Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation, by Adam Resnick *****

Humor is a risky genre. A romance or historical fiction can be a little dull, wander a bit, and perhaps get away with it, but when something isn’t funny, it really just isn’t. Happily, that is not a problem for Mr. Resnick, who has been writing humor for others, including David Letterman, for a good long while, but not as much as himself. Here he is. Thanks for the free book, Blue Rider Press, but thanks even more to Adam Resnick, because there is seldom anything any of us need more than a good laugh.

Despite the title, Resnick’s dark humor does not wander so far down the path of alienation as to lead to misogyny. If you have ever desperately wanted not to attend a party, speak to a neighbor, or pretend to be in a good mood when you really aren’t, this is your book.

Favorite chapters were “An Easter Story”, “Booker’s a Nice Guy”, “Scientology Down Under”, and “The Strand Bag”. However, nothing here strikes me as filler; the quality of the writing is consistent throughout.

For every teacher’s inservice I endured in which all of us were solemnly reminded that sarcasm is never appropriate when speaking to students (yeah, right), this book serves as vindication.

In fact…at the end of the school year, it is a cherished tradition to gift one’s teacher. If you have a child or grandchild between grades kindergarten and high school graduation, you’ll need a copy of this book for the last day of school. Give the hard cover edition to show you have class, and that you respect education. If your child inscribes it, the teacher may remember him or her up the road apiece. Just a consideration.

Do it now.

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