Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of **Will Not Attend** by Adam Resnick from Penguin's First-To-Read program in return for which I agreed to do a review. I couldn't be happier with the choice I made or that I was approved to read this book.
Adam Resnnick is an Emmy-Award winning writer who has written for Saturday Night Live as well as being a co-executive producer for The Larry Sanders Show. He has other writing creds for different shows, but SNL and TLSS are the two with which I am most familiar. This book summarizes the events in Resnick's past that brought him to where he is today. To put this in Resnick's best words of wisdom,"when it comes to the bad stuff, there's nothing too small that's not worth dwelling on forever." OR to put in much simpler terms, if someone were to cross Larry David with Maude, this is who we'd get. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
**Will Not Attend** is a compilation of most situations that Resnick doesn't like which is just about any function, any vacation, anything even remotely having to do with family, music, television, movies, and social functions consisting of more than one other person, and special care needs to be take in deciding who the second person is to be. Resnick has one huge soft spot, and that is his daughter, Sadie. The rest of the world could disappear, and Resnick would not mind in the least.
I laughed through almost every example Resnick gave for why he seems so difficult to get along with, but there was one section that beat out every second, third, fourth, and fifth challenge by a landslide. It just so happens that Resnick was born and raised very close to where I have lived all my life. I couldn't believe my eyes when he started talking about Perry County. I've never actually been to Perry County, but the stories about it are legion. My brother married a woman from Perry County, and my daughter Beans and I were the only two members who would attend a Christmas Eve Party that was thrown, not in honor of Little Baby Jesus. Nope, we were getting together because my brother's intended said they should take a break from each other. Beans and I were the only two people at this party who could not understand how this event was cause for celebration. My brother and his girlfriend spent most of the evening gazing longingly into each other's eyes. Beans and I watched as the others exchanged gifts. Beans and I never argue, but that night on the ride home we did have words over who got the dumbest, tackiest gift. I chose the one given to Grandma. It was an old woman sitting on what at first appeared to be a chair but was really an outhouse toilet. Her panties were down around her ankles. This piece of backwoods artistry did have a functional use as well. It was a bank, and every time a coin was dipped into the toilet.. well think repulsive sound effects and you've got it. The gift for Grandma's other daughter was a huge plastic replica of a cow's head. This gift also had a dual role besides merely backwoods artistry. The cow's head also doubled as a clock. It was hideous. BUT, I should point out that both women were very happy with their gifts and were trying to figure out what the best place was to put these monstrosities once they got them home.
Resnick captures the atmosphere in Perry County perfectly, and I had no doubt that whenever one of the locals popped up in this book, it was given a truthful rendering. There are somethings you really cannot make up.
I would recommend this book to people who like a snarky sense of humor. For sure those people will not be disappointed. I plan to read it again.
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