shelves: others, reviewed, humor


No. This one was a miss for me. Novak tries to be witty and have his stories drenched in satire, but it just comes off as bad writing. If Mark Twain's a ten, he's a two. He gets two stars from me just because some of the stories were "okay." Really all he had going for him was shock value, which whines down after the first 10 stories. Then you're like...well I really don't fucking care.

My constant thought when reading this was:



Really? I mean there is barely any description or detail. There was n
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Philip
The first piece of legitimate literature for the ADD generation.

A fine piece of trickery: Novak makes us think it's a celebration of and homage to hedonism. A quick, light, funny read that's soon to be forgotten.

But it's not. There's depth and substance here. High-brow, artsy, pretentious humor wrapped in the ephemeral humor of ADD.

There's a poignancy and intelligence and, and, and... weirdness... in these stories that I haven't found anywhere else - and it's not dark humor. It's pensive humor
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Robert Wechsler
I was attracted to this First-Reads giveaway because of my longstanding interest in English-language humor. I’ve edited five humor anthologies and several humor collections and humorous novels, and once wrote a volume of literary parodies. I take humor seriously.

What Novak does best is to find the sadness in humor. Too many younger writers think that humor is just about laughs. No, that’s jokes. In fact, the great American humor tradition isn’t really about laughs, although there are some. Smile
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Madeline
Oct 28, 2014 Madeline rated it liked it
"The Walk to School on the Day After Labor Day

I was sad that summer was over.
But I was happy that it was over for my enemies, too."

Take a minute and examine your reaction to that quote, one of the shortest pieces (I can't in good conscience call it a story) in BJ Novak's collection of short stories. I imagine that your reaction was similar to mine when I first read it - you probably smiled a little, maybe did one of those almost-laughs where you just blow air out your nose, and thought, "Oh, th
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Jennifer
Feb 23, 2014 Jennifer rated it did not like it
If I could give this book zero stars I would. Obviously I'm missing what a lot of other people are getting with this. Somebody, please tell me what's funny here?? I get that he sees himself as a more elevated "intellectual" humorist, and while a few if his ideas do have potential for hilarious insight, he never got past the idea, for me. At a certain point I was saying to myself, "Come on, there are so many funny places to go with this." But he didn't. And I didn't laugh once, out loud or otherw ...more
Emily
May 14, 2014 Emily rated it it was ok
Oh, BJ. I don't know what I was expecting with this collection, but this sure as hell wasn't it. Just about everything about this book bothered me. The stories were snarky, tongue-in-cheek, sardonic, sarcastic, biting. Yup, I think that about sums it up.

Every story was like a clever boy's "oh, wouldn't this be witty? oh, what if we did this- pushed this platitude as far as it can go?" (Really, the 'if I had a nickel for every time I spilled a cup of coffee' story was absolute crap). Some of thes
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Nathan Huff
One More Thing about this book...

I'll cut right to the chase. One More Thing simply isn't very good. The weird thing is that it's not because B.J. Novak is (what some people may think inherently) a bad writer. It's his apparent love for vignettes that scream 'laugh at me' when there's nothing funny in there. No one would hold it against you if you only laughed out loud less than a dozen times while reading Novak's debut. That isn't to say that it is wholly unlikable because there are stories tha
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Stina
Mar 22, 2014 Stina rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Either I am not smart enough to see how great this book is or it was not good. I'm leaning towards "not good", but that sounds smug. This book pissed me off while I was reading it and it has pissed me off more after I finished because I can't stop wondering why people love it.
Carol
Jul 19, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always leery of short stories. I'm not certain if this is because I often don't get what the author is trying to say or if they are not meaty enough, often leaving me hanging and thinking, "What?". I needn't have worried with this collection.

Irreverent, inane, frequently laugh out loud funny, yet often so true they are sad, these stories are superior. Sometimes long commentaries and others, just one sentence says it all. My favorites of the bunch

The Rematch
The Something by John Grisham
The M
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Crystal Starr Light
My book club chose BJ Novak’s book, “One More Thing”. I wasn’t able to attend the meeting where the books were chosen, but my guess is it was chosen because Novak was an actor in the American “The Office”, a pretty funny show (at least the episodes I’ve caught).

