Calypso
David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.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 Details

TitleCalypso
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 29th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Humor, Autobiography, Memoir, Writing, Essays, Audiobook

Calypso Review

  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t think I could love David Sadaris more if I tried .....he’s already filled my entire heart - body - mind - soul - spirit - and funny bone with enough uplifting, awesome and amazing, unforgettable storytelling for a lifetime with the collection of these stories.They are passionate and affecting — achingly good - urgent and surprising - contemporary and insightful - playful and outlandish- showing us the beauty in the broken — and ultimately teaching us to choose love. A few times I laughed I don’t think I could love David Sadaris more if I tried .....he’s already filled my entire heart - body - mind - soul - spirit - and funny bone with enough uplifting, awesome and amazing, unforgettable storytelling for a lifetime with the collection of these stories.They are passionate and affecting — achingly good - urgent and surprising - contemporary and insightful - playful and outlandish- showing us the beauty in the broken — and ultimately teaching us to choose love. A few times I laughed sooooo hard ( I’ve done this once or twice with a special book:(Roz Chast comes to mind), while reading sentences to my husband at 5am in the morning- waiting for him to wake - so I could jump him with David Sedaris stories. I’m home sick with a nasty infection in my throat - but it’s true ‘good’ laugher is healing! When you can’t even finish a sentence out loud because you’re laughing so hard yourself - a nerve has been hit! I also felt deeply moved - touched - and blessed from memories David shared that were sensitive topics —DAVID IS SO OPEN TO LISTEN FOR UNDERSTANDING....including his own. I really can’t thank him enough for this book. To me- it’s the fullness - most beautiful- breathtaking- ‘rainbow-of-humanity’.So a few little tidbits... Quotes & Thoughts....Random picking.....[ There is not a dull let-up in any of these stories]. “In the ocean that afternoon, I watched my brother play with his daughter. The waves were high, and Madelyn hung laughing off Paul’s shoulders, I thought of how we use to do the same with our own father. It was the only time any of us ever touched him”. “It’s not that our father waited till this late in the game to win our hearts. It’s that he was succeeding”. “As I grow older, I find that people I know become crazy in one of two ways”....David will share in details of the TWO WAYS PEOPLE BECOME *Crazy* in the story “Leviathan”. I was laughing - shaking my head - rolling my eyes - AGREEING- laughing - laughing some more! Right on, David! I was very impress that David had a GRABBER. I’ll pick up trash if I see it on a trail to toss in the trash can .... I’ll even clean the sinks in ladies bathrooms in restaurants so that a flood of water isn’t all over the counter sink for the next person who walks in.......but I don’t carry a GRABBER. David does. So one day, David was collecting trash with his grabber. He said it’s always the usual things “ potato chip bags, candy wrappers, Redbull cans”.....but.....”a strap-on penis?” “It was Band-Aid colored about three inches long and not much bigger than a Vienna sausage”. “Bare minimum?” ...... “Like AAA breast implants?” “Who had this person been trying to satisfy, a Cabbage Patch Doll?”The stories are OUTSTANDING- SATISFYING - TO FULLY ENJOY! Taking place in airports, on the plane, about his family - his siblings ( Tiffany committed suicide) - his 92 year old father - memories of his mother - about middle age and aging - trips to the dermatologist ( I can relate)- doctors - ( I can relate)- tumors- his beach house on Emerald Isle - ( find out what people feed the turtles) -Shopping in Tokyo with one of his sisters - his relationship with his partner, Hugh- an English- speaking program David puts together for business travelers visiting the United States - obsessions with Fitbit - a love affair with an Omega juicer...etc.These stories are extremely refreshing! I want a “Calypso....I love David Sedaris” T-Shirt!Thank You Little Brown and Company, Netgalley, and *David Sedaris*
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    “I’m often misunderstood at my supermarket in Sussex, not because of my accent but because I tend to deviate from the script.Cashier: Hello, how are you this evening?Me: Has your house ever been burgled?Cashier: What?Me: Your house—has anyone ever broken into it and stolen things?With me, people aren’t thinking What did you say? so much as Why are you saying that?”Top line Sedaris aslant observations and commentary on family, love, and aging. Some of the subjects are dark, some sadly bitter-swee “I’m often misunderstood at my supermarket in Sussex, not because of my accent but because I tend to deviate from the script.Cashier: Hello, how are you this evening?Me: Has your house ever been burgled?Cashier: What?Me: Your house—has anyone ever broken into it and stolen things?With me, people aren’t thinking What did you say? so much as Why are you saying that?”Top line Sedaris aslant observations and commentary on family, love, and aging. Some of the subjects are dark, some sadly bitter-sweet, but he's funny. It's good to laugh!
