Calypso

Calypso

David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong. When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging i...

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Title:Calypso
Author:David Sedaris
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Calypso Reviews

  • Elyse Walters

    I don’t think I could love David Sadaris more if I tried .....he’s already filled my entire heart - body - mind - soul - spirit - and funny bone with enough uplifting, awesome and amazing, unforgettable storytelling for a lifetime with the collection of these stories.

    They are passionate and affecting — achingly good - urgent and surprising - contemporary and insightful - playful and outlandish- showing us the beauty in the broken — and ultimately teaching us to choose love.

    A few times I laughed

    I don’t think I could love David Sadaris more if I tried .....he’s already filled my entire heart - body - mind - soul - spirit - and funny bone with enough uplifting, awesome and amazing, unforgettable storytelling for a lifetime with the collection of these stories.

    They are passionate and affecting — achingly good - urgent and surprising - contemporary and insightful - playful and outlandish- showing us the beauty in the broken — and ultimately teaching us to choose love.

    A few times I laughed sooooo hard ( I’ve done this once or twice with a special book:

    (Roz Chast comes to mind), while reading sentences to my husband at 5am in the morning- waiting for him to wake - so I could jump him with David Sedaris stories.

    I’m home sick with a nasty infection in my throat - but it’s true ‘good’ laugher is healing! When you can’t even finish a sentence out loud because you’re laughing so hard yourself - a nerve has been hit!

    I also felt deeply moved - touched - and blessed from memories David shared that were sensitive topics —DAVID IS SO OPEN TO LISTEN FOR UNDERSTANDING....including his own. I really can’t thank him enough for this book. To me- it’s the fullness - most beautiful- breathtaking- ‘rainbow-of-humanity’.

    So a few little tidbits... Quotes & Thoughts....

    Random picking.....[ There is not a dull let-up in any of these stories].

    “In the ocean that afternoon, I watched my brother play with his daughter. The waves were high, and Madelyn hung laughing off Paul’s shoulders, I thought of how we use to do the same with our own father. It was the only time any of us ever touched him”.

    “It’s not that our father waited till this late in the game to win our hearts. It’s that he was succeeding”.

    “As I grow older, I find that people I know become crazy in one of two ways”....

    David will share in details of the TWO WAYS PEOPLE BECOME *Crazy* in the story

    “Leviathan”. I was laughing - shaking my head - rolling my eyes - AGREEING- laughing - laughing some more! Right on, David!

    I was very impress that David had a GRABBER. I’ll pick up trash if I see it on a trail to toss in the trash can .... I’ll even clean the sinks in ladies bathrooms in restaurants so that a flood of water isn’t all over the counter sink for the next person who walks in.......but I don’t carry a GRABBER. David does.

    So one day, David was collecting trash with his grabber. He said it’s always the usual things “ potato chip bags, candy wrappers, Redbull cans”.....

    but.....”a strap-on penis?”

    “It was Band-Aid colored about three inches long and not much bigger than a Vienna sausage”.

    “Bare minimum?” ...... “Like AAA breast implants?”

    “Who had this person been trying to satisfy, a Cabbage Patch Doll?”

    The stories are OUTSTANDING- SATISFYING - TO FULLY ENJOY!

    Taking place in airports, on the plane, about his family - his siblings ( Tiffany committed suicide) - his 92 year old father - memories of his mother - about middle age and aging - trips to the dermatologist ( I can relate)- doctors - ( I can relate)- tumors- his beach house on Emerald Isle - ( find out what people feed the turtles) -

    Shopping in Tokyo with one of his sisters - his relationship with his partner, Hugh- an English- speaking program David puts together for business travelers visiting the United States - obsessions with Fitbit - a love affair with an Omega juicer...etc.

    These stories are extremely refreshing!

    I want a “Calypso....I love David Sedaris” T-Shirt!

    Thank You Little Brown and Company, Netgalley, and *David Sedaris*

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    To say that this is a biased review might be the understatement of the decade. Many of you are already familiar with my love for the Sedaris family. It began with Amy and

    before I discovered her brother was a writer. Having now read all but one of his collections – and more recently re-listening to several of them during my commute – I have no shame in admitting I am completely smitten with every single one of the

    Find all of my reviews at:

    To say that this is a biased review might be the understatement of the decade. Many of you are already familiar with my love for the Sedaris family. It began with Amy and

    before I discovered her brother was a writer. Having now read all but one of his collections – and more recently re-listening to several of them during my commute – I have no shame in admitting I am completely smitten with every single one of the Sedaris clan. So much so that when a conversation between two people who

    enjoy Sedaris popped up on my feed last week I practically had to cut my fingers off to not interject with a "butbutbutbut" and nearly had myself convinced that the parties must be aliens and I should probably report them to the proper authorities. Then I remembered that people are allowed to have opinions and since David himself is probably well aware that he’s not everyone’s cuppa I should resign myself to that fact too. All that being said, I obviously need mental help and my rating should probably be taken with a

    dumptruck of salt.

    good, though. A stand out, even. If you are a fan this should rise to the top of the ranks. With a reoccurring theme of visits with family (and Carol) at home in Sussex as well as at the “Sea Section” beach house in North Carolina, Sedaris delivers both humorous as well as poignant memories in spades – and even though I know I’m not supposed to quote an advanced copy as anything I was privileged enough to read could still end up on the cutting room floor, this little line sums things up perfectly . . . .

    Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall during their “club meetings.”

