Archive for November 18th, 2010

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

Thursday, November 18th, 2010


By David Sedaris

The Short Take:

This is a sweet and fun book of tales starring very anthropomorphic animals, such as a pot bellied pig that is a museum director. It’s an enjoyable read, though not as touching or caustic as Sedaris’ usual tales from life.

Why?

For some reason I have a sneaky suspicion that someone wanted a David Sedaris book out in time for holiday gifting. And, goodness knows, this would be a gift that virtually anyone would enjoy. But it is a touch on the slight side when compared to his often satiric, often moving, and always enjoyable collections of observations from life, like Me Talk Pretty One Day or When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

Some version of several of  the tales included in this book were first broadcast on This American Life on NPR. And, the human qualities of the different animals are not consistent from story to story: The dogs in The Faithful Setter act just like dogs except for talking to each other. Other animals are completely humanized.

But these are mere quibbles. David Sedaris is a brilliant and insightful humorist in the vain of Mark Twain. And, it’s rather nice of him not to again use his family and friends for material in order to produce another highly readable book.

A Little Plot:

No plot here. Just a winning collection of stories highlighting human foibles but starring animals. They don’t have the succinct moral endings found in Aesop’s Fables, but you get the point and have fun getting there.

To visit his website and learn more about Sedaris and his books, click here.

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