11 Sidesplitting Quotations From Adam Resnick's Will Not Attend

August 22, 2022 – 08:50 am

adamresnickI wish it happened more often, but only about once every five years do I read an author who makes my forever list—meaning, till the end of time, I’ll read any- and everything they write: novels, ad copy, grocery lists, their grandmother’s obituary…you name it. Such is the case for Adam Resnick. Reading his recently released Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation was pretty much akin to a dream date. Two minutes into the book, I felt myself falling hard. Eight minutes in, I was completely head over heels. And by the time our salads arrived (aka, page 12), I was a complete wreck because I never wanted it to end. Never mind that I still had 244 pages to go: I knew this was the only book he’d ever written. Sadly and delightfully, before I could finish the first story, I was already in a state of complete Resnick withdrawal.

Will Not Attend is a collection of fifteen essays that read not just like the best literary short stories you’ll ever come across, but also like outrageously good stand-up comedy sets. They are hysterical reads—both highly irreverent and charmingly touching—with a keen eye for detail and dialogue. Basically, if a group writing project were given to Louis CK and Lenny Bruce and Tina Fey and David Sedaris, they might turn out something half as entertaining as Resnick’s debut collection, which details his curmudgeonly childhood, his f-bombing bear of a father, his five troublemaking (okay, violent and thieving) brothers, and a wide variety of society’s most annoying human specimens, such as: the pot dealer from his teens, the piano lady from the eighth floor, his boundary-crossing English teacher with the yellow Datsun, and the smug cashier at the Strand who refuses to give out complimentary shopping bags. Resnick handles all of these personalities and the scenarios they’re in with a misanthropic brilliance you can’t help but adore. And demand more of.

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