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Vintage David Sedaris. Witty, satirical, exasperated, misanthropic, and laugh-out-loud observations, predicaments, and stories crafted by a master raconteur and essayist. Don't forego Calypso because you think you know Sedaris. Yes, his family and husband Hugh are familiar, but the poignancy of darker matters, including a family suicide and our current political climate, add depth and freshness. If you're wondering, Calypso is the name Sedaris bestows on a giant snapping turtle; the beast is chosen to be the recipient of Sedaris's benign tumorous growth.
When I finished Calypso I told Twitter that if David Sedaris didn't get a National Book Award nod I would burn the bookstore and its surrounding environs down. The awards came and went last night with no mention of him (I'm real happy for you Jeffrey C Stewart and imma let you finish but) and I have managed to not commit a single act of arson in response which I think we can all agree is a real sign of personal growth for ya girl here. Sedaris has gotten a lot from being a known commodity, including the sprawling family beach house he named The Sea Section that connects all the essays in this collection, but being universally acknowledged as a comedic genius is getting him overlooked as an actual genius (a pain I am all too familiar with). Calypso is Actual Genius.
David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris' 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' 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' darkest and warmest book yet-and it just might be his very best.