So according to my booklog, the last David Sedaris book I read was Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim back in 2004. Which is true as far as it goes, but only because I listened on audiobook to When You Are Engulfed in Flames some years later. And so anyway, now I have read David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, the latest of his essay collections.

I mention the audiobook in there, because Sedaris is a natural speaker, and his essays work brilliantly when read by him. And I can’t help but think that maybe I should have listened to this book, because as read on paper, it’s… disappointing. And some of this is just high standards (Me Talk Pretty One Day is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read), but I think also a lot of this is that Sedaris has already mined his life for the most interesting incidents and insights in his earlier works, so what he’s left with now is the thin gruel of “things that have happened recently to a successful middle-aged man.” He’s still a fine stylist and all, but there’s only so much you can do with that material.

So the book was fine and all, an enjoyable quick read that served to pass the time for me in courtrooms and doctor’s offices, but it was slight and forgettable, and I think that on the whole it would have made for better listening in the car.


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