However…



There was a big problem as I…as I was reading…listening…



ERM! I was listening to this on audiobook, as story after story went by. The Planetarium. The…The…The heaven story. The Calendar story. The…the…



SNORF! Well, what was I saying
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Weird as hell... and not necessarily in a good way.

I have no idea what to make of this one. B.J. Novak tried very hard to be creative and funny, with creative, um, certainly being the key word. Some stories were amusing in a way, but most were just odd.

I didn't laugh, not once, and I think I was supposed to laugh. Maybe?

If you are interested in a collection of random thoughts in short story form, narrated by a series of "The Office" alums, then give it a shot. Just keep your expectations to a m
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Lisa
Nov 12, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not at all what you expect given the "I am a funny famous person I guess I'll write a book of stories that are pretty much all about me" trend right now.

People are going to disagree about this a lot, I think. I had no idea Novak was capable of such good writing but when he chooses to ditch the traditional and speak directly to the Twitter generation it's really going to piss off purists. I think it's much more interesting how palatable he makes reading so many bits and stories that point out you
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
I was skeptical of trying this book but I kept reminding myself that B.J. Novak started as a WRITER not as an actor trying to be a writer. Right? Well that's how I talked myself into it. I'm so glad I did! There are sixty-ish stories in this book, varying greatly in tone, subject matter, and length.

My favorites include:
Julie and the Warlord
Sophia (the sex robot who falls in love)
The Beautiful Girl in the Bookstore (one of the shortest stories, with my favorite line - "She loved him, but she neve
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Deandra
Nov 27, 2013 Deandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m calling it: best book of short stories, 2014. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, 2036. Homework assignments for kids everywhere, 2078. BJ Novak Day is a nationally recognized holiday (and the day kids look forward to because they don’t have to go to school and can stay home and read One More Thing), 2095. But enough about how great kids are going to have it in 60+ years from now. This book is seriously the best I’ve read this year. It comes out in February, so I can’t tell you to go b ...more
Orsolya
May 06, 2015 Orsolya rated it really liked it
You may not know who BJ Novak is. Good: more for me! In case you are curious though, Novak is an actor (the US version of “The Office”, “Inglourious Basterds”, and “Saving Mr. Banks”), comedian, writer, and producer. I also dare to add incredibly cute, sexy, intelligent… Okay, sorry. Back to the matter at hand. Novak demonstrates his writing chops in a unique way with a collection of stories in, “One More Time: Stories and Other Stories”.

“One More Thing” begins on a strong note combining humor,
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Daniel Simmons
Feb 07, 2014 Daniel Simmons rated it did not like it
One of the most irritating books I've read in a while. In part this is because the author is clearly an intelligent, think-outside-the-box fellow with a lot of good ideas. I just found the majority of these stories unstructured and smarmy, with lots of punchlines but very little payoff. What DOES excite my admiration is his use of dialogue, which is very natural. So: a better screenwriter than a story-scribbler, perhaps; I confess I've never seen an episode of "The Office."
Alexandra
Feb 27, 2014 Alexandra rated it it was ok
I love BJ Novak and the shows he has starred in or been a writer for. So of course I thought I would love this book. It's really well-written. But I found it a little boring. I didn't find it very funny or entertaining. I can't figure out what I'm missing that everyone else seemed to love. I think maybe I'm just not a fan of short stories.
Kristen Coates
Jul 29, 2015 Kristen Coates rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
You guys.

This. Book.

I loved BJ Novak on The Office and Inglorious Bastards, have loved him in all miscellaneous roles, loved him in all of his interviews. It wasn’t the kind of love that prompted me to learn more about him (therefore it wasn’t true, alas), I was just wandering around in a “OH YEAH BJ Novak I love him he’s great super funny and seems cool” state.

Then, I bought this book.

One More Thing is a collection of stories, and a blend of “traditional” short stories, micro fiction, and hint
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Jessica
May 28, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, adult
I was disappointed by these stories...I wanted to like them more than I did. Some of the premises were really fun and fantastic, so full of promise, but they tended to lose momentum and peter out by the end. They often felt incomplete and pointless. The endings were often super gimmicky (don't get me started on the "discussion questions" at the end of a few). Some of the stories just felt like comedy bits--like jokes with punchlines. Overall, not my cup of tea.
j
Feb 28, 2014 j rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, 2014
I probably enjoyed this 4 stars but I started to resent it at the end for being short stories. Stupid stories.
Gabrielle
The danger with short stories collections is that the ratio of hit/misses must be extremely high in order to avoid disappointment, or, in the case of my reaction to this book, a general lack of enthusiasm for it. "Meh" would be a good summary of my review.

