The Norman Transcript

N-town reviews

June 14, 2013

Book review: Sedaris’ best seller offers humor

NORMAN — Book: Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls (2013, Little, Brown & Company)

Author: David Sedaris

Why you should read: With an attention-getting title like “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls,” one might think author David Sedaris’ newest non-fiction collection of essays was mad. Well, mad it may be at times, but there is no link between the book’s title and its content.

Sedaris’ non-fiction has been on the NY Times Best Seller list for more than six weeks, and is currently sitting at No. 4. In an unordinary beginning, the author opens with visits to his French dentist, and goes on about gum disease. Though that certainly wasn’t the glue holding readers to this book, it does give readers insight to his mindset and bold manner of writing.

In the “Author’s Note,” Sedaris explains that several of the passages in this work are short monologues meant for kids participating in speech contests. In large part, this book contains a curious mixture of his oddball family, politics and travel, along with his health, childhood and longtime partner.

Of course, there are bits that drag here and there, such as his lengthy retelling of losing a passport and picking up trash on the roadside. But there’s no denying this author, 56, has a certain flair and wit that tags along with each line. Sly humor is a saving grace for these rather slow sections.

“Fly enough, and you learn to go brain-dead when you have to. It’s sort of like time travel. One minute you’re bending to unlace your shoes, and the next thing you know you’re paying fourteen dollars for a fruit cup wondering, ‘How did I get here?’”

Sedaris’ comedic humor and truthfulness has been well-received by the public, including his numerous other books such as “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk,” “Naked,” and “Barrel Fever.” His followers will be pleased with “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls,” and those who haven’t read a word by Sedaris will enjoy this engaging collection of essays.

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