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.For me, reading David Sedaris' books is like hanging out with that slightly strange friend—you may think you're crazy, but at least there's someone crazier than you out there!I've been reading Sedaris' books on and off for a number of years, since his first collection, Barrel Fever , in 1994. In addition to helping bolster my self-esteem, he's always good for a fair amount of chuckling, giggling, and all-out belly laughing, not to mention his unique ability to highlight some of life's 4.5 stars.For me, reading David Sedaris' books is like hanging out with that slightly strange friend—you may think you're crazy, but at least there's someone crazier than you out there!I've been reading Sedaris' books on and off for a number of years, since his first collection, Barrel Fever , in 1994. In addition to helping bolster my self-esteem, he's always good for a fair amount of chuckling, giggling, and all-out belly laughing, not to mention his unique ability to highlight some of life's frustrating, mystifying, and joy-inducing foibles. Plus, every now and again he simply makes me gasp at his observations. Calypso , his newest collection, certainly is chock-full of laughs, and there's a good supply of slightly gross observations about bodily functions and other physical issues. But I wasn't prepared for how emotionally rich this collection would be—on a number of occasions I found myself getting a little choked up as Sedaris pondered growing older, the aging and death of family members, the legalization of same-sex marriage and what it meant for his relationship with his boyfriend, even the mood of the country following the 2016 presidential election.It's funny—in one story Sedaris talks about his mother-in-law, and how she "likes to interrupt either to accuse you of exaggerating—'Oh, now, that's not true'—or to defend the person you're talking about, someone, most often, she has never met." Some of his observations are so outlandish that I'll admit occasionally thinking like his mother-in-law, saying to myself, "That can't be true." Regardless of whether it is or not, Sedaris had me latching on to his every word.I'm not a Puritan by any means, but I'll admit there were a few stories that were a little heavy on bodily functions and feeding things to animals (read the book and you'll know what I'm referring to). However, so much of this book was terrific, beautifully written, funny, wry, sarcastic, and even poignant. In many of the stories (as is often the case), Sedaris spoke of his family and his relationship with his father, which continues to confound him, even as his father moves into his 90s."Honestly, though, does choice even come into it? Is it my fault that the good times fade to nothing while the bad ones burn forever bright? Memory aside, the negative just makes for a better story: the plane was delayed, an infection set in, outlaws arrived and reduced the schoolhouse to ashes. Happiness is harder to put into words. It's also harder to source, much more mysterious than anger or sorrow, which come to me promptly, whenever I summon them, and remain long after I've begged them to leave." Calypso is a pretty terrific book, further testament to Sedaris' skill as a storyteller, a social commentator, and an observer of this crazy world we live in. His writing is great for some laughs (don't be shocked if you laugh out loud a time or two, so if you're self-conscious, don't read this in public), and this book is good for a few tears as well!See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
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  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is Sedaris’s finest work to date. While sticking with his usual humor and cynical delivery, he gets raw talking about topics like suicide, alcoholism, the afterlife, aging, etc. I found myself very emotionally engaged throughout the book and wanted to reach into it and give him a hug from time to time (which, no doubt, he would find disturbing and certainly have something to say about!)If you have not read Sedaris before, I think he is one of the best memoir-ists of our time. While I think this is Sedaris’s finest work to date. While sticking with his usual humor and cynical delivery, he gets raw talking about topics like suicide, alcoholism, the afterlife, aging, etc. I found myself very emotionally engaged throughout the book and wanted to reach into it and give him a hug from time to time (which, no doubt, he would find disturbing and certainly have something to say about!)If you have not read Sedaris before, I think he is one of the best memoir-ists of our time. While his stories are almost always his viewpoint on events that happened to him, it is very easy for the reader to find them relatable. I can’t imagine making the stories from my day to day as interesting as he does. His delivery and timing are perfect with just the right amount of shock value. Not all fans of a genre like stand-up comedy will find him amusing, but he definitely fits that genre and takes it up another level.As mentioned above, this is the real-est I have ever seen Sedaris – and, generally he seems pretty real. But, I just don’t remember in the past starting off on one of his stories laughing and then finding myself near tears a few moments later. It is, without a better way to describe it, perfect Sedaris. That is it – he has honed his skills over the years and perfected them with this collection.Do yourself a favor – no matter who you are – check out Sedaris. If you are already a Sedaris fan, check this out ASAP. It is truly awesome!
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    The most awful thing happened to me this past Friday. I was at the airport, my flight was delayed for hours by storms, and I ran out of material to read.I was alone, and I had nothing to read. I checked my phone. My emails. Called home. Walked around aimlessly for a while, wondering what I was going to do with myself. Finally, at the end of the terminal, I discovered a kiosk offering soft porn, chocolate and crime thriller/romance novels that I wouldn't touch with the bottom of my toes if they f The most awful thing happened to me this past Friday. I was at the airport, my flight was delayed for hours by storms, and I ran out of material to read.I was alone, and I had nothing to read. I checked my phone. My emails. Called home. Walked around aimlessly for a while, wondering what I was going to do with myself. Finally, at the end of the terminal, I discovered a kiosk offering soft porn, chocolate and crime thriller/romance novels that I wouldn't touch with the bottom of my toes if they fell onto the floor. I sighed as I sensed my fate: I was going to spend the next seven hours at the airport looking at airbrushed nipples in a Playboy magazine.And then. . . I saw it. David Sedaris's latest offering, Calypso, the book I've been denying myself, dangling it over my head like a hearty carrot, reserving it for emergency resuscitation in the case of a dreaded book slump.But, this was an emergency, right? (Little did I know, my flight would go on to be canceled after a 6 hour delay, then my second flight would be canceled the following day).Sedaris isn't Homer, but I adore him, and I reached out my hand and grabbed one of three copies like quicksilver (as though anyone was around me, purchasing a book).It's interesting that I thought of Homer with humor in that little kiosk, laughing to myself at the thought of the Greek storyteller as an offering there, among the jumbo sized bags of peanut M&Ms and the naughty magazines.David Sedaris is Greek-American, and, even though the title of his book has nothing to do with Greek mythology, it's interesting that it came out right around the same as Madeline Miller's Circe.Two novels named after Greek nymphs in the same year?You say you want a revolution. . . Well, you know. . . Sedaris's reference to “Calypso” in this collection is a snarky one. In the essay by the same name, he's disappointed that he can't find a snapping turtle in the pond that he has dubbed his own, and when he realizes that this turtle seems to belong to everyone on the island, he writes:I felt betrayed, the way you do when you discover that your cat has a secret secondary life and is being fed by neighbors who call him something stupid like Calypso.And yet. . . and yet, David spends most of his writing here ruminating about the two missing members of Team Sedaris: Mom Sharon and Sister Tiffany. Two of the goddesses from David's Greek chorus are gone and he has become preoccupied by their loss. So many of these essays express his longing for the two missing members of his tribe.And, even though this collection is far less laugh-out-loud funny than some of David's other works, it is now, officially, my favorite.
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  • j e w e l s
    January 1, 1970
    FIVE STARSIt's really difficult to write humor, and nobody does it better than David Sedaris! I find him absolutely hilarious, but I know he is not everyone's cup of tea. (WHY NOT??)Sedaris is in rare form with CALYPSO. Calypso, by the way, is the name his neighbors gave to his cat when the kitty is off living his completely hidden life. David Sedaris was not amused when he found out that name.Sedaris makes every story funny, no matter how inappropriate the subject is. You will find yourself lau FIVE STARSIt's really difficult to write humor, and nobody does it better than David Sedaris! I find him absolutely hilarious, but I know he is not everyone's cup of tea. (WHY NOT??)Sedaris is in rare form with CALYPSO. Calypso, by the way, is the name his neighbors gave to his cat when the kitty is off living his completely hidden life. David Sedaris was not amused when he found out that name.Sedaris makes every story funny, no matter how inappropriate the subject is. You will find yourself laughing out loud and think "wait, should I be laughing at that?" He travels the world, lives in different countries and meets thousands of people, but to me, his most hilarious stories involve his family. In this collection of essays, we learn about his newish beach house on the North Carolina coast where his brother (now, the Juister, not the Rooster!) and his sisters and his 92-yr-old father gather at least once a year. How David Sedaris can make you laugh at stories that involve suicide, God, alcoholism and Trump is nothing short of gifted. He knows just when to back away for maximum humor impact.As with any talented writer, I can never get enough! I will be first in line for all of his books. I especially love them on audio, he is a fabulous narrator and so very funny in his presentation.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, I must admit... I had never heard of this David Sedaris guy, but damn he is entertaining!! These stories, mostly about the himself and his partner Hugh, his parents and siblings ... and aging...just gave me the most laughter I’ve had in awhile! There is one about a stomach virus... I was just 🤣🤣🤣🤣Great stuff here!
