I was tempted to give this 5 stars for the last story. Harry is up against a professional poker player in the interrogation room. I loved the ending of that one. The other stories were good.
Sadly I have problems with the narrator. I used to love him, but he has changed. He has trouble pronouncing certain sounds like K and S. It’s stressful to hear him talk. I wonder if he has ill-fitting false teeth. Other than that he is good with acting and tone of voice.
Genre: crime mystery
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 thinks differently than I do, so I love his messing with my mind. My favorites were the following:
No One Goes to Heaven... ( I loved his view of what heaven was like. I never would have thought of that.)
Constructive Criticism (really good scene)
Kellogg’s (surprising and a good story)
Chris Hansen at the Justin Bieber Concert
The Something by John Grisham
The World’s Biggest Rip-Off
Discussion Questions (I was laughing during his asking the questions.)
B.J. Novak narrated most of the book. Other actors and actresses read parts. It was well done.
Genre: humorous essays
I didn’t laugh, but I smiled several times.
This has several short stories. Most or all of them are told in first person. My two favorites were: 1. hamsters in a lower school classroom. When Simon was assigned to feed them for the week, they knew death by starvation was coming. 2. “Sell Out” had an immigrant making and selling pickles. He was advised to hire help, but he didn’t want the expense, so he was told to use interns. He couldn’t believe he was getting 100 applications a day from college students wanting to work as slave labor for him.
Many subjects related to things kids in their 20's think about. And the dialogue sounds millennial because he uses the word “like” so much. For example he says “I’m like going somewhere.”
The author narrated his own book. B.J. Novak did this with great success. But I don’t think Simon Rich should do it. His east coast accent is too strong and distracts. Part of it might be his voice. Also, he also should have left greater pauses between stories.
Narrative mode: 1st person.
Genre: humorous short stories.