Monday, August 4, 2008


David Sedaris makes me laugh 'till it hurts. Bill Bryson makes me chuckle, sure, but the darker, taboo nature of Sedaris's stories hits harder. There is something middle-aged and middle-classed about Bryson that keeps me distanced. I just can't get lost in his antics at the post office or his basement.

What brings me to humor books is a recent crush of responsibility. With a new job and school starting soon, a little levity was what the doctor ordered to mellow out. I could tell I was gettin' prickly because Lauren suggested that she run to the store and grab me some beer "to cool off." That generous suggestion, trust me, had never been offered before and was my first clue that I needed an outlet.

So where could I turn in this, my hour of need? Sedaris. And he didn't disappoint. My favorite story in this collection was "get your ya ya's out!", a recollection of his Greek grandmother and her rivalry with his mother. The reader is given a great ride though the eyes of Sedaris as a young boy. He does an amazing job of recreating adolescence: our long-forgotten insecurities and boyhood interests are brought back to life with detail.

I would recommend this book to anyone. Still, it is not my favorite of his works. Dress your family in Corduroy and Denim probably holds that title. But, really, you can't miss with Sedaris, maybe the funniest man alive today.

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