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    5 cha cha cha stars!Others already knew that Sedaris would take care of us. I’m new to the game. Long ago, I tried reading one of his collections and quickly ditched it. Huh, this guy is funny? Not to me. I figured we did not match—his jokes, my sensibilities, no go. Everyone has a different funny bone.Well, I’m here to tell you, all my thoughts about different sensibilities and different funny bones are bull. Because damn if I’m not on my pogo stick again! I haven’t had so many laughs since Nor 5 cha cha cha stars!Others already knew that Sedaris would take care of us. I’m new to the game. Long ago, I tried reading one of his collections and quickly ditched it. Huh, this guy is funny? Not to me. I figured we did not match—his jokes, my sensibilities, no go. Everyone has a different funny bone.Well, I’m here to tell you, all my thoughts about different sensibilities and different funny bones are bull. Because damn if I’m not on my pogo stick again! I haven’t had so many laughs since Nora Ephron. I was a little turned off when I started reading, though. Sedaris starts by saying that in middle age, the only perk is that with luck, you’ll acquire a guest room. Good thing he added “with luck,” because otherwise I would have been screaming, “elitist”! As it was, I thought, ho hum, who wants to read about a rich person having a guest room? Could we get any more boring? The false Pygmy reeled me in…Sedaris started seducing me as he described bizarre conversations. One sentence he overheard a guest utter:“Now was that guy a Pygmy, or just a false Pygmy?” Sedaris regrets that he didn’t ask the guest what a false Pygmy is. The guest is now dead, and Sedaris says Googling “false Pygmy” just wouldn’t be the same. See? I love that he eavesdropped, I love that he wondered, I love that he told us! And yes, of course, I Googled “false Pygmy,” lol. How could I not? And just to let you know, I found nothing anywhere close to false Pygmies. We’ll never know, sigh. Maybe an inside joke?Meanwhile, how could I not get reeled into Sedaris’s world, with or without a false Pygmy? He picks up on everything absurd and runs with it. And there is absurdity everywhere. I love looking at the world through his eyes. He’s on alert, his mind all a-churn, waiting to hear the next bizarre thing being said, waiting to turn it into funny. Oh, how he gets me going—he makes me want to go on high alert, too, and ferret out all those absurdities just waiting to be plucked and spouted. But the truth is, I’m a chicken. Sedaris has no problem asking off-the-wall questions to strangers, and he has a ball doing it. He likes to shake it up. I would prefer to say I don’t chat it up with strangers because I’m shy. Or, full of self-righteousness, I could claim that I don’t want to impose, I don’t want to bug people. But let’s face it, I’m just a chicken through and through. Man, the great interactions I must miss! I liked every single one of his essays. Some are about his family, and he is so good at describing both the unchi-ness and coolness that comes with having a close family. One of his strengths is his fascination with language and how comical communication can be; his chapter “Your English Is So Good” is one of my favorites. My other two favorites are “Stepping Out,” about his Fitbit obsession (absolutely hysterical), and the title story, Calypso. Here are a few lines from each. I could fill pages but I’m controlling myself:From Your English Is So Good:“Increasingly at Southern airports, instead of a ‘good-bye’ or ‘thank-you’ cashiers are apt to say, ‘Have a blessed day.’ This can make you feel like you’ve been sprayed against your will with God cologne.”From Stepping Out:“Since getting my Fitbit I’ve seen all kinds of things I wouldn’t normally have come across. Once it was a toffee-colored cow with two feet sticking out of her.”From Calypso:A church lady, a pillar in her community, got dementia:“The last time Phil saw her, she leaned over in her wheelchair and at the top of her voice said, “Hitler wants my pussy.”See? How can I not love this guy?A woodcock or marmot, anyone?So sometimes I get a little OCD, okay? In the middle of all this crack up, I started noticing that Sedaris mentions a lot of animals. Hm… I must write them all down (insists the listy voice in my head). I opened my Notes app and went to town. I listed like my life depended on it. I better not forget one, I fretted. I attacked the project with fervor! Too bad no one paid me, and too bad no one gives a shit! I, on the other hand, found it fascinating that he could mention 64 (!!!) different animals when he wasn’t even writing a book about critters! Well, two animals are featured—a snapping turtle and a fox—but why were the other 62 mentioned? Isn’t that just crazy? (Yes, I realize it’s probably less crazy than I am, she who is zealously typing up all the damn animals.) I tried to get the spelling right (spelling is pretty important to me), and yes, I started categorizing them—there are domesticated animals, farm animals, sea creatures, wild animals, etc. No, don’t worry, I wasn’t insane enough to rearrange the list and put them into categories in the app; I just made mental notes. I can do that later if I have to, lol. By the way, I will gladly share the list, if you’re curious. Of course I will.Sharing tumors and turtles with Stephen ColbertI hate spoilers, but I got myself into a “situation” (i.e., I experienced a gigantic spoiler) when I decided to watch a utube video of Sedaris on the Stephen Colbert show. I was about a third of the way through the book when I suddenly needed to see and hear this funny man in action. I absolutely loved the clip--he is just as funny in person. What I didn’t know is that he would describe the hysterical title story, Calypso. OMG what a story! It is insanely creepy absurd, so watch out if you hate gross. I will only say these words: snapping turtle and tumor. (LOL, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to imagine their connection!) I know that for the rest of my life, if I hear snapping turtle or tumor, I will think of his story. Seriously. It’s a whopper.Turns out I didn’t care one iota that I heard the anecdote before reading the story. His delivery is magnificent, and Colbert’s reaction is priceless. Here is the clip, in case you don’t mind a spoiler and you want to see and hear Sedaris, not just read his words. There are several hysterical story tidbits that didn’t make it into the book, so it’s worth watching at some point.https://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-sh...Final gushSedaris is a wise guy. He’s cynical and irreverent. To some people, he may be to too crude or rude or snobby, but I didn’t see him that way. Now that I’ve turned into a raving fan, I can only see him as a comedic genius. Plus, his obvious love of and loyalty to his family humanizes him. He’s an astute critic, a curious observer of the absurdity of everyday life, a language nut, a witty storyteller with an occasional penchant for weird. This funny guy has brilliant anecdotes, insights, and word packages, and I just couldn’t get enough. One jazzy read that had me hopping happily on my pogo stick. Cha cha cha!