Calypso, David Sedaris 2018
Though I’m not a devoted Sedaris fan, I do enjoy sitting down with this very funny, offbeat, and spot-on humorist from time to time, and this book was clearly one of those times. Though there are significant elements of sadness and regret about his mother who died of cancer in her early 60’s, the lack of communication and relationship with his 92 year old father, and his estrangement from his younger sister, Tiffany, who committed suicide in Somerville, the dominant motif is one of amazement at the absurdity of everyday life. From the home that he impulsively buys on the North Carolina shore and then dubs Sea Section, to the management of the guest rooms in his Sussex, UK home, from the hysterical description of his Fitbit mania to the stories of his gastrointestinal troubles on a book tour, this book made me laugh out loud an many occasions. Partly it’s because I seem to identify with much of what Sedaris talks about—trying to please sales persons, picking up trash while achieving Fitbit miles–and partly it’s because he is just so funny and spot on. You know you’re in for a treat when page 2 contains the following phrase: “the washer on my penis has worn out, leaving me to dribble urine long after I’ve zipped my trousers back up.” Could be the best description of the 70+ year old male I’ve read in quite a while. If you want a break from the heavy duty classics and depressing books about US politics today, give Sedaris a try. You’ll have some good laughs and probably be nicer to your siblings going forward.