Will Not Attend: Stories of Lively Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick (5 out of 5)


I got a rare text from Lisa…about a book! I always get texts from Lisa, but like my texts to her, they are often full of four letter words, ponderings about media publicists, weird author emails, and the like. I don’t often get book recommend texts from her. I am pretty sure the only actual “read this book” texts I have gotten from her were regarding the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series…and this gem. I had no idea about this book, and since it’s the type of book I’m usually all over, I am deeply ashamed it got by me this past May, when it was released. Don’t wait on the paperback (due out July 29, 2015); buy the hardback and pass it onto your nearest pessimistic realist! I’m fucking serious.

Disclaimer Immediately: If you can’t take sarcasm with an edge, don’t read this. It will tear you in two worse than an alien birth. Adam Resnick is a former writer for Late Night With David Letterman– and it shows! There are definitely parts of the book where I could see David Letterman orating them. Resnick openly admits he’s ‘antisocial’ and has tried to avoid meeting people, often with side-splitting results. He’s not a social person, going as far as to call himself “euphorically antisocial”. He doesn’t pull punches with the person picking up his book- he warns of the contents. I know people who skip forewords, afterwords, epilogues, etc. so I put the warning in my review. I can think of at least one person who would read this, and that same person would likely say Resnick “goes too far”. And yes, that person is also not a fan of people, but I could see him being clueless enough to suddenly be smacked with the spatula of humanity. Resnick- not the case! That’s why I loved it. He unabashedly does NOT like people, public places, people, overpriced money traps, people, cult-like relgions, and oh yeah, people. Resnick hasn’t liked people or social interaction, starting back with attending grade school. Standouts are hard to pick when every single story makes you cry because you’re laughing that damn hard. I would have to stick with the perennial favorite of anyone who I spoke with who has read it (two other friends have read it, and didn’t tell me “because you work in books and that’s your job”! Yes, I bitched them both out for not telling me! I’m 42; a lot enters the pipeline and gets stuck in linear sludge): Disney World. Adam’s stuck going because his sister-in-law(who can’t stand him) is obsessed with him and his wife and child visiting Disneyland. This woman has to have stock in Disney World, so obsessed is she. Or maybe she was denied a childhood with the merry clowns of Brookside High. Who knows? I do know that it has to be among one of the best things I have ever read- that essay is absolutely hilarious. And I have read a lot, so that’s saying something. The Scientology chapter is also hilarious. I kept visualizing Tom Cruise running around in a jogging suit with fat John Travolta at his side doing jazzercise, when Resnick writes about his encounter with the E-meter. Discussions of eating fast food get a workout, unlike the person eating the fast food, and even Adam’s love of fast food is denied to him when he gets more than he bargained for. He gets obsessed with a bag. Yes, a bag. Dabbling in the occult in fifth grade so he can seek revenge on a teacher he can’t stand (and those thieving brothers who steal his Anton LaVey book). Ever been picked to hold a turkey for a local paper? Adam has, and you won’t soon forget about it. Adam’s family? His conversations with his father may qualify for a seventh layer of hell. When he visits other households, he notices that those families speak to each other with respect and civility. That’s definitely not the case in the household he grows up in. His own family? That’s where you see some shred of love and care; obviously the man has love for his wife and daughter. And that, my friends, is the human factor. The rest? is probably one of the funniest books I should have read last year, but didn’t read until this year. Go get it, read it, make someone else read it. They won’t be sorry…although like Resnick, they may not like it.

~ by generationgbooks on January 29, 2015.

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