Saturday, February 5, 2011

What I Read - David Sedaris

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

I got into David Sedaris relatively recently.  It was last spring, when I was working on a bridal clutch for my older sister's wedding, using crochet thread and a steel hook.  Usually when I crochet I like to watch TV or a movie, but I had to work too closely with the thread to really pay attention, so I turned to audio books instead, including Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, which was what put him on my radar, so to speak.  So when I came across his latest book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, I was inclined to read it, though I knew I preferred his essays based on his life rather than his fictional stories.  I learned this while reading Holidays on Ice this past Christmas.  I was grooving along with the hypocritical humor of "Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" until suddenly there was Dead Baby.  *shudder*  The other stories were less blood-draining, but their jokes grew old pretty quickly.
Fortunately, most of the stories in Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk are fairly short, so this isn't really a problem.  Most of the stories are slightly unsettling, which didn't really surprise me, and some stories are made even more so by the illustrations, which develop into yet another layer of disturbing when you find out that they were done by Ian Falconer, best known for the Olivia series.  But there are a few that are close to heartwarming, especially the last, "The Grieving Owl."
I guess that what I'm trying to say is that in general I like David Sedaris, but he's an acquired taste.

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