Calypso by David Sedaris


Whenever I am in a reading funk, one thing that often helps me get back in the groove is short stories, since they don’t require me to memorize so many details. When I saw David Sedaris’ new book Calypso in the library, I knew this would be the book to get me back on track off of a two month lull.

I’ve been a fan of Sedaris since I became interested in audio books last year. The first of his books I listened to was Me Talk Pretty One Day and I was hooked right away- so hooked I’ve listened to it three times. He is a wonderful writer and an even better speaker. He mainly writes about his colourful family and various anecdotes of his life. He grew up in a Greek-American household in the 1960s, and with 5 siblings there was no shortage of entertaining situations- like him flushing down toilet rolls and clogging the toilet just to get a rise out of his father.

However, Calypso is quite different. While Sedaris still has his familiar and strangely humorous stories (which includes finally talking to his longtime partner about his previous relationships after 30 years, his obsession with picking up litter in his home town and his FitBit craze) this book has a lot more raw emotion. The stories include him finally talking about his mother’s death from alcoholism in the 1990s, his stubborn 93 year old father, and, most emotional of all, his sister’s suicide.

I’ve been getting to know the Sedaris family bit by bit as I go through each of David’s books, and I found Calypso really filled in some gaps. I’m sure it was no small feat for him to write about these things, but it was quite informative and gave the reader things to reflect on as well. All in all, Calypso was certainly not boring and exceeded my expectations. I look forward to listening to the audio book version as well!

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