Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. AudioGO. 2013. ISBN 9781478924449. $64.99; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. MEMOIR
The most recent collection by master essayist Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames) contains many motifs that will feel familiar from his past collections—taxidermy, embarrassing medical procedures, a pants-less father, and some painstakingly described instances of culture shock. Longtime fans may find these humorous and wide-ranging personal essays less laugh-out-loud funny than his earlier works, but there is still no one like Sedaris for both unabashed self-revelation and observations about his fellow human specimens that can be both darkly sentimental and starkly critical. A highlight is the essay "Understanding Owls," in which Sedaris's need for a stuffed owl for a Valentine's gift leads to a surprising contemplation on how love works. Sedaris's unmistakable voice lends a flavor to the narration that is both wry and strangely earnest, making it worth choosing audio if only to hear the way he intones the French cry of "Obama!!!!!" in the essay of the same name.
VERDICT Highly recommended. Be aware that Sedaris does not shy away from swearing, highly detailed descriptions of bodily functions and exams, or his own bad behavior. For the right reader, those things might just be part of his charm. [The Little, Brown hc was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]
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