by David Sedaris
Read by David Sedaris
Published by Hachette | Imprint Little Brown
Genre: Fiction / Humor / Form / Essays
On Sale: May 29th 2018
Listening Length: 6 hours and 38 minutes
David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.
If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.
When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.
With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.
This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best. https://www.littlebrown.com/titles/david-sedaris/calypso/9781478964179/
Even before I read David Sedaris I had been laughing, often hysterically, at his readings on NPR. But then I bought ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY, which is possibly the funniest book ever written, and I was sold. He is so funny that on THE DAILY SHOW while touring his book LET’S TALK DIABETES WITH OWLS, he made Jon Stewart fall out of his chair with laughter. David is an author who is on my auto-buy list.
I have been to two or three of his reading performances. While, at first I wasn’t happy as to how he recounted the story of his sister’s suicide on the stage, with this book I realized he was working through it, and that in sharing his issues he probably brought some comfort to others. In this book, Sedaris explores the thinking that it’s likely most go through when they lose a family member this way. It’s interesting that, with the stories he told about his family, he has grown up to be so close with both his and his partner, Hugh’s, families. In fact, it seems, throughout the book that Family is the most important thing in his life.
The book is sometimes crude, but not offensively so. I had heard a lot of this material in his last two readings, and I would listen again. And, that brings me to Sedaris as author and narrator. I almost always love it when an author narrated his work, especially those autobiographical in nature. And, Sedaris’s work on the stage with his pieces has given him perfect timing and intonation.
If you like comedic essays with a no holds barred, almost overly honest delivery; if you like someone who isn’t afraid to go there with his writing, if you haven’t shied at CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY, then David Sedaris is for you. This volume delves into so hard places to go: recounting the last time he saw his sister, or a lack of bowel control when he had a terrible gastro-bug, American politics, but he does it with honesty, not necessarily with with elegance, and not sparing himself.