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, so first off, I was laughing out loud within three pages of the first chapter. Well, laughing and kind of gagging. Eating your turtle’s nutrition bar with dead flies? Ugh. I’ll let David tell you the whole story. And then in the very next chapter, he talks about his sister’s suicide. This is a book that hits you with all the emotions. It’s the kind of book you want to share with friends, to read paragraph after paragraph out loud to anyone within hearing. There’s lots here. Not just the humo Ok, so first off, I was laughing out loud within three pages of the first chapter. Well, laughing and kind of gagging. Eating your turtle’s nutrition bar with dead flies? Ugh. I’ll let David tell you the whole story. And then in the very next chapter, he talks about his sister’s suicide. This is a book that hits you with all the emotions. It’s the kind of book you want to share with friends, to read paragraph after paragraph out loud to anyone within hearing. There’s lots here. Not just the humor, but the revelations that come with a certain age, of dealing with loss, of aging parents, of a relationship that has been going on for years. Sedaris is pretty much f***in crazy, but he also starts describing other crazy people and I’ll realize I’m in that category. And he’ll describe me down to a T. Each to his own! Highly recommend this book! It’s a quick read but one that packs a lot of meat into its pages. My thanks to netgalley and Little, Brown for a copy of this book.
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  • da AL
    January 1, 1970
    Combine all the mixed feelings you could ever have about life as well as family -- make your reader laugh, think, and cry -- and then add in the same way the suicide of a sibling -- only Sedaris can do this...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/To say that this is a biased review might be the understatement of the decade. Many of you are already familiar with my love for the Sedaris family. It began with Amy and Strangers With Candy before I discovered her brother was a writer. Having now read all but one of his collections – and more recently re-listening to several of them during my commute – I have no shame in admitting I am completely smitten with every single one of the Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/To say that this is a biased review might be the understatement of the decade. Many of you are already familiar with my love for the Sedaris family. It began with Amy and Strangers With Candy before I discovered her brother was a writer. Having now read all but one of his collections – and more recently re-listening to several of them during my commute – I have no shame in admitting I am completely smitten with every single one of the Sedaris clan. So much so that when a conversation between two people who didn’t enjoy Sedaris popped up on my feed last week I practically had to cut my fingers off to not interject with a "butbutbutbut" and nearly had myself convinced that the parties must be aliens and I should probably report them to the proper authorities. Then I remembered that people are allowed to have opinions and since David himself is probably well aware that he’s not everyone’s cuppa I should resign myself to that fact too. All that being said, I obviously need mental help and my rating should probably be taken with a grain dumptruck of salt.Calypso IS good, though. A stand out, even. If you are a fan this should rise to the top of the ranks. With a reoccurring theme of visits with family (and Carol) at home in Sussex as well as at the “Sea Section” beach house in North Carolina, Sedaris delivers both humorous as well as poignant memories in spades – and even though I know I’m not supposed to quote an advanced copy as anything I was privileged enough to read could still end up on the cutting room floor, this little line sums things up perfectly . . . . “Ours is the only club I’ve ever wanted to be a member of, so I couldn’t imagine quitting.” Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall during their “club meetings.” By this point in my life I’ve actually received numerous offers by friends to attend one of David Sedaris’ public readings which are put on pretty much yearly here by a local bookstore and held at a giant, beautiful, non-denominational church. While I’m flattered that people like me enough to voluntarily spend time with me without being paid to do so, my response is always no. First, because of other humans . . . . And second, but more importantly, because I’m terrified I would become this . . . . At this point I don’t think I could settle for less than Thanksgiving at the Sea Section (I still agree with Paul that the Conch Sucker should have been the winner) on Emerald Isle (on the West side of the house where the visitors stay, of course - I’m not psycho). It is there we will binge-watch My 600-lb Life. Afterwards I will help dig a hole in the sand for the turkey deep fryer to sit in and make sure I have plenty of cash on hand to tip Amy while she performs my spa treatment after I kick alllllllll of their asses at Sorry. I’m also fairly certain that I need a piece of driftwood art in my life like the one that will be featured on the cover . . . . One-eyed raccoons. Such judgey little assholes, right? But you can’t deny the other option is sheer perfection . . . . Oh, before I forget. I can't sign off until I mention the part about pants shitting . . . . You might not have to love David Sedaris in order to be my friend, but you do have to find people crapping their drawers hilarious. No exceptions.Man I can’t wait to listen to this one. Every Star.ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Hope you don’t regret it! ORIGINAL "REVIEW:"Note to Little Brown from my husband: Please give my wife the new Jason Sudakis book so she'll shut up about it already.Note to husband from myself: Please don't try to help ever again.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.A collection of twenty-one personal essays on approaching middle age with humor and hope, Calypso stitches together the poignant and the satirical. Sedaris takes on a wide array of lighthearted topics, from fitbits to vacation homes, as well as more serious subjects, like illness, addiction, and death. The author’s wit shines no matter what he discusses, though, and he paints a vivid portrait of his family across th My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.A collection of twenty-one personal essays on approaching middle age with humor and hope, Calypso stitches together the poignant and the satirical. Sedaris takes on a wide array of lighthearted topics, from fitbits to vacation homes, as well as more serious subjects, like illness, addiction, and death. The author’s wit shines no matter what he discusses, though, and he paints a vivid portrait of his family across the entire memoir. The concluding essays focusing on his sister’s suicide and his mother’s alcoholism are especially moving. A few of the middle essays drag on, but otherwise Calypso is absorbing and irreverent.
