Hachette Audio. May 2022. 7:30 hrs. ISBN 9781668604595. $26.98. LIT
Essayist Sedaris (Calypso) manages to wring humor from a problematic parent’s death and a worldwide pandemic. His writing style is masterfully crafted to take the ordinary moment and make it exquisite, to arrange it on a pedestal so that we can examine its beauty or its ridiculousness. Sedaris’s self-deprecating style helps people laugh at themselves and the absurdity of society by pulling back the curtain to expose baseless foundations. Life is never all perfect or all catastrophic; there are horrendous moments and moments of grace in its entirety. Sedaris’s writing is finely honed, so precisely put together that his narration is the best way to take it in. Readers who are not fully integrated into the material will miss the fullness of the experience: the pause, the innuendo, the tone. Some of the audio is pulled from live shows, and as Sedaris points out about his one Zoom show, audience response is critical. He calls audiences “unpaid editors” who help hone his craft and delivery.
VERDICT Listeners will laugh until their sides ache.
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