Audie Award Finalist, Humor, 2014
From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist's shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.
©2013 David Sedaris (P)2013 Hachette Audio
"Sedaris is the preeminent humorist of his generation." (Entertainment Weekly)
I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.
I find many of his stories engaging but others push me into the abyss. The passport story is pretty amazing. I'd have written that if it happened to me.
Yes, hearing Mr. Sedaris read his stories is an important part of what makes his stories so wonderful. I usually don't like books read by the author, but when it comes to Mr. Sedaris I always go for the audio version.
I find his stories to be a wonderful mix of humor, tragedy, and truthfulness.
Yes, I have listened to them all. This one is just as good as the rest. I tend to like the more personal stories that involve his family and childhood, and this book has just that.
I almost didn't get this audio-book based on some of these reviews- "Music too long" "Live audio terrible" etc. especially because I honestly didn't care much for his last book "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary" at all.
Well, I'm glad I ignored them because now that I've finished listening I must say, those people have no idea what they're writing about! The music was perfectly innocuous and appropriately timed. The live recordings sound exactly like live recordings always do- live. Sure you hear the audience but that's sort of the point!
Then there's the review complaining of Sedaris' delivery. May I remind you that it has been 20 years since his first book and the man is 56 years old! Do you really expect everyone to stay the same?
Bottom line, this is yet another terrific memoir from one of my favorite authors! Just as funny, charming, alarming and fun as ever!
If you are a fan, you won't regret it! If you aren't a fan then you probably won't be won over.
Um, David Sedaris. Because it's a memoir.
Yes, but couldn't.
I selected this book as a freebie, to try out Audible. I felt that I had to say that straight out, even though it makes me seem like an ungrateful jerk. Got this book FOR FREE by an author I enjoy, and here I am giving it two fours and a three. That being said, I leave it to you to decide if I should have written this.
I enjoy Sedaris' writing.Well, I guess I enjoyed his earlier stuff a bit more.
Some of the essays in this new book struck me as very mean spirited, meant to shock for shock's value only, but that's just my opinion, as a gun-loving Libertarian who supports gay marriage.
Don't get me wrong, the chapter about China, dealing with the bizarre food and people defecating and hawking up mucus wherever the whim took them was truly hilarious.
The chapter on Obama was fantastic, and I didn't even vote for him.
But then towards the end, some of the satire struck me as just plain...boring.
HOLIDAYS ON ICE has an essay dealing with a family's Christmas letter to their friends and family. Filled with truly horrendous stuff, but it makes me laugh out loud. It was narrated by a very talented actress, Ann Magnuson. I love hearing David perform his work, but maybe he should have asked his sister Amy to help?
I completely understand that he's angry about gay marriage not being the law of the land. But the tide is turning. Minnesota just made it legal.
Some of these tales made me feel as if I was being punished for something I didn't do.
Not a terrible book, but kind of a let down after the great WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES.
I keep reading and re-reading this review. It's just my opinion, but to paraphrase David himself, I feel like I've kicked a kitten.
We actually went to hear David Sedaris read two days before this book was released. Going into the auditorium I was thinking how cool it was that he picked Columbia, SC as the feature stop on his tour; the stop right before the release. However, when he admitted that he didn't really know anything about Columbia (despite growing up in North Carolina), my hometown shriveled back down to it's normal lowly status.
As for the book, it is very good; much better than "When You are Engulfed in Flames." David has left most of the really personal reflections about his youth and family behind in "Me Talk Pretty One Day," "Naked," and "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim," but still manages to find some new ones for this book. It is amazing how many good (and funny) stories are to be found in one family.
This book is his most polished so far and David has nearly perfected his unique delivery. After hearing (watching) him live for the second time, I realized that though his speech patterns are his own, he does plan his cadence and pauses very carefully for maximum effect. I have listened to all of his books and several of his broadcasts and having done so, I don't think I could "read" his books. Hearing him read his own stories is a big part of what makes David Sedaris so enjoyable.
If you have listened to David Sedaris books before, then you will feel right at home. If not, then listen to one or more of the earlier books mentioned above first. Either way, you will enjoy this audiobook.
Let's hope there isn't 5 more years before his next one.
Oh, and the music played between the stories IS great, too.
I like David Sedaris. I have read or listened to many of his prior books. Some, such as Me Talk Pretty One Day, are among the funniest books I have ever read. This one, not so much. A lot of it felt kind of sad with an edge of bitterness. Some of the essays were just boring. I found my mind just drifting off focus while the words seemed to just drone in the background. Never a good sign.
There is humor, but it is not the laugh out loud type of previous works but more the mild amusement type.
He talks a lot about his father. Usually his family stories are some of the funniest but these seemed more resentful and angry. He portrays him as both physically and mentally abusive which is somewhat unsettling and not at all humorous. I read Sedaris to smile and laugh, but I found myself feeling saddened and sorry for him for much of the book. Not enough humor to balance the scales.
Not as perfect as his early stories---but what are you gonna do?
Davis Sedaris always makes me laugh----and this selection did too, even though overall it wasn't as good as some previous works. Once you hear his delivery a few times, and know what his story lines are like, you do expect a certain level of entertainment. He just didn't sound like he put all his effort into this one. Also, there is one duplicate story about the Kookaburra, but this is a shortened version, leaving out the part where he and his sister sing in bed.
I thought the music between sections was a little odd, and too long, so hope that changes in the future. However, his type of humor is such genius, and so unique, that I couldn't really fault him too much. I hope his next offering brings back the level of well thought out stories such as those in When You are Engulfed in Flames, which was probably his best.
I enjoy Sedaris' descriptive phrases, his offbeat sense of humor, and his unexpected candor about his own shortcomings as a human.
The only way and the best way this collection of essays could have been more enjoyable would be to excise the obsessive sexual references. They're not funny, clever, or quirky. They're just token and out of place, as if put there to show he's still virile - as if any of us need to be reminded that all men, whether they are straight, gay, bi, young or old, are usually thinking about sex - or perhaps to sell the book to the masses who care nothing for his prose or his velvety-smooth delivery in this audio book.
I did not spew coffee on my Mac this time, even when he spoke of Amy's gift of the crocheted owl mask. But it is comparable in pithiness and humor to Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Children etc.
Some Owls and Turtles, But Mostly Sex
Had to stop listening at the sixth story because the multiple sexual references became so tiresome his prose wasn't worth the slog through the sex.
This audiobook kept both myself and my husband engaged throughout. He came home while it was already on and got interested in it, which says a lot for the book because he's generally a "hater".
Some of Sedaris' other books
He made me feel like I was there when the story happened.
the fact that the author narrates the story adds a lot to the overall effect of the audio book. I highly recommend this work for anyone who likes David Sedaris, comedic essays, and philosophical musings.
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