Since reading the book, I’ve discovered a lot of people had – prior to this – questioned B.J. Novak as a writer. Beyond his work with The Office and a few random parts, I’ve not really had any experience – and more importantly – qualms with his work.
So I went into this with my usual skepticism of short stories – the kind that is kind of made or broken within those few short snaps, and I found myself liking it more than disliking it. Some stories, now I’m done, have completely faded into obscurity, whereas others still stand out.
Just An Idea is the one I strongly remember, where Damien Hurst offers to buy a winning lottery ticket for millions so he can stamp the word “VOID” on it and call it art. Another is about Johnny Depp riding a motorcycle off of a cliff, with a discussion point of: Do you think he should have?
True, a number of the stories bored me completely, but others made me think, made me wonder, and made me smile. If You Love Something, I’d actually seen a gifset of on Tumblr and assumed, prior to knowing about this book, that it was a case of “If Ryan from the Office wrote a self-help guide” or something, and I can’t deny remember that was fun.
There’s a lot of stories that have a real depth and make you think; they represent a greater idea than they seem to. I kind of envy Novak’s imagination to go “What would happen if…” and throw some odd twists and turns into something already odd.
This could perhaps appease both the short story lovers and haters, with snappy few line ditties interspersed throughout. Wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’ve ended up with something surprisingly quirky.
Pub: 17th Apr 2014 | Little Brown Book Group UK