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Having grown up with super snarky David Sedaris, this is a much gentler version of the guy we love so much. I guess because it's David as a person rather than David as a writer, everything seems to have a smoother edge. Yes, the funny is still there, but the tender and sadder part of him is just more so knowing that he lived through all of this and came out on the other side as a sophisticated artist born from a picked-upon kid. It's fascinating to see how he records the racism (they ASSUME he's a racist) homophobia (they KNOW he's one) and anti-semitism (they aren't sure IF he's one) that is overt and part of his day to day life.
Now, don't get me wrong, he still often doesn't take prisoners, but knowing that comes from some real poverty, drug fueled concerns, and a desperate need to finally grow up makes following this time of his life often uncomfortable but ultimately deeply satisfying. And, as always, listening to him deliver this is just perfect. Can hardly wait for 2003 to whenever.
59 of 63 people found this review helpful
Roughly the second half of the diaries is when this goes from good to great: we meet more of the characters and experiences we have become familiar with, in new settings, or with expanded stories. His description of feeding his spiders is particularly funny, as are the stories around his book tours and signings. His experience of 9/11 is also very moving.
Sedaris references his drug-taking years in his prologue and even with his edits, the period before his move to Chicago and particularly New York does move at a slow pace. It has many interesting moments, but you find yourself wanting him to stop wasting his life and get on with it. While he is to be commended for his candour I found many of these parts to be unusually unengaging and he is not always a terribly sympathetic figure. Thankfully for his many fans, he did.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful