Calypso by David Sedaris
Little, Brown and Company: 5/29/18
eBook review copy; 272 pages
Calypso by David Sedaris is a very highly recommended collection
of 21 darkly humorous, yet touching, essays. This may be the best book
by Sedaris yet.
David Sedaris has always had a keen eye for details and the absurd while
observing the world with a cynical, but honest, eye. In these stories
he focuses more on mortality and death, while simultaneously showing the
love and devotion he has for Hugh and his family. The discussions
between David and his sisters are both hilarious and insightful. While I
can generally mention some topics covered in the essays, Sedaris
smoothly segues from one topic to another. This is a memorable
Company Man: One of perks to middle age is that, "with luck, you'll acquire a guest room."
Now We Are Five: How David and his siblings are handling the suicide of
their youngest sister, Tiffany. Also buying a beach house he and Hugh
named the Sea Section.
Little Guy: Reflections on being a short man. "I’m not one of those short men who feels he got shafted."
Stepping Out: David discusses his Fitbit obsession.
A House Divided: Reflections on class, and Tiffany embracing poverty as an accomplishment.
Perfect Fit: "I’m not sure how it is in small families, but in large ones
relationships tend to shift over time. You might be best friends with
one brother or sister, then two years later it might be someone else.
Then it’s likely to change again, and again after that." And shopping with his sisters.
Leviathan: Sedaris contemplates how people become crazy in two ways:
animals and diet, and he discusses feeding the wild turtles near their
Your English Is So Good: Using a language instruction course doesn't
necessarily help you with context or commonly used phrases.
Calypso: America and the spread of information through TV news, along
with pictures in wood grain and health concerns, including his desire to
feed his tumor to a turtle.
A Modest Proposal: Gay marriage and proposing to Hugh.
The Silent Treatment: His father's inability to have meaningful discussions and growing up with him.
Untamed: A wild fox they named Carol.
The One(s) Who Got Away: David asks Hugh about previous partners.
Sorry: "Whenever I doubt the wisdom of buying a beach house, all I have
to do is play a round of Sorry! and it all seems worth it."
Boo-Hooey: Sedaris can’t stand people talking about ghosts, but he does
believe they can visit you in your dreams. "Who are you hanging out
with, for God’s sake?" someone might ask. "Camp counselors?"
Number of Reasons I’ve Been Depressed Lately: A self-explanatory list.
Why Aren’t You Laughing?: Sedaris discusses his mother's alcoholism.
I’m Still Standing: Having embarrassing accidents in public on airplanes.
The Spirit World: Amy and a psychic
And While You’re Up There, Check on
My Prostate: A discussion of what angry drivers yell at other drivers.
The Comey Memo: Jim Comey was staying at an area beach house and their father's declining abilities.
My review copy was courtesy of Little, Brown and Company via Netgalley.