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Book Review

‘Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls’


bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Julie Goodrich

Little Brown and Co.

April 23, 2013



275 pp.

A new David Sedaris book is always a cause for celebration. I try to read it slowly, in little bites, to make it last longer. In his newest offering, Sedaris returns to the memoir-style essay he does so well, interspersed with timely, piercing satirical pieces that add the perfect depth. This book invokes the kind of laughter that makes this difficult to read with others around. You’ll have to stop every few pages just to read a passage out loud — if you can stop laughing long enough to get the words out.

With that trademark style and panache that screams, “Sedaris,” this collection delves into achingly funny and embarrassing vignettes that come with serious emotional overtones. Adventures with taxidermists, colonoscopies and airports fill these pages. Stories about his family — always my personal favorites — are heart-breaking and yet still enormously funny, turning the pains of childhood into comedy works to both bring attention to the wounds and heal at the same time. By sweet, dark, eccentric and thought-provoking turns, many of these stories resonate on several levels at once, staying in the brain like an ear-worm, causing spontaneous laughter when least expected.

The fiction pieces serve to highlight the personal stories, adding a taste of the author stretching his wings, much like his last book. I think the mix serves him well, better than a full book of fiction. Sedaris has become the epitome of a literary rock star. This book is a perfect example of the talent that keeps him at the top of modern writers. CV

Julie Goodrich is a book addict, comic book geek and collector of T-shirts. She currently lives in Grimes with two cats and an obscene number of books. She has a BA from the University of Iowa and an MLIS degree from the University of Wisconsin. She is actively looking for a job in a library or archive, know of one? Call her!

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