Arts & Entertainment Literary Review

The Longest Book Title

By MORGAN DANNA

COLUMNIST

As college students, it can be hard to find time to pick up a book of our own choosing. For any of you who miss this freedom, there might just be an easy solution for you. B.J. Novak’s book One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories contains 64 short stories within its entirety, and when I say short, I mean it. Averaging at about four pages or less per story, it is easy to find a few minutes in the day to enjoy one of these humor entrenched tales with one story even clocking in at just three lines. The time commitment is truly marginal here.

If you are wondering what these stories are about, there is no solid answer I can supply.

While one focuses on reasons why traveling to the moon would be an awful experience, another explains the (fictional) death of Johnny Depp as he drives his motorcycle off the highway while waving to his adoring fans, while yet another explores the experience of a woman on a blind date with a warlord.

The writing feels more like the inner confusion of a personal journal than a published piece, switching from using the word “and” to using “&” midsentence. The humor introduced within the writing is reminiscent of the author’s involvement in the NBC sitcom The Office (he played the character Ryan). 

Not only will these stories have you alternately snorting with laughter and trying to figure out what in the world Novak is trying to get at, you might also find some relatable content between the pages.

In the story “Dark Matter,” for instance, the narrator declares: “to be honest, it would be bad timing for me to lose all my friends today of all days because it was Sunday, and Sunday nights always made me a little lonely for some reason. It always seemed windier on Sunday nights, too.”

With that in mind, I urge you to take five minutes of the next unexplainably windy or lonely Sunday night (or while you are waiting for your order at the pub), and pick up One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories and I do not think you will be disappointed.

About the author

Alexa Mitchell