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  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    One writes out of one thing only--one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art. James BaldwinI have listened to all of Sedaris’ books and this is by far his funniest, but also his most heartrending book to date offering up all that we have come to love from the bizarre to the bleak; the p One writes out of one thing only--one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art. James BaldwinI have listened to all of Sedaris’ books and this is by far his funniest, but also his most heartrending book to date offering up all that we have come to love from the bizarre to the bleak; the pithy to the petulant; and all delivered with that same droll, yet self-effacing delivery. Because make no mistake, if you read versus listen to David Sedaris, then you are missing out on another dimension of the stories he shares.With 21 essays, most of which made me laugh to the point of tears, he shares with us snippets from his daily life, moments of absurdity, instances both familiar and not of an imperfect family and all the while digging deeper to find the hilarity in the wounds. Because the death of his mother and the tragic suicide of his sister is evident throughout these pages, it seems to me that he is sharing these losses in the only way he knows how, by showing us that laughter can heal or at least make us forget for a little while.Allan Cummings wrote in his review for The New York Times…’Death and family are what this book is all about. Maybe what all David Sedaris’ work is about? Maybe what all good writing has to be about for they are really the only constants in all our lives? We can avoid neither and the existence of both reminds us that we are no different from one another.’I wish I had the talent to have written such an eloquent statement, but I’m happy to quote Mr. Cummings for his articulateness in distilling this book to its essence.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    David Sedaris does it again with Calypso. It’s funny, intelligent and brilliant. He’s honest with his feelings and not afraid to share the good, bad and ugly. His observations are candid, weird, perverse and humorous but honest which makes his books worth the read.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    I already miss David Sedaris. I finished listening to Calypso as an audiobook narrated by Sedaris yesterday, and I would have been happy to keep listening for weeks, maybe months... In a way, my love of his personal essays is bizarre. There’s a fair bit of revolting bodily content and he circles over some of the same family dynamics more than once. But, oh my! What a gift with words! And what a gift for scrutinizing himself, his family, life and the universe! Nothing seems to be beyond his inter I already miss David Sedaris. I finished listening to Calypso as an audiobook narrated by Sedaris yesterday, and I would have been happy to keep listening for weeks, maybe months... In a way, my love of his personal essays is bizarre. There’s a fair bit of revolting bodily content and he circles over some of the same family dynamics more than once. But, oh my! What a gift with words! And what a gift for scrutinizing himself, his family, life and the universe! Nothing seems to be beyond his interest, and in his adept hands it all seemed so interesting. Funny and wry, yes. But also real and occasionally gut punching. This was my first experience with Sedaris. It won’t be my last. Thanks for the recommendation from GR friend Debbie.
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsWry and witty, this collection of essays is both hysterically funny one moment and heartbreakingly poignant the next. Nothing is taboo, and topics range from the serious to the ridiculous: aging, family, bodily functions, suicide, his Fitbit obsession (which I could relate to, having been known to 'house walk' late at night to get to my target), social commentary, literal potty humor, and much, much more. His powers of observations are spot on and he says it all without a filter. As in 4.5 starsWry and witty, this collection of essays is both hysterically funny one moment and heartbreakingly poignant the next. Nothing is taboo, and topics range from the serious to the ridiculous: aging, family, bodily functions, suicide, his Fitbit obsession (which I could relate to, having been known to 'house walk' late at night to get to my target), social commentary, literal potty humor, and much, much more. His powers of observations are spot on and he says it all without a filter. As in any collection, there were some essays I enjoyed more than others and a couple that I think would have been better left out.I have this in HB as a BOTM selection but decided to listen on audio after reading rave reviews of the author reading his own work. I’m so glad I did. His comedic timing was perfect and my one complaint is that it wasn’t longer because I was left wanting more. This the first book I’ve read by Sedaris so I can’t compare it to his previous works but I will definitely consider picking up another book by the author.Recommended by those who like wry humor and who aren’t easily offended by some R-rated material.
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  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    David Sedaris’ latest collection of humorous essays, Calypso, isn’t up there among his best books but it’s not a bad read either. The most impressive essays were on his sister Tiffany and mother Sharon. Not that they’re exploitative – Dave’s the celeb, not his immediate family (except for Amy, his actress sister) – though they are revelatory. Tiffany committed suicide in May 2013 just before her fiftieth birthday and Sedaris talks about her troubled relationship with the family, the squalid cond David Sedaris’ latest collection of humorous essays, Calypso, isn’t up there among his best books but it’s not a bad read either. The most impressive essays were on his sister Tiffany and mother Sharon. Not that they’re exploitative – Dave’s the celeb, not his immediate family (except for Amy, his actress sister) – though they are revelatory. Tiffany committed suicide in May 2013 just before her fiftieth birthday and Sedaris talks about her troubled relationship with the family, the squalid conditions she lived her and her mental problems. Despite the fact that he, like the rest of his family, clearly didn’t get along with her, he remains tactful and respectfully sympathetic when writing about her. He’s not afraid to make himself look bad either, when he talks about (though he didn’t know it at the time) his final meeting with her when she showed up at one of his readings and he asked a security guard to shut the door on her. The gossip in me wanted to know more about Tiffany as he didn’t really reveal much of her personal life but I understand his choice to be somewhat reserved.If you’ve been a long-time reader of Sedaris you’ll be familiar with all his family members, so it’s quite shocking to hear after so many books that his beloved and witty mother Sharon was an alcoholic who really fell apart once all her kids moved out. He explores his complicated feelings about why no-one in the family intervened on her destructive behaviour or why it was never addressed, even decades after her death from cancer. It was a fantastic piece. But wait - isn’t Sedaris known for light-hearted, comedic stories? He is, those were the two serious parts of the book, I just thought they were also the best ones here. And unfortunately I didn’t find anything in the other stories all that funny. There was a bit about his Greek grandmother in The Silent Treatment that genuinely made me laugh though: "I remember Yiayia saying some pretty rough things about black people, which is odd given her limited vocabulary. It's like she took English lessons from a Klan member but quit after the second day." Nor are any of the other stories that memorable or interesting. Sedaris buys a vacation house on the shores of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, for his family to use; he gets a Fitbit and becomes obsessed with walking; he and Amy go shopping for crazy clothes in Japan; he has a tumour cut off the side of his head by a fan/doctor that he plans to feed to a turtle; there’s a fox called Carol who lives in the Sussex countryside by his English house; he worries about shitting his pants; he thinks spirits are bunkum; he gets depressed over Trump’s election; and he gets mildly excited about Jim Comey vacationing nearby on Emerald Isle. It’s really not that much. To be fair, a lot of Sedaris’ stories are that light and fluffy but they’re also usually entertaining and/or amusing, and too often I found myself sighing and wondering when the story would get good. Still, David Sedaris has this very genial narrative voice that’s pleasant to read and his writing in Calypso is as artful as it’s ever been. And while there were some enjoyable essays and parts of others that were good, the book was full of too many forgettable, boring stories thin on substance to say it numbers as among his better efforts.