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Publisher's Summary

A guy walks into a bar.

From here, the story could take many turns. A guy walks into a bar and meets the love of his life. A guy walks into a bar and finds no one else is there. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humour and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.

In Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris remembers his father's dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy. The common thread? Sedaris masterfully turns each episode into a love story: how it feels to be in a relationship where one loves and is loved over many years, what it means to be part of a family, and how it's possible, through all of life's absurdities, to accept oneself.

©2013 David Sedaris (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A humorist par excellence, Sedaris can make Woody Allen appear ham-tongued, Oscar Wilde a drag" (Observer)
"The world's finest comic writer" (Independent)
"David Sedaris is a man who could capture your heart and lift your spirits while reading out the ingredients of a rice cake" (Observer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great app

Great app, has everything you might need : sleep timer, free trials, und so weiter . Try it soon, try it now.

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  • Matthew
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • 09-20-13

Not a fan I’m afraid

I was totally unfamiliar with Sedaris’ back catalogue when I started this audiobook. From my subsequent research, it seems the author has a distinctive and predictable style; essentially a series of semi-related, extremely personal, based-on-a-true-story essays strung together like mismatching baubles on an eclectic necklace. And what a bizarre and conflicting little necklace this book turns out to be.

Some of the chapters are true jewels --- preciously hilarious, wonderfully observed and dryly told pieces of satire. This is especially true of the chapters recorded at live book-readings with an audience. But the worst chapters are rotten --- like sodden, red Froot Loops masquerading as rubies.

After the first chapter, I was a “David Sedaris Convert”. I was ready to purchase every book he’d ever written, and I’d already decided Diabetes was clearly going to be a five-star listen. Although he peaked way too early, there were some genuinely funny moments speckled throughout. But there was just too much self-involved, self-righteous, self-pity to keep me interested.

There are definite shades of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” here (a series I adore by the way). While Larry David knows how to flirt perfectly with controversy, I’m afraid I can’t say the same for David Sedaris. Maybe he’s the kind of “character” who grows on you --- in which case I humbly suggest first-timers like me start with some of his earlier works and progress to Diabetes.

Oh, and by the way. I’m Australian and “kookaburra” is pronounced with a “cook” (like the chef), not a “kook” (like the eccentric neighbor). A small thing, but…

I’ll end on one positive note. The narration by the author is fantastic. More than a few times, some very average jokes were elevated beyond their station by Sedaris’ dry and knowing delivery. For fans of the hardcopy version (yes, I do realize many people love this book), the audio version would be a sound investment.

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  • Matt
  • United Kingdom
  • 06-07-13

Very entertaining

What did you love best about Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls?

This was my first Sedaris book and I will definitely read more as a result. Very entertaining.

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  • Marcus
  • 07-17-13

funny and often disturbing

If you could sum up Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls in three words, what would they be?

The title drew my attention. I thought what the heck and I'm glad I did. David Sedaris writes with alacrity and wit. Aside form baring his soul authentically, his use of mind grabbing metaphors and turns of phrase make his writing engaging and compelling.

A collection of mostly autobiographical stories about his experiences in a rather macabre taxidemists, diabetes or battling his demons with his father, Sedaris keeps you fully engaged form start to finish.

Which character – as performed by David Sedaris – was your favourite?

London taxidermist!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-13

Good Stuff From Sedaris

This is the latest collection of stories from David Sedaris, some of which appeared on the Radio 4 series "Meet David Sedaris" and as usual they are funny, charming and sometimes moving in places.
As usual his dad doesn't come out well in this collection and his poor family! but you can tell that despite the cutting comments about them there is genuine love between them all.
Being read by the author himself is the main selling point of this- I have read some of his books but it is hearing them in his voice that makes them so much better.

If you have never read/heard any David Sedaris before jump in here and I guarantee you will download more!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue McW
  • 07-11-13

Wonderfully entertaining

As always, David Sedaris is wonderfully entertaining and reads his work so effectively.
Some of the short essays have appeared in other anthologies of his work but it is well worth revisiting them.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs E
  • 07-09-13

Enjoy spluttering in public and laughing out loud?

Where does Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The funniest collection of readings I have heard, ever.

What other book might you compare Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls to, and why?

David Sedaris is unique in his quirky and wry view of life. Unlike other semi-autobiographies where you are taken through the chronological order of a noteworthy or tragic life, David Sedaris' collection of essays allows you to light like a butterfly on the fleeting moments of significance in his, sometimes poignant but more often trivial, life. Instead of observing, we share his awkward and gauche acts, secretly believing that we are imperfectly wonderful too.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There are so many moments to enjoy. The need to clear out the junk of unwanted gift collections, "this is what happens when you tell someone you like something...nothing stems the tide of crap," is one we are all familiar with but perhaps not one with so many humorous outcomes as Sedaris' owl collection. The salacious taxidermist showing his collection of body parts is both shocking and fascinating at once and Sedaris simple dares to say what we all think - or at least hope we would on a really, really smart day.

If you think the trivia of someone's life, the minutia of their day, their thoughts and their relationships is not enough then Sedaris has even more. Writing in the voice of the mad in the way only Americans can be, the final selection of stories will have you crying with laughter. The homophobic mother whose gay son encourages her to wear a T-Shirt with initials he assures her stand for Another Savvy Senior Hopes Obama Loses Everything and the Dahl-like poem in homage to dogs will leave you desperate for more.

