Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls ~ A Capsule Book Review by Allen Kopp
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is the title of David Sedaris’s new book of essays. This book is much like David Sedaris’s seven other books of essays (Barrel Fever, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You are Engulfed in Flames, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk), meaning that it’s funny, entertaining and full of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
If you are a fan of David Sedaris, you know that his writing is as easy and quick to read as anything you’ve ever read in your life. The word “essays” seems a little formal and academic for these little stories that differ from fiction stories in that they are about real life instead of being made up. They could easily pass for fiction if you didn’t know any better. At the center of each story is David Sedaris himself talking about things that have happened to him (sometimes, but not very often, in the voice of somebody else).
The experiences he relates involve everything from his outspoken, rough-around-the-edges parents to visiting a French dentist to dealing with litter in the English countryside; from having a colonoscopy to meeting an interesting stranger on a European train; from feeding strips of meat to a kookaburra (a large bird) in Australia to dealing with a stolen laptop computer; from eating at less-than-sanitary restaurants in China to purchasing a stuffed owl from a very forthcoming British taxidermist.
The only thing about Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls that I didn’t like is when he ventures into the odious and offensive subject of politics. I despise politics, politicians and all things political. I would rather not hear anybody’s political views. If you don’t bore me with politics, I will extend you the same courtesy.
David Sedaris is a true literary star, a real celebrity, although you’d never know it from his humble demeanor and appearance. Years ago I stood in line for over an hour at one of his book signing events to get him to sign my copies of Holidays on Ice and Me Talk Pretty One Day. (The bookstore where the event took place waived its no-smoking policy for him only for that evening.) I had been to many book signings but had never stood in line that long before (or since). Somehow it seemed worth it. I still have the two signed books. Maybe someday it will be like owning a signed, first-edition copy of Tom Sawyer.
Copyright © 2013 by Allen Kopp