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Calypso from Little Brown, but KNEW I would have to hear the audio version in order for my experience to be complete. I started this last Friday on my commute and remained plugged in on the way to and throughout my youngest's double-header on Saturday. I'm not a real chatty person to begin with (my husband even bought me a "Do Not Disturb" sun hat to wear to games in order to enable my introversion) - but even without the hat the gods smiled upon I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Calypso from Little Brown, but KNEW I would have to hear the audio version in order for my experience to be complete. I started this last Friday on my commute and remained plugged in on the way to and throughout my youngest's double-header on Saturday. I'm not a real chatty person to begin with (my husband even bought me a "Do Not Disturb" sun hat to wear to games in order to enable my introversion) - but even without the hat the gods smiled upon me and I was left alone with my earbuds until the entire book was finished.This morning I got in the car and started it all over again from the beginning. There just aren't any words. Is it possible to feel nostalgic for a family you don't even belong to? At this point I feel I've been allowed to be such a part of David's life that Amy, Lisa, Gretchen, Tiffany (rest her soul) and "The Rooster" . . . . errrr, I mean "The Juicester" (who has managed to become my favorite) are somehow all related to me as well. If you've never experienced Sedaris, I don't recommend starting here. Instead I'd suggest you pick up Dress You Family In Corduroy and Denim or When You Are Engulfed In Flames. You'll know right away if you are a fan or not. If so, you'll run through his works in short order and find a giant tribe of middle-aged women who will embrace you into our fold waiting for you at the finish line. If not, you might want to keep that to yourself - pre-menopausal hormones can be a real bitch.ORIGINAL "REVIEW:"Because unlike what Bobby Bouché's momma might have you believe . . . . Happiness truly comes from listening to a petite former elf tell you about his family.
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  • Mackey
    January 1, 1970
    Not a full blown review, simply sharing that I adored this book. I don't normally read "compilations" or even straight up humor books but this one caught my attention and kept it until the end. I read it in a matter hours and spent the majority of that time LMAO! All the stars for David Sedaris and his far too funny writing!
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  • Margitte
    January 1, 1970
    I won't call David Sedaris a comedian. He's not. He does not try to be funny. No, he is more of a satirist, a humorist. A fine observer of life's absurdities and oddities which provide the fuel to his many beloved, hilarious reflections. He doesn't like ghost stories and sharing recipes, but love fat people. People with 'phobian' resentments towards them should just shut up, he says (and he politely does not add that they should get over themselves, like I would have done). David is no linguist, I won't call David Sedaris a comedian. He's not. He does not try to be funny. No, he is more of a satirist, a humorist. A fine observer of life's absurdities and oddities which provide the fuel to his many beloved, hilarious reflections. He doesn't like ghost stories and sharing recipes, but love fat people. People with 'phobian' resentments towards them should just shut up, he says (and he politely does not add that they should get over themselves, like I would have done). David is no linguist, but he's a master of words. And languages. He has a bone to pick with the word Awesome. The great wall of China is awesome. But that's about it. Any other use of the word angers him.He's favorite shopping place is Japan. January is Japanuary, when he visits the country for the umpteenth time and buy weird clothes such as the clown trousers which made him $1400 poorer and comes up to his nipples. He needs suspenders to wear it. He's a 'wee' man, he says, and clothes in Japan just fits so much better...He is an American living in England now, cleaning up the environment around him while enslaving himself to his Fitbit. I was peeking sideways to mine lying closely locked up in a little 'casket' in the bookshelf behind my bed. Mine had "R.I.P." written all over it. I had enough of its bossy-ness! But David's lured him on to wander the streets of his British neighborhood in West Sussex, while waiting for his Fitbit to vibrate and congratulate him on covering twenty odd miles for the day. He just craves the vibration when he's done well. In the process he cleans up the trash, spending hours every day doing that, and even had a garbage truck named after him by his city council! He had to come up with a nickname for the truck. It was called "Pig Pen Sedaris". And he bought a special outfit in Japan, for his daily obsessive compulsive Fitbit mission in Britain. "My Fitbit thinks I can do better"—and man, does it work!On foot, nothing escapes my attention: a potato-chip bag stuffed into the hollow of a tree, an elderly mitten caught in the embrace of a blackberry bush, a mud-coated matchbook at the bottom of a ditch. Then there’s all the obvious stuff: the cans and bottles and great greasy sheets of paper fish-and-chips come wrapped in. You can tell where my territory ends and the rest of England begins. It’s like going from the Rose Garden in Sissinghurst to Fukushima after the tsunami. The difference is staggering......Other animals I’ve seen on my walks are foxes and rabbits. I’ve stumbled upon deer, stoats, a hedgehog, and more pheasant than I could possibly count. All the badgers I find are dead, run over by cars and eventually feasted upon by carrion-eating slugs, which are themselves eventually flattened and feasted upon by other slugs.It was first the toffee-colored cow with two feet sticking out of her that reminded him of his kidney stones. The excruciating pain almost did him in. Yet, this cow lay down for a few minutes, then stood up and continued grazing. "Really?" I said to her, "You can't go five minutes without eating?""Do you think she knows there's a baby at the end of this?" I asked Maja after she returned.His Fitbit enlarged his territory which needed cleaning up.We saw David in Arundel picking up a dead squirrel with his grabbers,” the neighbors told Hugh. “We saw him outside Steyning rolling a tire down the side of the road,” “…in Pulborough dislodging a pair of Y-fronts from a tree branch.” Before the Fitbit, once we’d eaten dinner, I was in for the evening. Now, though, as soon as I’m finished with the dishes, I walk to the pub and back, a distance of 3,895 steps. There are no streetlights where we live, and the houses I pass at eleven p.m. are either dark or very dimly lit. I often hear owls and the flapping of woodcocks disturbed by the beam of my flashlight.On his fortieth birthday he had to give up something. It was jeans and dip. He was not ready to give up smoking yet. Watch this interview with David Sedaris by one of my all-time favorite late-night comedians, Craig Ferguson. http://youtu.be/XUgRTaY7KIEDavid can take virtually any subject and turn it into something meaningful, universally relevant, funny and deeply disturbing, all at the same time. This book