REVIEW: Calypso by David Sedaris

In brief: David Sedaris is back with new stories on family, getting older and feeding tumours to turtles.

The good: Hilarious as always.

The not-so-good: David, you can’t get old!

Why I chose it: Many thanks to Hachette for the copy, which I started reading approximately 2 seconds after opening.

Year: 2018

Pages: 259

Publisher: Little, Brown (Hachette)

Rating: 10 out of 10

Fact: when I started writing the review for this book, I accidentally typed the rating as ’19 out of 10′. It isn’t that far off the truth because any David Sedaris book is a gift that entertains, makes you snort with laughter and reflect on family and the quirks that make it yours. Calypso continues in the same vein, the only difference being that David is starting to reflect on his age (increasing), general health (decreasing) and family (shrinking). The essays/stories/chapters of this book are touched with a sense of reflection and occasional sadness. That doesn’t affect the laughs though. They are there in abundance.

There are two particularly fantastic things about Calypso for me:

  1. I found out about the existence of the Japanese fashion chain Kapital. This was the main disruption to my reading but I believe it would be fully sanctioned by Amy and David.
  2. I realised that I have heard David speak about some of the occurrences in the book live. This made things extra special. (You should always go to see David Sedaris live and then get your book signed afterwards. He is a fascinating guy and actually cares about what you are saying, even though you are just some random Australian who is talking about the time someone made a complaint after eating a suppository).

Whatever David writes about, it’s with passion and sincerity. It might be about feeding a strange looking turtle, looking out for a wild fox or his devotion to his Fitbit. He has a way of telling the story like it’s just for you and it’s the first time he’s ever revealed it. Sometimes things are sad and raw, other times they are bubbling with enthusiasm. What comes through is David’s love for his family and partner. Family is at the forefront of almost all these stories. Every observation is on point, whether they make you uncomfortable or not. David Sedaris is a wry observer of human life, and Calypso is one of his best yet. A crackling read that will have you laughing way too loudly.

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One thought on “REVIEW: Calypso by David Sedaris

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  1. I am sometimes unsure if I should laugh in David Sedaris books or not. From your review he seems to be coming to terms with his mortality. I shall enjoy this one too. Someone eating a suppository- that would be hilarious.

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