Reviews for Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls


Booklist Reviews 2013 April #2
Following his foray into animal fables, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (2010), Sedaris returns to his signature form, the eviscerating comic essay. He draws on a seemingly bottomless well of appalling childhood memories revolving around his mounting fears about being unlike other boys. There's a stinging account of swimming competitions during which his irascible father vociferously championed his son's rival, a courageously candid tale of his courtship of a shy African American girl, and an unnerving confession of his inept handling of captured baby sea turtles. Moving on to more worldly episodes, Sedaris recalls encounters with strangers on trains and offers hilarious perspectives on French health care and shopping at Costco. An acute observer and master of the quick, excoriating takedown, Sedaris claims new territory in this exceptionally gutsy and unnerving collection, creating dark and mischievous monologues in other voices, such as the brilliantly vicious "Just a Quick E-Mail" and an alarming rant by a Christian fascist. Sedaris casts penetrating light on a world of cruelty, inanity, and absurdity that is barely but surely redeemed by humor and love. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Sedaris-mania knows no bounds, and with a 20-city author tour and all-out media campaign, this will be a red-hot title. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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BookPage Reviews 2013 May
Sedaris returns to the hilarious and absurd

David Sedaris’ previous book, a collection of fictional animal stories called Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, may have worried some of his longtime fans. Had the lovable curmudgeon, famous for his sidesplitting essays about his family’s dysfunction and his misspent youth, abandoned memoir for imaginary stories (however funny and bizarre) about talking animals? After he’d hit the big time—best-selling books, sold-out live performances, homes in England and France—had his own life become too comfortable to be funny?

This latest collection of (mostly) autobiographical essays should put any such worries to rest. Although his life is certainly much happier now than when he was hooked on drugs or working as a department store elf, Sedaris still finds plenty of absurdity in the airports, hotels, book tours and vacation-home renovations that now fill his days. Sedaris is the sort of writer who can make standing in line at a coffee shop an occasion for gleeful, vicarious outrage (and in less time than it takes to steam a cappuccino).

As in his previous book, there are plenty of animals here, though none of them talk. Stuffed owls, mangled roosters, melting sea turtles, skewered mice and a graceful kookaburra populate these pages like the inmates of a psychopath’s barnyard. There are other kinds of beasts here as well. There is his father storming, capricious and pantless, through Sedaris’ childhood. There are the despicable, heartless fanatics whom Sedaris imagines and inhabits in the book’s few fictional pieces. And there is Sedaris himself, so candid about his own moral failings that you almost want to hug him and tell him he’s really not so terrible, even if he did once consider displaying a stuffed Pygmy in his living room.

All this is vintage Sedaris: sharp, strange, moving and f[Fri Aug 29 22:15:19 2014] enhancedContent.pl: Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\enhancedContent.pl line 249. unny—proof, if any were needed, that success is no barrier to absurdity and that humans are the strangest talking animals of all.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #1
A more varied and less consistent essay collection from the noted humorist. In middle age, Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames, 2008) no longer aims as often for laugh-out-loud funny as he did when he attracted a popular following almost two decades ago. Most of these essays revisit many of the areas he's previously mined for hilarity--the dysfunctional family stuff, the gay stuff, the American-living-abroad stuff--but much of what he returns to in memory seems less antic and more melancholy than before. In the funniest piece, the penultimate "The Happy Place," he discovers his Eden by embracing what others of his generation resist: the colonoscopy. "Never had I experienced such an all-encompassing sense of well-being," he writes. "Everything was soft-edged and lovely. Everyone was magnificent….I'm not sure how long I lay there, blissed-out and farting." Amid characteristic riffs on book tours, foreigners who eat funny (and Britons who talk funny), his underwear-clad, alcohol-swilling father, and his adventures in a variety of countries with his partner, Sedaris engages readers with a number of pieces in which he writes from a perspective that is obviously not the author's, raging about the decline of liberty, morality and Western civilization in general in the wake of Barack Obama. With Jesus riding shotgun, the narrator of "If I Ruled the World" froths, "I'll crucify the Democrats, the Communists, and a good 97% of the college students." Funnier and sharper is "Just a Quick E-mail," in which what appears to be a justifiable complaint about a chintzy wedding gift becomes ever more revelatory about the monstrosity of the sender. Those who have followed Sedaris through the years will find plenty to enjoy, though not much in the way of surprise or revelation. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #5

Sedaris's latest essay collection possesses all of the wit, charm, and poignancy his readers have come to expect. His usual cast of delightful characters returns; including a flashback of his father in his underpants berating a schoolboy or, more recently, hounding David into getting a colonoscopy. Many pieces involve travel, animals, or both: his sister Gretchen totes around an insect "kill jar"; in a Denver airport, David engages with a judgmental fellow passenger; and visiting the Australian bush, he has encounters with a kookaburra and a dead wallaby. Seeking a stuffed owl for a Valentine's Day gift leads him to a taxidermist shop where he is shown gruesome oddities and confronts difficult questions about his curiosity. Another essay explores the evolution of David's 35 years-and-counting of keeping a diary and provides some great insight into his writing process. In addition to the personal essays, there are six satirical monologues in which he assumes the role of a character with a ridiculous message. One in particular involves a man's ludicrous response to the legalization of gay marriage in New York, believing his own marriage is now "meaningless". This is a must-read for fans of smart, well-crafted writing with a sense of humor. Agent: Steven Barclay Agency. (May)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Sedaris's latest essay collection possesses all of the wit, charm, and poignancy his readers have come to expect. His usual cast of delightful characters returns; including a flashback of his father in his underpants berating a schoolboy or, more recently, hounding David into getting a colonoscopy. Many pieces involve travel, animals, or both: his sister Gretchen totes around an insect "kill jar"; in a Denver airport, David engages with a judgmental fellow passenger; and visiting the Australian bush, he has encounters with a kookaburra and a dead wallaby. Seeking a stuffed owl for a Valentine's Day gift leads him to a taxidermist shop where he is shown gruesome oddities and confronts difficult questions about his curiosity. Another essay explores the evolution of David's 35 years-and-counting of keeping a diary and provides some great insight into his writing process. In addition to the personal essays, there are six satirical monologues in which he assumes the role of a character with a ridiculous message. One in particular involves a man's ludicrous response to the legalization of gay marriage in New York, believing his own marriage is now "meaningless". This is a must-read for fans of smart, well-crafted writing with a sense of humor. Agent: Steven Barclay Agency. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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