David Sedaris is back with a new collection about aging, fit bits, beach houses, death, and traveling to Japan. Calypso is the quintessential Sedaris essay collection: it’s funny but also really poignant and you’ll laugh because it is so true. I read this collection instead of listening to the audiobook and while I missed Sedaris’ narration, I still enjoyed the collection.
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.
When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.
With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.
This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best
I absolutely loved the essay on fit bits. Sedaris talks about how the little fitness tracker took over his life to the point that he was walking 60k steps a day and picked up so much trash on the side of the road that they renamed a garbage truck after her. I was rolling on the floor laughing, because I also fell victim to a fit bit once and it did eat away at my soul. Whoops.
This was a great laugh but also just a nice read for a summer day. It touches on some heavy topics, like having a tumor and his sister’s suicide and his mother’s alcoholism, but Sedaris has such a good way of dealing with life that you don’t stop laughing until the very end. I just love his sense of humor and I can’t wait for his next book. Maybe a little early to start the countdown since this one came out at the end of May…