Saturday, May 12, 2018

David Sederis Does It Again: Calypso

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.

Calypso
by David Sedaris
Little, Brown and Company
Pub Date 29 May 2018
ISBN 9780316392389
PRICE $28.00 (USD)