Will Not Attend

Will Not Attend

Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780399160387
  • 272 Pages
  • Blue Rider Press
  • Adult


Adam Resnick, an Emmy Award-winning writer for NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman, has spent his entire life trying to avoid interaction with people. While courageously admitting to being “euphorically antisocial” and “sick in the head,” he allows us to plunge even deeper into his troubled psyche in this unabashedly uproarious memoir-in-essays where we observe Resnick’s committed indifference to family, friends, strangers, and the world at large. His mind shaped by such touchstone events as a traumatic Easter egg hunt when he was six (which solidified his hatred of parties) and overwrought by obsessions, including one with a plastic shopping bag (which solidified his hatred for change), he refuses to be burdened by chores like basic social obligation and personal growth, living instead by his own steadfast rule: “I refuse to do anything I don’t want to do.”

Cut from a similar (if somewhat stranger) cloth as Albert Brooks or Louis C.K., Resnick is the crazy, miserable bastard you can’t help rooting for, and the brilliant Will Not Attend showcases this seasoned comedy writer at his brazenly hilarious best.


“Adam Resnick doesn’t merely summon the jaundice and surprise of early David Sedaris, his mini memoirs are unpretentious reminders of John Updike’s everyman absurdities and Richard Ford’s bewildered strivers. A biting, darkly hilarious collection of personal essays that begs to be read aloud.” 
Chicago Tribune (A Best Book of the Year, 2014)             

“[A] gruff, wry paean to life’s indignities…essays here aren’t just stand-up skits but have actual plots—in which things go horrifically, uproariously wrong…Anyone who watches Larry David will be familiar with Resnick’s hearty style of tell-it-like-it-is meanness.
—Lisa Zeidner, The Washington Post

“An anti-social work of art.”

“[A] dark, hilarious first book….Resnick is a guy thoroughly uncomfortable in his own skin, and he knows how to wring laughs and pathos out of that fact…[he] delivers his sad little histories with wit, insight and hilarious detail.  [Like] kindred spirits Louis C.K. and Larry David, he just wants the rest of the world to see how stupid it all is.”
—Josh Modell, AV Club  (A Favorite Book of the Year, 2014)

“A streak of self-loathing runs through these stories with the anti-social Resnick repeatedly finding himself struggling through a humiliating or deeply irritating experience. However, that trenchant quality is occasionally undercut by an almost subliminal level of sweetness….Resnick’s cynical sensibilities are surprisingly raw and consistently hilarious….Will Not Attend could very well be one of the funniest books released this year.”

“The essays reveal the potty-mouthed, definitely not politically correct, and totally opinionated author at the top of his game. He takes on Disneyland and the Disney philosophy with gusto while on the side using a family trip to destroy the relationship with his sister-in-law. His take on junk food is priceless (“Only a narcissistic asshole would consider his body a temple”). Readers will relish this book. Buy plenty.”

“The writing is sharp and sharp-tongued … the book is not for readers who are easily offended. The author’s aversion to just about everything paints him as nihilistic and cynical, but the subtle moments of genuine vulnerability remain the heart of every story. These moments prove redemptive for a character who sometimes feels beyond saving and shed light on how he developed such comically twisted viewpoints. A neurotic, unapologetic, hilarious collection.”

“Writing a collection of short stories is a very difficult thing to do. These Adam Resnick stories are great. You read one and think, that was so well done maybe I’ll read another. You think, the next one can’t be as good, and it’s even better. I hope you read this book. It’s funny, smart and thoughtful; and it’s funny, smart and thoughtful. I loved it. I think you will as well. Did I mention I loved it? Happy reading.”
—Dave Letterman
“Having worked with Adam Resnick many years ago, I can easily recall he was a little nuts, but I completely forgot he was this talented and funny. Damn, this book is good.”
—Jon Stewart
“Adam Resnick is one of the funniest writers I’ve ever known, and he proves it big-time in this acid-swaddled memoir.  You will laugh reading this book, I swear to Christ Almighty.  Adam comes by his misanthropy honestly and bravely—and his continued existence is a tribute to the soul-nourishing qualities of an unrelenting, unforgiving, and hilarious outlook. I will be reading this again and again for the rest of my life like it’s
the goddamn bible.”
—Bob Odenkirk
“In the ideal film adaptation of Will Not Attend, second-grader Adam Resnick would be played by a four-foot-tall, fully adult homunculus Resnick, animated by a precocious despair, disdainful of cultural idiocy, and wearing the ever-present scowl of the perpetually put-upon. Undoubtedly, the child Resnick is father of the man Resnick. This is a very funny book, and I would pay decent money to see the movie version, or even to play it in the form of an extremely sad video game.”
—Charlie Kaufman
“Adam Resnick is like an artist keenly observing the subtleties of light and shadow in the world around us—painting hilariously bleak portraits of the neighbors, friends, and family that we all know and love so dearly. He’s basically our generation’s Norman Rockwell, if Norman Rockwell had ever painted a woman sucking off a horse.”
—Chris Elliott