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Calypso by David Sedaris


by David Sedaris

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7403418,931 (4.16)40



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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Man, I love David Sedaris. His sardonic but heartfelt commentary on life makes me laugh and cry. This book is a reflection of his life in the era after one of his sisters dies by suicide. I’d heard him read some of the essays when I saw him a year and a half ago but most of the stories were new to me. I love his family and his anecdotes, I especially related to his bits about his fitness tracking (seriously what’s the point of walking up the stairs if it’s not being recorded?!) and growing older, and I had to stop many times and catch my breath because I was laughing so hard at his descriptions and scenarios. When I saw him recently we stayed after for book signing and it was seriously one of the best celebrity interactions ever. We talked about TV shows and recommended several to each other and my friend and I helped him with something on his Apple Watch. He signed my book “You will die one day” which I suppose is unavoidable. Another hilariously honest and honestly hilarious book by Mr. Sedaris. 5/5 stars ⭐️ ( )
  justjoshinreads | Mar 22, 2019 |
I really enjoyed this book. Not my usual genre. In terms of my rating this is a very personal book. Some people will love it some will hate it and there will be everything else in between. I liked the style and the humour. I like his observational humour of both people and language and it could be that the fact that he has lived in the both the US and UK makes his writing appealing to me. His wit is also quite dry. ( )
  muwaffaq | Mar 20, 2019 |
If you are not familiar with David Sedaris's writing, please do me a favor and stop reading this review. Do yourself a favor and run out and buy yourself a copy of any one of his books. Really. Any book Sedaris has written would be good. It really doesn't matter with which one you start your introduction.
But probably the best way to experience Sedaris is to hear him read his own work. He has a comedic timing that is impeccably smart. Coupled this with his sarcastic wit and he will have you laughing and crying at the same time. I don't know how he makes feeding a defrosted human tumor (his own) to a snapping turtle funny, or his mother's alcoholism, or his sister's suicide but really truly, he does. You find yourself in awe of how he chooses to see each situation. That viewpoint translates into a keen sense of the bigger picture and the world around him. From fashion from Japan to trash picking in England, Sedaris invites you to never see life the same way again. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Mar 15, 2019 |
I have somewhat variable feelings about David Sedaris. Occasionally, I find him slightly annoying or silly. Often, I find him really astute and funny. There is a little bit of that first thing in here, including a piece about phrases he hates that kind of made me roll my eyes and some stuff about clothes shopping that feels just a little too "look how quirky I am!" But there's some of the second thing, too: a hilarious bit about cursing in various countries, for instance, and a painfully funny piece on Donald Trump.

Much of this collection, though, is something else entirely, a surprisingly effective blend of the irreverently humorous and the deeply poignant, as he talks about things like spending time at a beach house with his family shortly after his estranged sister's suicide, his relationship with his beloved mother that included never mentioning her alcoholism, and the worrying experience of watching his father age.

I may have laughed a number of times while reading it, but in the end I'm left feeling genuinely kind of sad. But the right kind of sad, I think. ( )
1 vote bragan | Jan 9, 2019 |
Quick note from me: Eagle-eyed readers of the blog will notice that I said I would be covering The Bear and the Nightingale today but actually I'm going to be reviewing Calypso by David Sedaris. I was working off of my memory instead of my notes and that's how that little boo-boo occurred. At any rate, today's book is a real treat! Calypso is an example of dark humor at its best. It's organized into short stories that cover the complete gamut of familial drama coupled with the woes of middle age. Sedaris divides his time between his home in England and a beach-side getaway he purchased for his family to use in Emerald Isle (among other properties briefly mentioned). I loved the parts where he talked about his relationship with his partner Hugh (who I fell in love with immediately) and his fears that he'll poop in his pants and Hugh will leave him for someone else. It also turns out that he's obsessive about tracking his steps and cleaning up every single piece of litter in the English countryside. He's a quirky guy and I strongly identified with him. He also touches on the tragic death of his sister Tiffany and the contentious relationship he has with his father who is in his nineties and stubbornly refusing to accept help at home. It's sharp, witty, shocking, tender, and hilarious. I laughed out loud at quite a few of the anecdotal stories (wait til you read about their visit to Japan). This would make a great gift especially for friends or family who do a lot of travel as this would be excellent to read on a trip. 10/10 ( )
  AliceaP | Dec 20, 2018 |
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Though there's an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age.
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Personal essays share the author's adventures after buying a vacation house on the Carolina coast and his reflections on middle age and mortality.

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