Sedaris has a way to bring his audience right into the action. It is masterful how little exposition he gets away with. One professor I had in college described a way to tell the height of craft in a writer by how well they can introduce and describe the being of a character in one sentence. Sedaris uses this throughout, perhaps my favorite was one involving his sister and a dog in a car accident.
Having it read by David Sedaris is a huge plus. He makes it a performance and it's a delight to hear the accents, the emphasis, and the tones as he intended.
It's a perfectly well written book, and maybe it would be funny if I read it and could put my own spin on it in my head (though I really doubt this), but the combination of these very bleak stories -which Sedaris DOES NOT highlight the humor in- and his delivery in reading them just makes the book dark as opposed to darkly funny. I bought it because I was looking for dark humor, instead I just found dark and really, really sad. Do we have any indication from Sedaris that he intended this to be funny? I just can't believe he did. I just wanted to caution others to listen to a sample if you are looking for a laugh because you might not find it here.
The chapters where David Sedaris is reading to a love audience are my favorite -- bringing on the laughs that I've come to associate with him -- and why I purchased this book. Having first heard him on This American Life, I was expecting more self-deprecation to offset some of the cynicism. There is a certain arrogance to his writing, but in front of a love audience, it's more apparent that he is also poking fun at himself. In-studio, though, he comes off as arrogant and superior.
I would prefer an all-live version vs a mix of in-studio and live. His live work sometimes has me laughing so hard tears run down my face. Many of the in-studio chapters of this book, though, just make him seem like a jerk.
I love his dry sense of humor and these stories are as funny ans anything that Ron White can come up with. A little nostalgic, but always funny. Highly recommended for those with a little twisted sense of humor.
I think the thing that made it the most enjoyable was that David read the book. There's something extra that comes through when a writer is the one reading his own material. Especially Sedaris, who is used to reading/speaking in front of crowds.
I would pick David's younger brother. I think he was the best because of the huge chasm there is between he and David personality wise
David's sleep over when the other neighborhood boys
If you like David Sedaris, get this. If you like lighthearted but smart story telling, get this.
The sound is very tinny and poor quality.
The reading was a bit flat compared to his other readings.
Not really applicable
Other reviews and recommendations from friends said David Sedaris was "laugh out loud" funny. I must disagree. I do think the subject matter discussed in the book was at least mildly amusing, but David Sedaris as the reader completely killed it for me. He sounds bored with himself, and totally not entertained. I think I probably would have enjoyed this book more had I read it to myself, but as an audiobook, I would never recommend it to a friend. The only parts that he came alive for were when he described and impersonated his brother, which was only a very short portion of the book. I won't be downloading any more David Sedaris books...wishing I had my credit back!
Love to write, love to read, love a great story
David Sedaris is hilarious
no comparison Mr. Sedaris
His sense of humor and timing is priceless
Laughed out loud several times
I'm a high school English teacher, partner, mom, daughter, sister, and adventurer.
The humorous anecdotes.
Many of the unexpected details that make the stories come to life.
Struggling to find himself.
Interesting stories shared about home life.
Change the narrator. His voice annoyed me after a while. He sounded like he was whining, which was not enjoyable to hear.