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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: Modern Fables from David Sedaris

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
In his latest book, David Sedaris stopped talking about his self and made animals do the talking for him.  The result is Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary a compilation of short fables that are more for adults than for children because they can be quite disturbing..

Disturbing because Sedaris gave the animals human qualities, weaknesses and problems.  We find an altruistic mouse taking care of a snake, a vain sheep meeting a manipulative crow, and a squirrel and chipmunk dating against the wishes of everyone around them.  The other characters are equally not so good models of good behavior.

Unlike in other stories where animals behave the way they naturally do, the ones in this bestiary are more human than animals.  I cannot blame anyone who, at one point while reading this, would ask why even use animals when human characters would do.

It's also the outcome of the stories that they can be quite disturbing to the reader.  Somehow, because of  their bad behavior and weaknesses, the animals end up dead, eaten, clobbered or chained.  And everything was told in graphic and grisly detail.

Fans of David Sedaris who are used to his funny autobiographical musings will be surprised that his usual wry humor was stripped to the minimum in this volume.  The lack of humor may or may not be because the author decided not to be funny.  There are some moments here and there but on the whole, most of the stories failed to be funny.  One might think that Sedaris must be running out of things to say and decided to take the fables route.  Unfortunately, he was like a fish out of water.


2 comments:

  1. It's a "get out of the box" experience for most of us. But staying inside of the box is a safer and more satisfying experience.

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  2. im downloading the audiobook now.. thanks.

    ReplyDelete