There’s something so special about reading a book by David Sedaris — it’s finished all too soon in an all-consuming one-sitting marathon.
I discovered his work when I was fairly young (17ish) but didn’t have the chance to get my hands on anything other than ‘Holidays on Ice’ until this year. He talks to you as if you were an old friend, mixing stories from his childhood, his (varied and mostly quite depressing) adulthood and what it’s like living in France now.
Since then, I have read ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’ and ‘As You Are Engulfed in Flames’ and together, it makes me feel like he’s an old friend. A rather weird old friend who says things that he probably shouldn’t in a hilarious way.
There are few times that a book has made me laugh out loud in public transport. Sedaris’ work – whether talking about his father’s penchant for ‘discovering’ superstars, his judgement on people throwing garbage in the English countryside or stories about his sisters Amy and Gretchen always make me laugh – and then dodge a glance around the tube carriage of course!
It’s hard to describe in a review exactly why he is funny or why you should read the book (I started giving a recommendation by saying – “so there’s this short story about his sister being assaulted”) so I guess you’ll just have to be there. Walk in his shoes. See through his eyes. Enjoy.
Favourite quote(s): “As a child I assumed that when I reached adulthood, I would have grown-up thoughts.”
“In Japanese and Italian, the response to [“How are you?”] is “I’m fine, and you?” In German it’s answered with a sigh and a slight pause, followed by “Not so good.”
“Of course, the diary helps me as well. ‘That wasn’t your position on July 7, 1991,’ I’ll remind Hugh an hour after we’ve had a fight. I’d have loved to rebut him sooner, but it takes awhile to look these things up.”
Creative commons image courtesy of Mark Kent