*A collection of personal essays - surprising, disarming, heartbreakingly funny - from the #1 bestselling writer Time named America's Favorite Humorist.
David Sedaris lives in Paris. Raised in North Carolina, he has worked as a housecleaner and most famously, as a part-time elf for Macy's. He is a regular contributor to Esquire and Public Radio International, and his essays have been featured in The New Yorker and Harper's.
This collection of biographical stories from playwright and National Public Radio commentator Sedaris are at times heartwarming, poignant, sad, and laugh-out-loud funny. They cover Sedaris's dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the realization that he is gay, his father's overprotective tendencies, his mother's and sister's love for detective shows, how he comes to believe he is like Richard Kimball's Fugitive, and how he and his siblings cope with the realization that their mother is dying of cancer. Read by Sedaris with assistance from his sister Amy, this humorous look at life will make listeners feel as if they are in the closet with David, trying to trap the person who stole money from his father or on the mountaintop where one of his sisters gets married. A wonderful addition to popular collections.‘Danna C. Bell-Russel, American Univ. Natl. Equal Justice Lib., Washington, D.C.
'This is a man who could capture your heart and lift your spirits while reading out the ingredients of a rice cake.' Observer 'His best, funniest, most satisfying book.' Time Out 'Sedaris writes with a gentle but unfailing acuity and a keen eye for t
NPR commentator Sedaris can hardly be called a humorist in the ordinary sense. The memoirs and jeux d'esprit that make up his first book, Barrel Fever, are too personally revealing to be domestic satire, and the writer they reveal is more eccentric‘okay, weirder‘than most domestic satirists. Sedaris is instead an essayist who happens to be very funny. Only two of the pieces in this new collection, "A Plague of Tics" and "c.o.g.," match Barrel Fever laugh for laugh. The first concerns Sedaris's childhood nervous compulsions and disorders, the second his later, Northwestern vagabondage. In the other essays (some of which originated as NPR broadcasts), Sedaris aims for a subtler sort of comedy. Several pieces describe his relationship with his mother, who is clearly the source of Sedaris's earthy sense of humor. That he manages in these pages to sketch such a memorable, seductive character (and, without sentimentality, to describe her death from cancer) is a high achievement, perhaps his highest to date. Most of the other essays recount Sedaris's misadventures, emotional and vocational, such as those he experienced as a hitchhiker ("Drugs were the easy part; I carried them as a courtesy and offered them when asked. What threw me were the sexual advances. How much did they expect me to accomplish at fifty miles per hour, and why choose me, a perfect stranger? When I thought of sex, I pictured someone standing before me crying, `I love you so much that... I don't even know who I am anymore.' "). Even at his most wistful, Sedaris never loses his native taste for raunch, whether the subject is fearsome dildos or dressage at a nudist camp‘and although the book's off-color passages cannot be quoted here, Mrs. Sedaris would certainly approve. So will her son's many fans. (Mar.)