Thursday, July 3, 2008

When You are Engulfed in Flames

I *heart* David Sedaris. Every time he comes to Austin to give a reading, I go hear him. I was fortunate enough to get to meet him one of those times. I love his style of writing and his wry sense of humor. I love the way, in interviews, he doesn't seem to realize how funny he is.

So I had been eagerly awaiting this new book. But I was a tiny bit disappointed. Me Talk Pretty One Day is still my favorite of all his collections of essays. I do like this book better than his last, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

I guess most of my disappointment stems from the fact that I've read or heard him read pretty much every essay in the book. Most of the pieces had already been published in "The New Yorker," to which I subscribe.

The tone of this book is more gentle than that of previous collections. Many of the essays are about his relationship with his boyfriend Hugh, and they are really very sweet. After reading them, you can see why Sedaris has been with Hugh for almost 20 years. Although, I am still baffled about why Hugh is with Sedaris, unless Sedaris doesn't give himself the credit he deserves for his side of the relationship. When I said that to one friend, she suggested that maybe Hugh stayed because of the money. But you find out in these essays that they've been together since before Sedaris was rich and famous. They met back when Sedaris was still working as a housekeeper, back when he was heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol.

My favorite section of the book, though, is the piece with Sedaris's journal entries from the three months he and Hugh spent living in Japan. I laughed out loud at many of the entries.

Now that this book is published, I'll just have to wait for my next favorite author, Sarah Vowell, to publish her book this fall.

1 comment:

Charley said...

I like David Sedaris's books as well. I agree, I wondered about how Hugh can deal sometimes - especially popping that boil! I'm not familiar with Sarah Vowell, I'll have to check her out.