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Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary Hardcover – September 28, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have ever waited in a line at the DMV or other government office, you will see yourself as perhaps one of this trio- the Toad, the Turtle, or the Duck. Those who are a "Friend of Bill" might see something familiar in a story about a cat with some issues.
In other words, each story holds up a mirror to our everyday life- but this being David Sedaris it's more a Wonderland or Funhouse mirror. Perhaps the closest I could come would be Aesop's fables written by a very modern Lewis Carrol.
I found one great quote I may have to use myself "It's not that they are stupid. It's that they are actively against knowledge". How true, and how sad.
Sedaris says to not expect a Moral for each Fable, but if you read them carefully, you should find some insight. "His morals are not spoon-fed cautionary tales of cause-and-effect but rather seemingly matter-of-fact observations that pack a subtle after shock of insightfully insinuated scrutiny."
Funny? Yes, but not laugh out loud funny, more wry and sometimes black humor (warning!). I found myself grinning quite a bit.
The artwork is delightful, being by the well known artist and author Ian Falconer of Olivia the Pig, etc.
Like so many other negative reviewers, I'm a long-time fan of Sedaris, from his very first appearances on This American Life through all of his published works. I've been to readings and have signed copies of "Barrel Fever" and "Naked".
What's more, I was really looking forward to THIS book. I'd heard one or two of these "fables" on This American Life and hoped Sedaris would put out a volume of them. In fact, I was disappointed that his last book, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames", was not that. (Frankly, I thought "Engulfed" was weak in comparison to his previous three books.)
These stories are brutal, vulgar, even hateful. What's most disappointing is that there is nothing really being said about the hypocrisy, self-centeredness, arrogance, woundedness, ignorance and other negative human traits being lived out by the hapless animals in these tales. The only commentary seems to be that people are awful, and life is misery.
This is so different from Sedaris' previous work. Yes, there's always been a sharp critique of hypocrisy in his stories, but there has also been a sense of hope, and laugh-out-loud humor that we can SHARE in. Only a monster (or someone under an "emperor's new clothes" delusion about Sedaris) could laugh at these stories.Read more ›
David Sedaris is a hilariously funny version, with keen-eyed and often brutal insights into human nature, but also with an occasional sweetness that surprised and touched me.
I loved reading this book, but felt I had to be on guard, because you can't trust your heart to these stories. Sedaris doesn't care if he kills and maims along the way to his lesson. Unhappy lives and unhappy endings happened to a lot of these characters, even ones who didn't necessarily deserve it.
The story about the sheep broke my freaking heart. Seriously. I cried. The illustrations by Ian Falconer of Olivia fame made the story even more heartbreaking. At the beginning of the story I kept going back to giggle at the insanely cheerful little lamb sitting with his mother. I loved the lamb. And then at the end, he got his eyes plucked out because his mother was kind of vacant and silly. Where was the justice in that story?
A few huge, dark downers set the tone of the book for me, and it was a bit hard to read while making sure I didn't actually end up caring about anyone just in case they got slaughtered. But - it was hilarious, too! The little quips about each of the animals were fantastic. Some were based on little-known animal facts and some were based on human nature, but Sedaris managed to slip a really good bit into pretty much every page. The pages are small, so that's saying something.
I'm too much of a delicate flower for this kind of book, but I still enjoyed it a lot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sedaris has exhausted his familial foundations for stories or he thought he could write something original that is not from his journal/diary. Read morePublished 24 days ago by V Trujillo
Love David Sedaris! I have read some of his books seven times already. This one is not my favorite but is very witty!Published 1 month ago by Deborah Rudd
In an enjoyable, if somewhat dark book, you get the classic Sedaris humor oscillating from the heartwarming to the downright disturbing. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
It's not my favorite as David Sedaris goes, and I really, really, REALLY wanted to love it. I missed the lighter side of the humor in his other works. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Shelli
I must love the book! I actually got two copies! What started out as a random purchase at a book store... ended up being a nice surprise! We took the book on along trip. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cindy
Darling, short stories with a lesson in each. Wonderful book!Published 5 months ago by the scientista