Owlish anecdotes

22 07 2018

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

A guy walks into a bar . . .

From here the story could take many turns. A guy walks into a bar and meets the love of his life. A guy walks into a bar and finds no one else is there. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless. In Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris delights with twists of humour and intelligence, remembering his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants) his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant) and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered pygmy. By turns hilarious and moving, David Sedaris masterfully looks at life’s absurdities as he takes us on adventures that are not to be forgotten.

He is a master of expanding on small observations and fragments of recollections. As the Guardian puts it:

All these superficially insignificant memories are preserved for later examination, like the dead animals that are a recurring theme – Sedaris seeks a rare stuffed owl as a gift for his partner, Hugh; his sister Gretchen carries around a jar full of dead insects to study. A joyous moment swimming with a giant sea turtle in Hawaii reminds Sedaris of how, aged 10, he captured a clutch of baby sea turtles and kept them at home for weeks, giving them minced beef to eat until their tank turned into a rancid turtle graveyard.

It’s a really entertaining and at times disturbing collection of well-honed and crafted tales which I found it was almost impossible not to read without hearing Sedaris’ voice. Anyway, having seen him read in Nottingham the other day (at a packed Royal Concert Hall) he really is very good value. Take a look at this recent commencement speech at Oberlin College for an example of his work:

Commencement Address 2018: David Sedaris from Oberlin College and Conservatory on Vimeo.

 

four stars

 

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