I picked up this book right before a flight, and I spent the entire flight scaring the guy next to me, what with all my shaking, squeaking, and tears flowing from my eyes. I wanted to out-and-out guffaw, but I thought that a bit much in such a cramped space.
First of all, I've seen the reviews here of people bitching that he doesn't really talk about Paris much. I beg pardon? Have you =heard= David Sedaris before? Did you think he wrote travelogues?
Sedaris is a humorous, sardonic essayist, and almost all his essays are autobiographical. What do I mean almost, =all= of them are autobiographical. This book follows David from his childhood in Raleigh, to Chicago & New York (&somewhere else I can't remember, all I know is it involved hitchhiking), and then finally his escape to France, where he finds three French teens lying in the road in front of his house, supposedly waiting for Madonna to drop by to visit him (ha.)
Many of these essays have been published in magazines like Esquire, and some form of most of these have also been heard on the public radio show "This American Life". He really knows how to exploit his material, and I admire him for that.
Do =not= buy this to learn deep insights into the human soul, for crying out loud, do =not= buy this to be inspired, and unless you're an idiot, do =not= buy this to find out what living in France is like for an American. Buy this because you want to laugh uncontrollably, buy this because you like reading about people who have very strange lives, and buy this to see how writing should be done.
Back to Reviews pageMary Pat Campbell, last updated 11 June 2001