Luckily, there are lots more. Lots and lots more.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Laugh, think and love this life in all its infinite triviality.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Fangio
  • 12-13-13

An hilarious and intimate insights

Would you consider the audio edition of Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls to be better than the print version?

While I've not read the book, the audiobook allows Sedaris to convey truly, and with lacerating wit and candour, his fascinating history, views and stories.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sadaris paints characters superbly, with several coming to life through his impressions but often just through his writing.

Have you listened to any of David Sedaris’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I've also listened to When You Are Engulfed In Flames, which is also good, but Diabetes with Owls is superior.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Lacerating wit, beautiful candour

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil
  • 12-02-13

A great listen

Having David Sedaris himself narrating in his witty tone is a real bonus. It's perfect for long car journeys or travelling with headphones. Chapters are self contained stories so perfect to dip in and out of while keeping a vague overall theme. I find myself going back to the stories I enjoyed most and registering to their perfectly formed prose and pinpoint delivery.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Christian
  • 08-05-13

I'm quite the fan of Mr. Sedaris

This book has been out for a while, but I thought I'd review it just the same, even if I'm just adding another voice to the choir.

I thought his last book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, was a bit of a misstep, but with Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls David Sedaris is to back to form. Form, of course, being the wry comedic essays in which he excels above any other. If you enjoyed any of his other books, you'll like this one too. It's that simple. If you know about David Sedaris from listening to the BBC Radio 4 specials he did, you'll be sad to know that quite a few of the stories from those sessions are also included in this book. However, his stories and his performance deserves at least a second listen, if not a third or even a fourth and fifth, so don't let that put you off.

If you enjoy David Sedaris, you might also like David Rakoff and the CBS radioprogram Wiretap with Jonathan Goldstein.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wanda
  • 07-08-13

Not his best but still very enjoyable

If you could sum up Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls in three words, what would they be?

Wonderfully gently amusing

Who was your favorite character and why?

David as I find him easy to relate to

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All of them

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No as I use audio books to fight insomnia

Any additional comments?

He has a lovely soothing relaxing voice..wonderful to get to sleep to until the chapter changes and its a louder live reading or the music in between chapters wakes you up...but it was not designed as an insomnia aid so I have forgiven him lol :-)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia White
  • 06-23-13

Never disappoints

Performance: 1 star off for the odd music in between sketches - sorry, David, if this was your personal choice. Otherwise excellent observation and delivery - as always.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • HELEN EVANS
  • 01-12-17

Entertaining collection of memories

Would you listen to Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls again? Why?

Yes, very easy listening and highly entertaining, although this seems a bit less hilarious and more melancholic than his earlier recollections

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • k8
  • 11-09-17

A giggle

The perfect gift for all owl-loving diabetics and their friends! Thankyou David Sederis., I"m about to start another. This one came highly recommended, the next ...?

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  • alan
  • 08-28-17

Sounds like the rabbit from alice in wonderland

It's funny. A nice book to listen to only made me chuckle almost out load one time. But I am hard to please

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  • Sarah Walter
  • 10-31-16

Very funny

A fab collection of amusing essays and annecdotes. Great to dip in and out of.

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  • Kate
  • 10-11-16

Painful

I get this guy's sense of humour but just don't find it that funny or interesting. I can see there's maybe a particular audience that would like it but really feel like this book stole precious hours of my life I won't get back.

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  • Clare
  • 10-01-16

Self indulgent

Mildly interesting at times and occasionally amusing but writer is totally self absorbed and self indulgent no wisdom in this book

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  • Oliver Gissing
  • 08-16-16

Funny entertaining book

Awesome, dark sense of humour. l laughed out loud on more than one occasion.

The tone david uses throughout maintains interest. The live recordings make it seem like stand up comedy. It will have you in stiches in these parts! If you like satire and black humour.

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  • Sergiu Pobereznic (author)
  • 09-14-15

Brilliant

This is my first foray into the printed, autobiographical world of Mr. Sedaris and I don't care what anyone says in their reviews: I REALLY LIKED IT! and I read it two times. It's a lightning quick read.

As with most humour, people will either get this or they won't. This is evident by the reviews. However, even the reviewers that gave quite a low star rating, still had a few good things to say – so, not all doom and gloom.
Also, let's not forget that your own mood determines how funny something actually is at that point in time.

It is worth mentioning that many of the essays in this book are not linked, they are not always about himself and he does jump from character to character a bit (which didn't bother me in the least). This gave me the feeling of someone telling you a true story on the fly, rather than constructing one.
Personally, he ran me through the whole gamut of emotions by going from laugh out loud funny to dark and poignant, even heartbreaking, but always with the overall tone of self deprecation, which he seems to do well.
Mr. Sedaris seems open and honest and exposes his unusual quirks and behaviours on the page with ease, which I find admirable.
Yes, some sections were marginally better than others, but overall I really, really enjoyed the writing and the observations he proffered.

I honestly don't know how anyone could fail to find the colonoscopy story "The Happy Place" or "Rubbish", funny. 10 dollars well spent.
I will be trying a few more of his works, and I won't expect them to be as good, but if they are... BONUS!
Sergiu Pobereznic (Amazon author)

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  • Charlottedv
  • 07-07-15

great fun and clever as ever

I really enjoyed another trip down David's memory lane. He always makes me laugh with his quirky view of the world.

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  • dean
  • 08-16-15

mistake

struggle to even last for five minute very boring storyline wrong choice on my part

0 of 1 people found this review helpful