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)
This book includes some great essays. However, Sedaris has a pretentious and preachy attitude that was absent from other books he has written. I found the "etc" section to be almost uncomfortable. I am not saying that because I disagree with any of his ideals (I don't disagree, I strongly agree actually) but the condescending tone and annoyingly obvious sarcasm is not something I enjoy. There are some great essays and laughable moments but often I was left wondering who was I listening to and why. Not bad but a disappointing listen.
I love David Sedaris. He's hilarious and brilliant. The experience of this book is what I would think of as Sedaris at a Tuesday dinner party vs the Saturday night of his best books. It's absolutely still worth the experience, just not the raucous, burst out laughing in public experience that originally made me recommend him to anyone and everyone.
The random musical selections in between stories were weird and pointless. Most of the stories are read in a studio, with an occasional chapter that is from a book tour, and that felt disjointed - not a bad performance by Sedaris, more like bad producing.
As a Sedaris fan, I'm easy to please. All of his nonfiction essays (the first part of the book) were LOL funny, really engaging and entertaining. In the second half of the book he went into fictional essays, which were hit or miss.
I love David Sedaris. I'd listen to him read anything, especially his own non-fiction. I don't enjoy the fiction as much, but appreciate his imagination.
I loved his essays written for people who have to memorize and then perform stories.
His tone of voice and expressions really make the stories come to life.
Yes, a Sedaris fan or other socially liberal person will love this book. Sedaris uses his sharp wit to roast social conservatives in many essays (which is delicious!). Passive-agressive? Give this book to your conservative friends and family.Sedaris continues down a path toward more serious, darker work. Funny topics in earlier essays about drug addiction, death, etc. have led to rather sad and disturbing parables (i.e. "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk") and this most recent work continues on that path. Certainly, some essays are on the surface just plain funny, but there is a more serious undercurrent and depth that Sedaris had added to this collection.
It's great to listen to Sedaris read his own work. This book, like all of his work are personal essays which lean toward social commentary. Like "Me Talk Pretty One Day" focused on David's life in France, this book focuses on David's life in England and on the road. He's no longer an every-man: cleaning apartments, working construction, attending school, doing drugs, etc., and I think his new life as a successful writer may turn-away some fans. He remains, however, very much himself. Extremely entertaining, thoughtful, witty, and (despite his own opinion of himself) very likable.
I don't recommend this book to readers of Sadaris' previous books. Though some stories are as entertaining as his previous ones, overall these are darker and just not funny.
The chapter on learning other languages.
Found this book entertaining - good worldly humouor. I found this an amusing piece of writing.
Really? It was unique!
I liked that the author read his own book as it added so much character to the writings.
Bohemian Bon Vivant
I've listened to all of David Sedaris' books and would listen to this one even knowing what I know now, but compared to the others, this really seemed phoned in, as if Mr. Sedaris wasn't inspired in the least and was simply writing/compiling to meet a contractual obligation. This, along with Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, is the least interesting of what Mr. Sedaris has written to date.
Yes, of course, always. It was just limited by the material he was relaying this time.
Well I'm certainly looking forward to Mr. Sedaris next book, despite this rare miss. He's generally great fun, witty, clever, and insightful.
For the people here complaining in comments about sexual content, I don't get it. What are they talking about? Their only issue is that it's written by a gay man who is open about who he is and they aren't comfortable with that. If there's a graphic sex scene ANYWHERE in this I must have slept through it.
As usual David Sedaris did not let us down. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls was very funny and kept our interest. We listened to it as we traveled on vacation. My partner and I loved it.
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