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The Best of Me  By  cover art

The Best of Me

By: David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
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Publisher's summary

“Genius.... It is miraculous to read these pieces.... You must read The Best of Me.” (Andrew Sean Greer, New York Times Book Review)

David Sedaris’s best stories and essays, spanning his remarkable career - as selected and read by the author himself. Featuring fresh and classic recordings, including a new essay and an interview exclusive to the audiobook.

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

A CNN and Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Month​

For more than 25 years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside. It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to listen without laughing.

Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work. In these stories, Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy, hitchhikes with a lady quadriplegic, and spits a lozenge into a fellow traveler’s lap. He drowns a mouse in a bucket, struggles to say “give it to me” in five languages, and hand-feeds a carnivorous bird.

But if all you expect to find in Sedaris’s work is the deft and sharply observed comedy for which he became renowned, you may be surprised to discover that his words bring more warmth than mockery, more fellow-feeling than derision. Nowhere is this clearer than in his writing about his loved ones. In these essays, Sedaris explores falling in love and staying together, recognizing his own aging not in the mirror but in the faces of his siblings, losing one parent and coming to terms - at long last - with the other.

Taken together, the performances in The Best of Me reveal the wonder and delight Sedaris takes in the surprises life brings him. No experience, he sees, is quite as he expected - it’s often harder, more fraught, and certainly weirder - but sometimes it is also much richer and more wonderful.

Full of joy, generosity, and the incisive humor that has led David Sedaris to be called “the funniest man alive” (Time Out New York), The Best of Me spans a career spent watching and learning and laughing - quite often at himself - and invites listeners deep into the world of one of the most brilliant and original writers of our time.

©2020 David Sedaris (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

Critic reviews

“The genius of The Best of Me is that it reveals the growth of a writer, a sense of how his outlook has changed and where he finds humor… The subject, in many of the pieces Sedaris has selected, is the judgment and pain we inflict on one another, and by ‘we’ Sedaris does not mean people in general. He means him. And he means you. And he means me… You must read The Best of Me. It will be a new experience, knowing that enough time has passed to find humor in the hardest parts of life. More than ever—we’re allowed to laugh.”—Andrew Sean Greer, New York Times Book Review

"An excellent introduction to Sedaris’ work if, somehow, you’re not among the millions who have made him a mainstay on bestseller lists and flocked to his ticketed readings. Even if you’ve read or listened to every word he’s ever written, it’s a terrific highlights reel and a chance to view the arc of Sedaris’ development as a writer over 25 years… In his more serious moments, Sedaris expresses surprise and gratitude for his good fortune. Even his father, “that perpetual human storm cloud,” has finally, in his late 90s, acknowledged his elder son’s fantastic accomplishments. The Best of Me is a well-earned victory lap.” —Heller McAlpin, Christian Science Monitor

“The collection magnifies many of the attributes that have made Sedaris such a beloved writer, not least of which is the sense of wit... Across 46 stories and 400 pages, Sedaris’ clarity as a writer comes through. The pieces can be painfully funny and painfully poignant for the same reason: He’s economical with words, thoughts, jokes and emotions.”—Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle