Synopses & Reviews
"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art" (The Christian Science Monitor
) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.
Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life—having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds—to the most deeply resonant human truths.
Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring." (Seattle Times).
"Sedaris, king of the poignantly absurd, triumphs in this sixth essay collection (after 2004's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim). There is less focus here on the Sedaris clan as a whole, though the various members make memorable and often hilarious appearances. In "The Understudy," the Sedaris siblings band together to battle the odious babysitter Mrs. Peacock, while in "Town and Country," Sedaris and sister Amy discuss what their father would be most offended to find on his daughter's coffee-table (hint: The Joy of Sex comes in a distant second). Leaving America behind, Sedaris also regales readers with his experiences around the globe, from sitting in a Parisian doctor's office wearing only his underwear in "In the Waiting Room" to warding off birds in the French countryside with record albums in "Aerial." In the collection's longest essay, "The Smoking Section," Sedaris recounts his three-month stay in Tokyo, where he successfully quits smoking and unsuccessfully attempts to learn Japanese. Sedaris records in "Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie?" his more glaring mistakes in life, but he should be satisfied with the knowledge that this latest endeavor is anything but." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Older, wiser, smarter and meaner, Sedaris defies the odds once again by delivering an intelligent take on the banalities of an absurd life....Just when Sedaris seems to have disappeared down the rabbit hole of ironic introspection, he delivers a cracking blow of insight that leaves you reeling." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"This latest collection proves that not only does Sedaris still have it, but he's also getting better....Sedaris's best stuff will still—after all this time—move, surprise, and entertain." Booklist
"It's not just that Sedaris's crisp prose is humorous. What makes his work a consistent joy to read is his deliciously skewed vision of the world, and his deadpan delivery."--Christopher Muther, Boston Globe
"The Sedaris genius is to be incredibly particular, not to mention peculiar, and yet take fantastic and rapid leaps to the universal. . . . He'll be telling some weird story, and all of a sudden, just at the end, it turns out not only to be about him, but also about you. He's a master at evoking fellow feeling."--Nancy Dalva, New York Observer
"David Sedaris is horribly observant. He sees things as they are.... He'll be telling some weird story, and all of a sudden, just at the end, it turns out not only to be about him, but also about you."--Nancy Dalva, New York Observer
"What makes Sedaris's work transcendent is its humanity: He adores some truly awful people, yet he invests them with dignity and even grace.... He's the best there is."--Judith Newman, People
"The preeminent humorist of his generation...His reluctant charm and talent for observing every inch of the human condition remain intact."
"Sedaris is certainly worthy of hero worship-he so breezily translates the landscape through his bent, prismatic view that he makes you forget what a skillful narrator he is."--Mark Washburn, Charlotte Observer
"The new book by renowned gay humorist David Sedaris is even better on CD; Sedaris reads the stories, and his comedic timing adds another layer of wit to the already hilarious prose."--L.A. Times
In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, his sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing.
"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art," (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.
Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him once more. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine. From armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds to the awkwardness of having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a sleeping fellow passenger on a plane, David Sedaris uses life's most bizarre moments to reach new heights in understanding love and fear, family and strangers. Culminating in a brilliantly funny (and never before published) account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection will be avidly anticipated.
About the Author
David Sedaris is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and Public Radio International's "This American Life." He is the author of the books Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and Barrel Fever.
Table of Contents
This Old House
Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie?
What I Learned
The Monster Mash
In the Waiting Room
Solutions to Saturday's Puzzle
Adult Figures Charging Toward a Concrete Toadstool
All the Beauty You Will Ever Need
Town and Country
The Man in the Hut
Of Mice and Men
April in Paris
The Smoking Section