I expect to listen to this book again in the not-too-distant future, because I am sure I missed a lot that I can pick up on a second time. As it is, I see so many of Screwtape's character traits in people I know, as well as in myself. Reading this book was like looking into a mirror in which one hardly recognizes oneself until forced to look long enough to see what is truly there. So often what one sees is very scary.
Unlike Screwtape, we still have the option of changing our lives for the better. That, to me, is the huge lesson of this book
In spite of being leery about books read by their authors, I listened to this book read by
Sedaris himself. My concerns were ungrounded as I quickly realized he was as good a narrator, or maybe I should say performer, as he was an author: he kept me in stitches throughout this whole book. It is a collection of memoirs based on Sedaris' life, but told through exceptionally good writing and with insightful humor, making his drug addiction and other excesses seem forgivable. Throughout the book, I had no doubt that Sedaris accepts responsibility for his mistakes, and that somewhere along the way he decided to get clean, or at least cleaner, and make something of his life. His ability to poke fun at himself and his slightly strange family is evident as he turns event after average event into reasons to laugh out loud. Decidedly gay, he is nevertheless entertaining to all kinds of audiences.
On a personal note, although clever, the only part of the book I did not enjoy were the dog poems. Others will say that is the best part, and I understand. They just came across as smutty to me. My favorite parts were "learning to speak French," and "disdain of computers." So funny!
I love Dave Berry. He makes me smile. He makes me laugh so hard I cry. And sometimes he makes me think. He can be tender and serious, as this book proves out. But mostly he just makes me happy. Sometimes I just can't take another heavy book, and I need a little fun and lightness in my life. That is the time to turn to Dave Barry.
Narrator Arte Johnson is perfect for this book. I just didn't want it to end.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
I really like this Sedaris book. True to his other novels, this is a compendium of stories. The title is taken from the first story where David, as a 3rd grader, goes to a speech therapist. You cannot help but laugh as the story unwinds and young David gets the best of the teacher in the end. And so the stories continue one by one making you laugh and every now and again he slips in a potent serious message.
Sedaris narrates his own work, so the stories comes off more powerful than a classic text might; especially in the first story where he talks about a lisping problem he had as a child.
This is a relatively short listen and it should appeal to anyone who like satirical humor drawn from personal introspection. Although many of the stories involve family members, they are not mean spirited. You feel like you are at a dinner table and just reliving the 'best of' stories with family members. I highly recommend this series of stories -- they are all winners.