If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.
When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.
With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.
This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best.
Calypso by David Sedaris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Funny, genuine, personal. I read this one for SunBeamsJess Book Club. I enjoyed it as an audiobook, read by the author himself which I’d highly recommend. His accents were hilarious. The music in between was a nice touch as well. I think anyone looking for a comedic and yet heartfelt life story would enjoy this one. Some bits were a bit crude for my taste, but I overall loved the transparency anyhow. A lot to unpack, makes for great discussion.
Sort of had this standup comedian style musings, somewhat autobiographical, somewhat life observances, super entertaining, sentimental with deeper tragedies that he depicted as they lay.
Super gifted at story telling. Phrased stories with ease. This build up, these one liners with intonation, I laughed before he even said anything because I was primed into where he was going with the story with just one opening word or phrase, and everything to come did not disappoint.
I would love to hear more of his life story.
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