was my first encounter with this mensch. So many similarities in our outlook on life, but many differences as well. The author had me rolling around with laughter on his Fitbit obsession and his lipoma. If you were to throw a lipoma to a dog, he’d swallow it in a single bite, then get that very particular look on his face that translates to Fuck. Was that a tumor? There’d be something to see. Turtles, on the other hand, never change expression and live with fewer regrets.All through the book I had this bouts of giggles when incredulity fused with astonishment. He is, to me, a much kinder version of Christopher Hitchenson, so immaculately schooled in the American political correctness, but with a touch of enough arrogance to overrule it when he sees fit. That's the refreshing honesty flowing rampantly through this text, elevating him to a much higher level of consciousness. When visitors leave, I feel like an actor watching the audience file out of the theater, and it was no different with my sisters. The show over, Hugh and I returned to lesser versions of ourselves. We're not a horrible couple, but we have our share of fights, the type that can start with a misplaced sock and suddenly be about everything......At five-five, I never give much thought to my height until I do. Whenever I come across a man my size—at the airport, say, or in a hotel lobby—I squeak the way a one-year-old does when it spots a fellow baby. It's all I can do not to toddle over and embrace the guy. His narrative is eloquent and humorous, yet underscored by the anomalies and sadness of family and life. His clown trousers maybe more than just a prop feeding his artistic passions. While working through his mid-life challenges in his writing, he also brings a new appreciation to the reader of the little moments we would otherwise have missed. And perhaps his attitude and take on these instances in time might just convince us to do the same: bring back laughter where it is needed the most. Sometimes laughter is the next best thing. Reading authors such as David Sedaris is the first. Well, that is, if you push sliced-bread and ice-cream aside and forget about children :-)I will absolutely read Sedaris again.RECOMMENDED.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    As the Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert was airing on Livestream I opened my ebook and began to read. I was soon laughing out loud. A few paragraphs later I laughed even longer and harder. I had to read out loud to my hubby. And then I knew. I could not read Calypso by David Sedaris while listening to the symphony.I could not read it in bed. I would laugh my husband awake. When could I read it? During the day, with the windows open to let in the fresh spring air, so inviting after a very, very As the Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert was airing on Livestream I opened my ebook and began to read. I was soon laughing out loud. A few paragraphs later I laughed even longer and harder. I had to read out loud to my hubby. And then I knew. I could not read Calypso by David Sedaris while listening to the symphony.I could not read it in bed. I would laugh my husband awake. When could I read it? During the day, with the windows open to let in the fresh spring air, so inviting after a very, very, long winter? What would the neighbors think?Sedaris, Sedaris. You are such a problem, I thought.Then I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride because the next story was about David's youngest sister's suicide. All of the siblings had pulled away from the family to "forge our own identities," he explained; except Tiffany stayed away. And later in the book, he remembers his mother's alcoholism and her early death, his father's eccentricities, living with a defunct stove so his kids could inherit more money.You laugh, you shudder, you feel slightly ill, and you feel sad. Because Sedaris is ruthless enough to write about life, real life, his life in particular, and we all see our own families and own lives in his stories.I loved Sedaris's chapter on the terrible tyranny of his Fitbit, and how he was adamant that he got to keep his fatty tumor to feed to a turtle. That crazy moment with his dad drove past a man exposing himself and then u-turned to take another look, his young daughter in the car. Looking at family photos, Sedaris recalled "that moment in a family's life when everything is golden" and the future held promise. In middle age, looking forward ten years "you're more likely to see a bedpan than a Tony Award."Ouch. Too close to home, David. I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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  • Carole
    January 1, 1970
    Calypso by David Sedaris makes you feel like you are spending time with an old friend. He discusses family issues, life, death, his summer home named Sea Section, ordinary life, etc. Every sentence is perfectly formed and you will laugh and you will cry but most of the time you will cry while laughing. If you can, try the audiobook version which is read by the author. He is an accomplished writer and reads his material with panache. I enjoyed Calypso very much.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    Looks like CALYPSO is taking over the world! Yay! Update: Now listening to the audio: FANtastic! In Calypso, David gives us 21 essays, YES, twenty-one essays or stories for us to laugh and maybe even tear-up a little. Some of these essays have been published in various periodicals before, primarily, "The New Yorker," but not to worry. Sedaris' fans follow David like a bloodhound (myself included), and most of these stories sound fresh to me. David seems more pensive, slightly introspective in th Looks like CALYPSO is taking over the world! Yay! Update: Now listening to the audio: FANtastic! In Calypso, David gives us 21 essays, YES, twenty-one essays or stories for us to laugh and maybe even tear-up a little. Some of these essays have been published in various periodicals before, primarily, "The New Yorker," but not to worry. Sedaris' fans follow David like a bloodhound (myself included), and most of these stories sound fresh to me. David seems more pensive, slightly introspective in these essays. He talks much more about his family in the present-day, which we love to hear, and he clearly loves to tell. His Dad is now 92 but sharp and healthy. It was nice to hear him mention Hugh's late father and what he was like. Also lots more about Gretchen, Lisa, Tiffany and Amy. Hearing about his brother Paul, and his wife Kathy and their daughter Maddy was wonderful. I feel like we're closet cousins to the Sedaris' family and we have a right to know how they're doing! Right!David is still irreverent, surly and hilarious as always, so there's plenty of laughter. One of my favorite stories is, 'Perfect Fit'; where Amy, Gretchen and David go shopping in Tokyo at a clothes store called, Kapital: "The clothes they sell are new but appear to have been previously worn, perhaps by someone who was shot or stabbed and then thrown off a boat. Everything looks as if it has been pulled from the evidence rack at a murder trial."Asked by Hugh and Ma Hamrick why they shop there, "Obviously we have some hole we're trying to fill, but doesn't everyone? And isn't filling it with berets the size of toilet-seat covers, if not more practical, then at least healthier than filling it with frosting or heroin or unsafe sex with strangers?"Initially, I wanted to comment on each of the 21 essays, but that review would be as long as the book itself. The BOOK is what you want to read. You'll love it, as I did!Thank you NetGalley and Little, Brown and Co.Note: I just received my book, which I preordered, and the cover is so cool. It's made to look and feel like actual wood with grain and all.Secondly, in one of David's stories he mentions signing his name to 5,000 blank sheets of paper, which get inserted into the books as they're bound. He also says at one point he wasn't in a good mood so his signature didn't look like it normally does. In fact, Hugh even commented on this as he was signing. Well David, I think I got ONE OF THOSE BOOKS! You're right, it doesn't look like your normal signature. So, next time I see you, you're signing my book again!
