Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

3.3 540
by David Sedaris, Ian Falconer
     
 

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Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new illustrated collection of animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy

Overview

Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new illustrated collection of animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

With original illustrations by Ian Falconer, author of the bestselling Olivia series of children's books, these stories are David Sedaris at his most observant, poignant, and surprising.

Editorial Reviews

"Someone suggested that my new book is bedtimes stories for children who drink." That judgment can't be taken too seriously, but David Sedaris' Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk does qualify as a contrarian contemporary redo of Aesop animal fables. A Barnes & Noble Bestseller now in paperback and NOOK Book.

Carolyn Kellogg
Wickedly funny....These are some of Sedaris's best stories...The animals have given Sedaris's humor some new teeth: tiny and sharp, and sometimes even ready to draw blood.
Los Angeles Times
Chris Jones
Wry and amusing.
Chicago Tribune
Craig Wilson
Great fun.
USA Today
Heller McAlpin
Outrageous....Wonderful...Sedaris's anthropomorphized creatures may seem domesticated, but this book, like his more familiar essays, is...wildly inspired—and a rip-roaring hoot.
NPR
Leah Greenblatt
For the strong-stomached, these tales are toxic little treats, fun-sized Snicker bars with a nougaty strychnine center.
Entertainment Weekly
Raleigh News & Observer
"The funniest man on the planet."
Leah Greenblatt - Entertainment Weekly
"For the strong-stomached, these tales are toxic little treats, fun-sized Snicker bars with a nougaty strychnine center."
Craig Wilson - USA Today
"Great fun."
Carolyn Kellogg - Los Angeles Times
"Wickedly funny....These are some of Sedaris's best stories...The animals have given Sedaris's humor some new teeth: tiny and sharp, and sometimes even ready to draw blood."
Chris Jones - Chicago Tribune
"Wry and amusing."
Heller McAlpin - NPR
"Outrageous....Wonderful...Sedaris's anthropomorphized creatures may seem domesticated, but this book, like his more familiar essays, is...wildly inspired--and a rip-roaring hoot."
Publishers Weekly
Like a modern-day Aesop or La Fontaine, Sedaris has his darkly comic and deeply cynical (if somewhat rambling) morality stories enacted by animals. Although Sedaris typically narrates his works solo, here he is joined by Dylan Baker, Siân Phillips, and (the incomparable) Elaine Stritch. The dry tones of both women are particularly well suited to the knowing commentary offered by various domesticated, barnyard, and wild animals on casual racism, self-congratulatory sanctimony, poor excuses for adultery, and fad spiritualism, among other common societal ills. The audiobook features a bonus fable not available in the text version of the book; in addition, the third CD includes PDFs of the book's illustrations by Ian Falconer (writer/illustrator of the Olivia picture book series). A Little, Brown hardcover. (Sept.)
Judith Newman - People
PRAISE FOR WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES:

"He's the best there is."

Christopher Muther - Boston Globe
"A joy to read....Sedaris [is] a connoisseur of human nature at its worst."
Mark Washburn - Charlotte Observer
"Sedaris is certainly worthy of hero worship....He is a master pathfinder."
From the Publisher
"Outrageous....Wonderful...Sedaris's anthropomorphized creatures may seem domesticated, but this book, like his more familiar essays, is...wildly inspired—and a rip-roaring hoot."—Heller McAlpin, NPR"

Wickedly funny....These are some of Sedaris's best stories...The animals have given Sedaris's humor some new teeth: tiny and sharp, and sometimes even ready to draw blood."—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times"

Wry and amusing."—Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune"

For the strong-stomached, these tales are toxic little treats, fun-sized Snicker bars with a nougaty strychnine center."—Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly"

Great fun."—Craig Wilson, USA Today"

The funniest man on the planet."—Raleigh News & Observer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316038409
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
10/04/2011
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
171,954
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

A Modest Bestiary
By Sedaris, David

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Sedaris, David
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316038393

The Cat and the Baboon

The cat had a party to attend, and went to the baboon to get herself groomed.

