The Resource Calypso, David Sedaris

Calypso, David Sedaris

Label
Calypso
Title
Calypso
Statement of responsibility
David Sedaris
Creator
Contributor
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
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
Member of
Tone
Writing style
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2018
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Humorist Sedaris (Theft by Finding) collects 21 essays largely about family bonds and getting older in this hilarious yet tender volume. Facing middle age, the author purchased a beach house, which he named Sea Section, in his childhood state of North Carolina. The beach abode serves not only its intended purpose as a perfect location for family gatherings, but also ends up being a venue for arguments, jokes, and encountering local wildlife (in particular, a snapping turtle to whom Sedaris joked he’d feed a benign fatty tumor Sedaris had formed). Sedaris’s mother died of cancer in 1991 at the age of 62, but his conservative, 92-year-old father (with whom he has a difficult relationship), three sisters (a fourth committed suicide), and younger brother are frequent visitors and fodder for Sedaris’s perceptive and imaginative sense of humor; no subject seems too sacred for his wit, including his sister’s suicide (“I’ve always liked to think that before killing myself I’d take the time to really mess with people”) and the physical attractiveness of Jesus. He also riffs on topics ranging from the inane conversations people have at shops, airports, and hotels (“You’re a long way from home, aren’t you?” one bellman comments) to the nasty expletives drivers scream from cars. Throughout, Sedaris reveals a deep loyalty to family, with loving reminiscences of his mother, a palpable wish to be closer to his father, and a nostalgic devotion to his siblings and their shared memories. The author’s fans and newcomers alike will be richly rewarded by this sidesplitting collection. (May) --Staff (Reviewed 03/19/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 12, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Humor is supposed to be the opposite of tragedy, but in the hands of gifted writer and humorist Sedaris, they work brilliantly together. This is a very funny book about death. In 2015, Sedaris is stunned when he learns that his youngest sister has committed suicide, just months before her 50th birthday. Naturally, the disturbing event launches him into a series of meditations on grief and loss. He reflects on the long-ago death of his mother, the declining health of his 90-year-old father, his aging siblings, his relationship with his longtime partner, Hugh, and his own mortality. But then serious contemplation gives way to odd digressions and witty observations. Whether writing about the litter on the street or his own malfunctioning fitbit, the selected details are strange, surprising, funny, and memorable. They are also haunting reminders of our mortality, and as a result, reveal how life is both beautiful and absurd and how, paradoxically, it takes a combination of both to make it worth living. VERDICT While essayist Sedaris has always been personal, this work shows him at his most vulnerable. His honesty is compelling, and his ability to create laughter in the darkness offers readers comfort and hope. [See Prepub Alert, 12/4/17.] --Meagan Lacy (Reviewed 05/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 8, p68)
  • /* Starred Review */ In which the veteran humorist enters middle age with fine snark but some trepidation as well. Mortality is weighing on Sedaris (Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, 2017, etc.), much of it his own, professional narcissist that he is. Watching an elderly man have a bowel accident on a plane, he dreaded the day when he would be the target of teenagers' jokes "as they raise their phones to take my picture from behind." A skin tumor troubled him, but so did the doctor who told him he couldn't keep it once it was removed. "But it's my tumor," he insisted. "I made it." (Eventually, he found a semitrained doctor to remove and give him the lipoma, which he proceeded to feed to a turtle.) The deaths of others are much on the author's mind as well: He contemplates the suicide of his sister Tiffany, his alcoholic mother's death, and his cantankerous father's erratic behavior. His contemplation of his mother's drinking—and his family's denial of it—makes for some of the most poignant writing in the book: The sound of her putting ice in a rocks glass increasingly sounded "like a trigger being cocked." Despite the gloom, however, frivolity still abides in the Sedaris clan. His summer home on the Carolina coast, which he dubbed the Sea Section, overspills with irreverent bantering between him and his siblings as his long-suffering partner, Hugh, looks on. Sedaris hasn't lost his capacity for bemused observations of the people he encounters. For example, cashiers who say "have a blessed day" make him feel "like you've been sprayed against your will with God cologne." But bad news has sharpened the author's humor, and this book is defined by a persistent, engaging bafflement over how seriously or unseriously to take life when it's increasingly filled with Trump and funerals. Sedaris at his darkest—and his best. (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10658051
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Sedaris, David
Dewey number
814.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
  • Sedaris, David
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Sedaris, David
  • Ageing
  • Mortality
  • American wit and humour
Label
Calypso, David Sedaris
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"May 2018"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • Calypso
  • A modest proposal
  • The silent treatment
  • Untamed
  • The one(s) who got away
  • Sorry
  • Boo-hooey
  • A number of the reasons I've been depressed lately
  • Why aren't you laughing?
  • I'm still standing
  • Company man
  • The spirit world
  • And while you're up there, check on my prostate
  • The Comey memo
  • Now we are five
  • Little guy
  • Stepping out
  • A house divided
  • The perfect fit
  • Leviathan
  • Your English is so good
Control code
000061998736
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
viii, 259 pages
Isbn
9781408707821
Lccn
bl2018045342
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)992225285
Label
Calypso, David Sedaris
Publication
Note
"May 2018"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • Calypso
  • A modest proposal
  • The silent treatment
  • Untamed
  • The one(s) who got away
  • Sorry
  • Boo-hooey
  • A number of the reasons I've been depressed lately
  • Why aren't you laughing?
  • I'm still standing
  • Company man
  • The spirit world
  • And while you're up there, check on my prostate
  • The Comey memo
  • Now we are five
  • Little guy
  • Stepping out
  • A house divided
  • The perfect fit
  • Leviathan
  • Your English is so good
Control code
000061998736
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
viii, 259 pages
Isbn
9781408707821
Lccn
bl2018045342
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)992225285

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
    • Margaret Martin LibraryBorrow it
      Level 1, Royal Randwick Shopping Centre, Randwick, NSW, 2031, AU
      -33.9151421 151.2408898
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