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  • Diane Barnes
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars. Because it's David Sedaris. This one is a mixture of serious and funny, new for him, new for us. There are essays here about his sister's suicide, his mother's alcholism, his difficult relationship with his father, and the agony of realizing he's a gay man in the South before it was accepted. Around every corner, though, there are the laughs, the twists and turns of a mind that thinks like us, only he has the courage to say it aloud or write it down. And he lets us into his family of 3 5 stars. Because it's David Sedaris. This one is a mixture of serious and funny, new for him, new for us. There are essays here about his sister's suicide, his mother's alcholism, his difficult relationship with his father, and the agony of realizing he's a gay man in the South before it was accepted. Around every corner, though, there are the laughs, the twists and turns of a mind that thinks like us, only he has the courage to say it aloud or write it down. And he lets us into his family of 3 crazy/wonderful sisters and his brother, his Trump loving 94 year old father, his long time partner Hugh, and he lets them be our family too, for a while.If you have never read David Sedaris, this book is not the best place to start. If you are not a fan, because of his irreverence and outrageousness, this is not for you at all. But for those of us who are his fans (and there are millions of us!), this book is the best of the best, so far.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    Family, mortality, middle age-dom, Donald Trump and public bouts of diarrhea are at the heart of this audio book, along with his obsession over his fitbit, and probably too many more things to count, honestly, I was laughing too hard to try and keep track. I finally had a chance to finish listening to yesterday, and was so glad I made it through before being interrupted by phone calls or my car telling me which exit to take. I listened to the first half last Saturday and had been looking for a n Family, mortality, middle age-dom, Donald Trump and public bouts of diarrhea are at the heart of this audio book, along with his obsession over his fitbit, and probably too many more things to count, honestly, I was laughing too hard to try and keep track. I finally had a chance to finish listening to yesterday, and was so glad I made it through before being interrupted by phone calls or my car telling me which exit to take. I listened to the first half last Saturday and had been looking for a nice day to head out for a drive I had planned, and was glad the rain did, in fact, go away – and just in time.I have not read or listened to any of his other books, but I may have to change that. Laughter seems to be the only thing worth pursuing lately, it soothes me in the way a nice cocktail would have soothed my mother. Many, many thanks from the bottom of my heart to my friend Victoria, whose review convinced me to give this author, this book a listen.Victoria’s review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    Calypso is a good collection of humorous essays by David Sedaris. I listened to this on audio, read by Sedaris himself, which was a fun experience. He's a talented performer and I (mostly) enjoyed the book.I say mostly because, like other Sedaris books I've read, he's best appreciated in small doses. I made the mistake of listening to Calypso in longer chunks, and the snarkiness became a bit tiresome at times. Had I only listened to one essay at a time, I think I would have enjoyed the overall b Calypso is a good collection of humorous essays by David Sedaris. I listened to this on audio, read by Sedaris himself, which was a fun experience. He's a talented performer and I (mostly) enjoyed the book.I say mostly because, like other Sedaris books I've read, he's best appreciated in small doses. I made the mistake of listening to Calypso in longer chunks, and the snarkiness became a bit tiresome at times. Had I only listened to one essay at a time, I think I would have enjoyed the overall book more.But I did have some favorite essays, including ones about his Fitbit obsession, about having houseguests, about his mother's alcoholism, about losing his sister, about the U.S. 2016 election, and about his relationship with his father. Sedaris always does a good job of mixing pathos with humor, and this collection is particularly strong with the pathos.Highly recommended for fans of David Sedaris.My rating: 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars
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  • Hilary
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. Chatty, mildly amusing memories about life, family life, relationships and illness. I found my self skimming in some places and mildly interested and amused in others. This might have more appeal or relevance to US readers perhaps.
  • Jessaka
    January 1, 1970
    What was that?What was that? Who was that guy? I saw that I had this book on audio, and thought, “Hmm. I don’t remember getting this book. It sounds like a book about Cuba or Puerto Rico. Sounds good.” Then I begin listening to it. What is this? Well, I finished the book because, you know, if you buy a book you should at least finish it. Oh, wait, I didn’t buy it. Then I saw that he wrote Me Talk Pretty One Day. I thought that that was a book about someone who had a medical condition and hoped t What was that?What was that? Who was that guy? I saw that I had this book on audio, and thought, “Hmm. I don’t remember getting this book. It sounds like a book about Cuba or Puerto Rico. Sounds good.” Then I begin listening to it. What is this? Well, I finished the book because, you know, if you buy a book you should at least finish it. Oh, wait, I didn’t buy it. Then I saw that he wrote Me Talk Pretty One Day. I thought that that was a book about someone who had a medical condition and hoped to be able to one day say, “I talk pretty well." No, it is this strange man again, making jokes about things, jokes that are quirky, jokes that made me laugh. And laugh I did, all though my husband’s TV news programs, but at least I had on ear phones, so he couldn't’ hear this crazy guy. So, if you are tired of all the negative news, even by comedians on TV, get yourself this book, and it will cheer you up, because whoever this guy is, and I take it that he is famous, he is really funny. And then read his other books.
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  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    January 1, 1970
    Ladies book club selectionAudiobook #189I wish I owned every Sedaris book on audio. He can make the most tragic or gruesome topic hilarious.
  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    Personal and tender, yet hilarious.. for me a perfect first book from Sedaris! These stories are outstanding.. just so darn relatable and the honesty he spills out onto his work is deeply touching. This is an amazing book I highly recommend. ❤ 5 ☆ Personal and tender, yet hilarious.. for me a perfect first book from Sedaris! These stories are outstanding.. just so darn relatable and the honesty he spills out onto his work is deeply touching. This is an amazing book I highly recommend. ❤️ 5 ☆
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