I had no idea what this was about heading in. I kept stumbling across Sedaris’ name in various places, without any real context. The title of the book was intriguing, so I took a punt.
It consists of several ‘essays’ about events or memories taken from the author’s life, including everything from shopping for a stuffed owl to dentistry to travel and a colonoscopy. There are few books that cover such a wide variety of topics. Much of it is based on his keen observational skill and his willingness to talk, and listen, to anyone.
Not knowing much about Sedaris, I get the impression he’s a modern-day Truman Capote. One of those people who can make any tale interesting and doesn’t really do anything, yet finds time to put pen to paper and can turn anything he writes into a hit. A darling of the literati.
I found the book charming, and interesting, and literally laugh-out-loud funny. Granted there are also a few passages that I didn’t appreciate while preparing dinner, and others that got caught up in the minutiae. None of the essays is very long though, so a different one is usually along fairly quickly.
The benefit with the audio version is that, not only is the entire book read by the author, but several chapters are recorded from stage shows and include a performance in front of an audience.
I’m not sure how to describe it, only to say that if you’re after something entertaining that bridges the gap between fiction and the often-stuffy non-fiction, this may be the answer.