©2000 by David Sedaris, All Rights Reserved; (P)2000 by Time Warner AudioBooks, A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing
"At his best, he makes you laugh out loud, which indeed may be worth the price of admission." (The New York Times)
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!
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
This is my first Sedaris book and chuckled throughout. The book isn't a straightforward novel, but a compilation of different events/periods in his life coupled with live performances. It's deeply reflective and humorous in a subtle manner. Highly recommend and can't wait to download his other titles.
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.
I was not familiar with David Sedaris before I bought this book, and I absolutely loved it. The stories are heartfelt and funny. The audio delivery is superb. I now keep an eye out for anything Sedaris has written knowing I will enjoy it. Keep the books coming! I can't wait to hear more.
I found this book very boring and mundane. I didn't like the laugh-track on much of the material and was puzzled as to why these people were laughing at very ordinary material.
I've listened to David Sedaris on the radio on This American Life. When I found that he had a book out, I jumped at the chance to get it on audio. Usually I find that I am disappointed when I expect so much from an author. I was not disappointed this time. I did alot of walking while I listened to this, and people gave me a wide berth because I was laughing all the time! I looked like a crazy person. Do yourself a favor and get this book. The man is a genius. Honestly the funniest thing I've ever read.
A friend recommended this book to read. It is even better on audiobook read by the author. I would not say that it made me laugh but there are some really well written and cute stories that will keep you interested.
My husband and I listened to this in the car on a long road trip. We were both laughing so hard we thought we were going to have to pull off the road or have an accident. David Sedaris is hilarious in general, but listening to him read his own material takes it to an all new level. His ability to take mundane life and twist it around is part of it, but his voice and expression make it a side splitting experience. This is one of the few authors where hearing the material is better than just reading it out of a book.
Disregard the 4 rating and make sure you listen to the sample before buying. If you can take 4 hours of 4:30, listening to exactly the same thing, buy it. I made a mistake and took the 4 rating on faith. I wanted to, because I had so thoroughly enjoyed David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall. Even after I listened to the download sample and finding the author's in-studio reading style to be as mediocre as the subject matter, I still bought the book. I did so because the reviews said otherwise. I reasoned that I was listening to the beginning and it would soon change. Boy was I mistaken. The drone of his recounting his HS speech problems, went on and on and on. It finally did change, but that was at the 4-hour mark. For the remaining 30 minute, the listener is once again treated to a live performance, as funny, as full of wit and as crisply delivered, as is his Carnegie Hall performance. However, 30 minutes out of 4:30, is hardly worth the price of admission. The only saving grace was I used a 20% discount instead of a book credit to buy the book.
I thought I would give this book a chance after all the great reviews. Just couldn't get into it, yes, I laughed a few times, but in between it's just a little boring to me. I listened to about half of the book and as soon as I got my next credit I just never went back...... :(
That I didn't care about it, and I am really easy to entertain usually, maybe I just listened to it at the wrong time. May give it another try in a few months.
It's just pretty monotone and slow for me.
As I said, I stopped after half the book.
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