A more varied and less consistent essay collection from the noted humorist. In middle age, Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames, 2008) no longer aims as often for laugh-out-loud funny as he did when he attracted a popular following almost two decades ago. Most of these essays revisit many of the areas he's previously mined for hilarity--the dysfunctional family stuff, the gay stuff, the American-living-abroad stuff--but much of what he returns to in memory seems less antic and more melancholy than before. In the funniest piece, the penultimate "The Happy Place," he discovers his Eden by embracing what others of his generation resist: the colonoscopy. "Never had I experienced such an all-encompassing sense of well-being," he writes. "Everything was soft-edged and lovely. Everyone was magnificent….I'm not sure how long I lay there, blissed-out and farting." Amid characteristic riffs on book tours, foreigners who eat funny (and Britons who talk funny), his underwear-clad, alcohol-swilling father, and his adventures in a variety of countries with his partner, Sedaris engages readers with a number of pieces in which he writes from a perspective that is obviously not the author's, raging about the decline of liberty, morality and Western civilization in general in the wake of Barack Obama. With Jesus riding shotgun, the narrator of "If I Ruled the World" froths, "I'll crucify the Democrats, the Communists, and a good 97% of the college students." Funnier and sharper is "Just a Quick E-mail," in which what appears to be a justifiable complaint about a chintzy wedding gift becomes ever more revelatory about the monstrosity of the sender. Those who have followed Sedaris through the years will find plenty to enjoy, though not much in the way of surprise or revelation.
PRAISE FOR LET'S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS:
"Sedaris is a remarkably skilled storyteller and savvy essayist. He weaves together vivid images and sensations into a coherent whole that packs a serious emotional punch....Yes, David Sedaris is really that good. And, based on this latest collection, he's getting only better."
---Heather Havrilesky, Los Angeles Times
"Sedaris makes coming-of-age seem ever new and ever remarkable, not because his life was so very different from any of our own, but because he brings fresh eyes to common experiences.... It's only natural to laugh at all the comic abundance in Let's Explore, but there's no crime in sticking around for the humanity."
-David Carr, New York Times Book Review
"Artfully milked embarrassing personal incidents for literary laughs...There are plenty of well-cut gems, including one about an ill-fated adoption of some sea turtles that's both hilarious and touching."
---Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly
"If you are a David Sedaris fan, any new book from the humorist is cause for celebration. His newest offering, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, is no exception. It's quintessential Sedaris....There's always a laugh-out-loud moment just around the corner."
---Craig Wilson, USA Today
"The funniest writer in America....Sedaris is thoughtful and sweet in addition to being slyly hilarious." ---Leigh Haber, Oprah
"This book is hysterical!"
"David Sedaris has become a signifier of taste and intelligence....Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls was the kind of book that I finished and just immediately wanted to start reading again."
---Anna Peele, Esquire
"Fresh....funny, whimsical, unexpected, and never obvious....Who would anticipate that an encounter with an Australian bird could be so damn touching?"
---Sherryl Connelly, New York Daily News
"Ridiculously funny....A find for the reader who appreciates a sense of humor....Sedaris, like the great humorists before him, hits a nerve with his wit, which brings the reader into intimate contact with the human condition."
---John Henry, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"An acute observer and master of the quick, excoriating takedown, Sedaris claims new territory in this exceptionally gutsy and unnerving collection."
---Donna Seamn, Booklist
"Hilarious....Winning....Sedaris's experiences are an endless source of good material." ---Danielle Trussoni, People