Will Not Attend by Adam Resnick

Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick (an Emmy Award-winning writer for NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman), published by Blue Rider Press in May 2014, is a 272 page humorous memoir of sorts. I received a copy of the book from the Goodreads First Reads program. While a review isn’t mandatory, of course I’m pleased to write one.

Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and IsolationThis book is exactly what it says it is: lively stories of detachment and isolation. Resnick takes the reader through “chapters” of short narratives about times in his life where he has been expected to be social, and either outright refused or hilariously failed. I learned more about his father than I expected, though–a strong, silent type that would get outrageously pissed off if you breathed the wrong way or made too much noise.

My favorite story from the book included Resnick’s father and a black man that Adam, as a child, had convinced his father to pick up and give a ride on the insistence that the man was his school janitor. As Adam and his friend, in the back of the car, slowly come to the realization that the man is not who they think he is, the situation gets hilarious. Resnick’s father rambles on, calling the man by the janitor’s name and telling him about how he tries to raise his kids right, all the while the man accepts the new name and tries to get to his destination while listening to Adam’s father.

Although there is a connected sense I got from the stories as a narrative, mostly I saw it as just a humorous collection of tales about being anti-social. As someone who spent many years avoiding human contact whenever possible, this really pleased me. Will Not Attend allowed for many chuckles, some real laughs, and a few smirks. Fast paced stories also allowed for a one-sit-down read of the relatively short book. Overall, I would recommend it for a quick chuckle, though probably not worth buying unless you plan to lend it to someone else 4 hours after picking it up.


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