“What kind of party?” the baboon asked, and she massaged the cat’s neck in order to relax her, the way she did with all her customers. “Hope it’s not that harvest dance down on the riverbank. My sister went last year and said she’d never seen such rowdiness. Said a fight broke out between two possums, and one gal, the wife of one or the other, got pushed onto a stump and knocked out four teeth. And they were pretty ones too, none of this yellowness you find on most things that eat trash.”

The cat shuddered. “No,” she said. “This is just a little get-together, a few friends. That type of thing.”

“Will there be food?” the baboon asked.

“Something,” the cat sighed. “I just don’t know what.”

“ ‘Course it’s hard,” the baboon said. “Everybody eating different things. You got one who likes leaves and another who can’t stand the sight of them. Folks have gotten so picky nowadays, I just lay out some peanuts and figure they either eat them or they don’t.”

“Now, I wouldn’t like a peanut,” the cat said. “Not at all.”

“Well, I guess you’d just have drinks, then. The trick is knowing when to stop.”

“That’s never been a problem for me,” the cat boasted. “I drink until I’m full, and then I push myself away from the table. Always have.”

“Well, you’ve got sense, then. Not like some of them around here.” The baboon picked a flea from the cat’s head and stuck it gingerly between her teeth. “Take this wedding I went to—last Saturday, I think it was. Couple of marsh rabbits got married—you probably heard about it.”

The cat nodded.

“Now, I like a church service, but this was one of those write-your-own-vows sorts of things. Neither of them had ever picked up a pen in their life, but all of a sudden they’re poets, right, like that’s all it takes—being in love.”

“My husband and I wrote our own vows,” the cat said defensively.

“Sure you did,” countered the baboon, “but you probably had something to say, not like these marsh rabbits, carrying on that their love was like a tender sapling or some damn thing. And all the while they had this squirrel off to the side, plucking at a harp, I think it was.”

“I had a harp player at my wedding,” the cat said, “and it was lovely.”

“I bet it was, but you probably hired a professional, someone who could really play. This squirrel, I don’t think she’d taken a lesson in her life. Just clawed at those strings, almost like she was mad at them.”

“Well, I’m sure she tried her best,” the cat said.

The baboon nodded and smiled, the way one must in the service industry. She’d planned to tell a story about a drunken marsh rabbit, the brother of the groom at last week’s wedding, but there was no point in it now, not with this client anyway. Whatever she said, the cat disagreed with, and unless she found a patch of common ground she was sure to lose her tip. “You know,” she said, cleaning a scab off the cat’s neck, “I hate dogs. Simply cannot stand them.”

“What makes you bring that up?” the cat asked.

“Just thinking,” the baboon said. “Some kind of spaniel mix walked in yesterday, asking for a shampoo, and I sent him packing, said, ‘I don’t care how much money you have, I’m not making conversation with anyone who licks his own ass.’ ” And the moment she said it, she realized her mistake.

“Now, what’s wrong with that?” the cat protested. “It’s good to have a clean anus. Why, I lick mine at least five times a day.”

“And I admire you for it,” the baboon said, “but you’re not a dog.”

“Meaning?”

“On a cat it’s… classy,” the baboon said. “There’s a grace to it, but a dog, you know the way they hunker over, legs going every which way.”

“Well, yes,” the cat said. “I suppose you have a point.”

“Then they slobber and drool all over everything, and what they don’t get wet, they chew to pieces.”

“That they do.” The cat chuckled, and the baboon relaxed and searched her memory for a slanderous dog story. The collie, the German shepherd, the spaniel mix she claimed to have turned away: they were all good friends of hers, and faithful clients, but what would it hurt to pretend otherwise and cross that fine line between licking ass and simply kissing it?



Continues...

Excerpted from Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by Sedaris, David Copyright © 2010 by Sedaris, David. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

David Sedaris is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Public Radio International's "This American Life." He is the author of the books When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and Barrel Fever.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
December 26, 1956
Place of Birth:
Johnson City, New York
Education:
B.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1987

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