The greatest strength of this audiobook is its use of its narration, both by Novak and by the guests/friends he invited to join him for the recording. The stories or characters that are attributed to them are a perfect fit, and Rainn Wilson's v
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Jane Stewart
He’s quirky, clever. The best part is unusual ideas. My brain liked it.

This is 63 vignettes. Some are just a few sentences. Others are several pages long. Some are like random thoughts of the author. Some have a little story to them. Many times I laughed. Some times I just said “huh” at the end. The last story was about a translator that was beyond me. I didn’t get it. I probably should have reread it, but I didn’t, so I remain ignorant about the humor in that one. Overall I loved this book. He
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Keisha
Apr 15, 2016 Keisha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand the humor in this story.
This was really odd and boring.
Troy Blackford
Mar 31, 2014 Troy Blackford rated it really liked it
This, a collection of around sixty 'stories,' was a frustrating book. For the first forty percent or thereabouts, I was not enjoying it much at all. The quality of it came in fitful bursts, but there were enough stories here that I did not like at all to make me doubtful of enjoying the whole. Indeed, if you had told me even at the halfway point that I would be giving the book four stars, I would have been astounded.

But, I had to admit as I read more and more that the stories I did enjoy were ve
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Sierra Dean
I wasn't sure what to expect from BJ Novak. This is, after all, a man who wrote The Office. I think when I initially heard he was writing a book it would be a pithy, charming memoir much like Mindy Kaling's. But Novak has actually written a collection of witty, self-aware, often funny and occasionally wondrous short stories.

His prose is neat, sparse and enjoyable, but the real treat is in his observations. The way he takes the mundane, flips it on its head, and gives it new life is what makes th
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Claire
Jan 02, 2015 Claire rated it really liked it
B.J. Novak as writer reminded me of that guy in your Philosophy class who gives you a mix and you kind of think he likes you because why else would he give you a mix? You're not sure about him, but then you read his stuff in the kind of alternative literary magazine and are impressed by how intelligently funny his writing is. So you guys hang out a few times and you like him but you break it off because you get tired of always going to the Novak show. I mean, it's all about how clever he is and ...more
Killian
Musical Accompaniment: Plastic Raincoats In The Pig Parade by Ariel Pink

Behind all the whimsy and the fun, there is a genuine message in this song, as there is in many of the short stories in this collection. While it may seem whimsical and just plain fun at first, there is real heart and soul to both the book and the song (OK, well maybe more so the song, but I couldn't really find anything that was at times fun and light-hearted, yet with real meaning, but ultimately forgettable. You've got to
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Tina Kim
Mar 09, 2014 Tina Kim rated it it was ok
Not funny or witty most of the time. Better toward the beginning and endless toward the end.
Tim Farley
Jan 31, 2015 Tim Farley rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned, audio-book
I must admit I gave up on this book about halfway through. While there are some clever bits in the book - such as the story about going to heaven - I found almost all of the stories to be half-baked ideas that go on for far too long. I kept thinking of those terrible sketches that you see on Saturday Night Live at 10 minutes to 1 in the morning, where obviously they just had to fill the last 7 minutes of airtime and didn't have an idea that was fully there.

There's one story that attempts to make
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2016 Reading Chal...: One More Thing Stories and Other Stories 1 14 May 10, 2015 10:27AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: One More Thing by B.J. Novak 1 16 Feb 05, 2015 11:11AM  
Should I read this? 7 53 Oct 31, 2014 11:12AM  
South Shore Readers: BJ Novack (from The Office) book signing 6 17 Oct 20, 2014 05:58PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #77 One More Thing by BJ Novak 1 2 Jul 26, 2014 07:09AM  
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“If you love something, let it go.
If you don't love something, definitely let it go.
Basically, just drop everything, who cares.”
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“...slow and steady wins the race, till truth and talent claim their place.” 46 likes
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