David Sedaris is a five-star author.
He has a knack for writing about common life experiences with irreverence and black humor. His obsession with Fitbits. Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dabbling unsucessfully in performance art. Conversations with family.
In Calypso, Sedaris ruminates on some of the darker aspects of his life. His sister’s suicide. The realization that his mother was not just unconventional, but likely alcoholic. His father’s impending death. Trump’s election.
Lest you think he’s turned into a Debbie Downer, Sedaris still manages to look at these situations with the same sarcastic wit he applies to, say, invasive dental work. Not a walk in the park, but we’re certainly not crying into our beers here.
There are funny bits to be found here, too, such as America’s overuse of the word “awesome.”
“In France the most often used word is “connerie,” which means “bullshit,” and in America it’s hands-down “awesome,” which has replaced “incredible,” “good,” and even “just OK.” Pretty much everything that isn’t terrible is awesome in America now.”
• David Sedaris, Calypso
And of course, there’s the satisfying culmination of his childhood dream – purchasing a beach house and naming it “The Sea Section.” Brilliant name.
The book is maybe not as razor-sharp as Me Talk Pretty One Day. Not as self-effacing as Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
But Calypso is, in a word, awesome.
Published May 2018
Little, Brown and Company