Okay, this is my second book in a row by one of the writers of The Office. B. J. Novak’s debut book of short stories was extremely entertaining. (And when I say short, I do mean short. The stories in this collection range from a few lines to several pages.)
I feel kind of strange saying this, but I never knew that Novak was so funny. This seems ridiculous, seeing as I think The Office is hilarious. But his short stories are random, witty, clever, and really original. (One is about a guy who wears only red shirts, another is about the guy who invented the calendar, another is about a mis-titled John Grisham novel…) I’m not a huge fan of short stories. Right when I feel like I’m getting into one, it ends and I have to start all over with a new one. Or I’m bored with what the story is trying to do. I don’t know; pick a reason. I just can’t get into them. But this collection is great. I was entertained the entire time. There wasn’t a single story that I didn’t find entertaining. There wasn’t even a point in the book where I began to count how many stories I had left.
The best part was that I could hear Novak’s voice reading them in my head the entire time. The voice he used (and, yes, often he used the same voice in many stories) was so casual and sounded so real and not stilted. I loved it. I also loved that, at a few points throughout the book, he connected stories to one another with minor details.
Hands down the most entertaining collection of short stories I’ve ever read.