I hadn’t ever read anything by David Sedaris and I thought I should remedy that. The problem was which book to read. Then I heard about "squirrel seeks chipmunk." Aesop’s fables for the twenty-first century. I made my choice.
In this collection of stories (that can be devoured in a sitting) Sedaris uses animals to show what is wrong with humans. This is not a unique idea but Sedaris puts a new spin on it, and the fables definitely have a modern tone. Squirrels date chipmunks, mice raise snakes, one lab rat tries to tell another that the only thing wrong with him is his attitude... With stories like these, he mocks the moral failings that are most recognizable today. There are sixteen tales in this bestiary. The messages are not subtle but they are cleverly represented. Sedaris has a reputation for the humor of his writing, but I found these stories too brutal to truly be funny. Clever, yes. Entertaining, certainly. But too painfully harsh to make me laugh.
From this intro to Sedaris, I can see why his writing has received so much acclaim. The voice is strong and it’s impossible not to be affected by what you are reading. So now the problem is which of his books to read next.
I’ve always been an obsessive reader. The love of books is what got me through college, kept me sane during medical school and residency, and ultimately led me to become a novelist. (...that is, love of books, lots of family support, and some luck thrown in!) This blog is intended to share my thoughts about some of the books I’ve read. Join in the conversation. I’d love to hear your thoughts, too!
I buy my books, borrow them from the library, or friends lend them to me. I also write reviews for The Historical Novels Review. Occasionally I may repost a review here (after it has appeared in print). Those books are free review copies. If I obtain a book in any other way, I'll disclose it.