For as long as I can remember people have been reading David Sedaris books, often sharing some highlights. I always thought about just picking up one of his books as his covers were always outfacing at the local Borders, staring me down, yet for some reason I didn’t pick one up until now. And here’s the verdict: I don’t get it.
With each and every essay completed, I kept wondering where this writer was that everyone explained to be one of the funniest, yet truthfully insightful. I thought that maybe I just don’t get his voice, and I did myself a disservice by not reading any of his previous work. Where were the stories about all of the black guys who beat up children on Christmas!? I still gave him the benefit of the doubt as the stories about his childhood with his impossible to impress father showed the potential for more enjoyable stories, but eventually his comically judgmental essays about small-minded right-wingers even got annoying for me. It’s not like I’m a fan of those people either, but between these essays from the perspective of his enemies and his constant mentioning of travel, I felt like he was just trying to always remind us that he is a superior being.
The best I can describe it, Sedaris seemed like one of those people you would want to desperately get away from at a dinner party as they continue to boast about their lives: “Well when Hugh and I were in Germany we were packing to go to Japan and definitely not back to stinky, dirty China with its phlegm soaked sidewalks. Next time I’d like to enjoy just living in this country, but I just don’t know how that will happen when I am being tortured by the need to constantly record every happening and observation in my journal!” This is a dramatic recreation of certain passages, but it’s basically in there.
I wish I could be a fan of this man’s writings because of how much I’ve heard about him, I really do, so I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and read one of his early works at some point in the future. I just need time to forget about reading this one and the impression it gave me of the writer.
Final Grade: 2.5 out of 5