But gracious yes, I do love David Sedaris. I love him for his dry, self-deprecating wit and whiny voice. I love him for his honesty and cynicism. But his latest book, "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk", seemed a tad strange, even for him. Reviews claimed it was their least favorite. So it sat on my iPod since late last year, until Melissa at Avid Reader's Musings convinced me early this month that even though it might not be his best, it was still Sedaris and needed to be loved too. It was when I was wallowing in the darkest aspects of "East of Eden" that I knew it was time. I mean it is only three discs, so what they hey?
Synopsis: In this collection of short stories, Sedaris provides a wide array of lessons in morality, all told through anthropomorphic animals that mirror mankind's frailties. A racist duck, a judgemental adoptive mouse parent, an opportunistic crow, cheating dogs, inter-species dating. What initially seems very strange quickly turns into an apt examination of (mostly) ugliness that humans are capable of.
My thoughts: While Sedaris' latest installment of his humor did get more than one chuckle from me, I found it to be much darker than his normal fare. Most of the stories would make one shake their head wryly, and think that while it is a pretty sad reflection of the things men do, it is also very realistic. To present it all through animals makes for some very twisted Aesop's fables.
I think I enjoyed the last story the most, however, about a grieving owl who has lost its mate. To keep its mind off its loss, the owl wanted to better itself, so sometimes it would spare the life of its prey in exchange for some interesting piece of trivia. In one case, the owl learned about leeches that live in a hippo's butt, hang out there and sing songs. OK, I know it sounds crazy, but you had to be there. It was actually the most uplifting story in the book, believe it or not. It cured me of my "East of Eden Malaise".
A word about the audio production: What more can I say than to advise you to always listen to Sedaris on audio. His delivery is perfection. If I can't have him on audio, I don't want him.
3 out of 5 stars