    By this point in my life I’ve actually received numerous offers by friends to attend one of David Sedaris’ public readings which are put on pretty much yearly here by a local bookstore and held at a giant, beautiful, non-denominational church. While I’m flattered that people like me enough to voluntarily spend time with me without being paid to do so, my response is always no. First, because of

    humans . . . .

    And second, but more importantly, because I’m terrified I would become this . . . .

    At this point I don’t think I could settle for less than Thanksgiving at the Sea Section (I still agree with Paul that the Conch Sucker should have been the winner) on Emerald Isle (on the West side of the house where the visitors stay, of course - I’m not psycho). It is there we will binge-watch

    . Afterwards I will help dig a hole in the sand for the turkey deep fryer to sit in and make sure I have plenty of cash on hand to tip Amy while she performs my spa treatment after I kick alllllllll of their asses at Sorry.

    I’m also fairly certain that I need a piece of driftwood art in my life like the one that will be featured on the cover . . . .

    One-eyed raccoons. Such judgey little assholes, right? But you can’t deny the other option is sheer perfection . . . .

    Oh, before I forget. I can't sign off until I mention the part about pants shitting . . . .

    You might not have to love David Sedaris in order to be my friend, but you do have to find people crapping their drawers hilarious. No exceptions.

    Man I can’t wait to listen to this one. Every Star.

    Note to Little Brown from my husband: Please give my wife the new Jason Sudakis book so she'll shut up about it already.

    Note to husband from myself: Please don't try to help ever again.

  • Karen

    Ok, I must admit... I had never heard of this David Sedaris guy, but damn he is entertaining!!

    These stories, mostly about the himself and his partner Hugh, his parents and siblings ... and aging...just gave me the most laughter I’ve had in awhile! There is one about a stomach virus... I was just 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Great stuff here!

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    It's really difficult to write humor, and nobody does it better than David Sedaris! I find him absolutely hilarious, but I know he is not everyone's cup of tea. (WHY NOT??)

    Sedaris is in rare form with

    . Calypso, by the way, is the name his neighbors gave to his cat when the kitty is off living his completely hidden life. David Sedaris was not amused when he found out that name.

    It's really difficult to write humor, and nobody does it better than David Sedaris! I find him absolutely hilarious, but I know he is not everyone's cup of tea. (WHY NOT??)

    Sedaris is in rare form with

    . Calypso, by the way, is the name his neighbors gave to his cat when the kitty is off living his completely hidden life. David Sedaris was not amused when he found out that name.

    He travels the world, lives in different countries and meets thousands of people, but to me, his most hilarious stories involve his family. In this collection of essays, we learn about his newish beach house on the North Carolina coast where his brother (now, the Juister, not the Rooster!) and his sisters and his 92-yr-old father gather at least once a year. How David Sedaris can make you laugh at stories that involve suicide, God, alcoholism and Trump is nothing short of gifted. He knows just when to back away for maximum humor impact.

    As with any talented writer, I can never get enough! I will be first in line for all of his books. I especially love them on audio, he is a fabulous narrator and so very funny in his presentation.

  • Lori

    “I’m often misunderstood at my supermarket in Sussex, not because of my accent but because I tend to deviate from the script.

    Hello, how are you this evening?

    Has your house ever been burgled?

    What?

    Your house—has anyone ever broken into it and stolen things?

    With me, people aren’t thinking

    so much as

    Top line Sedaris aslant observations and commentary on family, love, and aging. Some of the subjects are dark, some sadly bitter-swee

    “I’m often misunderstood at my supermarket in Sussex, not because of my accent but because I tend to deviate from the script.

    Hello, how are you this evening?

    Has your house ever been burgled?

    What?

    Your house—has anyone ever broken into it and stolen things?

    With me, people aren’t thinking

    so much as

    Top line Sedaris aslant observations and commentary on family, love, and aging. Some of the subjects are dark, some sadly bitter-sweet, but he's funny. It's good to laugh!

  • Debbie

    Others already knew that Sedaris would take care of us. I’m new to the game. Long ago, I tried reading one of his collections and quickly ditched it. Huh, this guy is funny? Not to me. I figured we did not match—his jokes, my sensibilities, no go. Everyone has a different funny bone.

    Well, I’m here to tell you, all my thoughts about different sensibilities and different funny bones are bull. Because damn if I’m not on my pogo stick again! I haven’t had so many laughs since Nor

    Others already knew that Sedaris would take care of us. I’m new to the game. Long ago, I tried reading one of his collections and quickly ditched it. Huh, this guy is funny? Not to me. I figured we did not match—his jokes, my sensibilities, no go. Everyone has a different funny bone.

    Well, I’m here to tell you, all my thoughts about different sensibilities and different funny bones are bull. Because damn if I’m not on my pogo stick again! I haven’t had so many laughs since Nora Ephron.

    I was a little turned off when I started reading, though. Sedaris starts by saying that in middle age, the only perk is that with luck, you’ll acquire a guest room. Good thing he added “with luck,” because otherwise I would have been screaming, “elitist”! As it was, I thought, ho hum, who wants to read about a rich person having a guest room? Could we get any more boring?

    Sedaris started seducing me as he described bizarre conversations. One sentence he overheard a guest utter:

    Sedaris regrets that he didn’t ask the guest what a false Pygmy is. The guest is now dead, and Sedaris says Googling “false Pygmy” just wouldn’t be the same. See? I love that he eavesdropped, I love that he wondered, I love that he told us! And yes, of course, I Googled “false Pygmy,” lol. How could I not? And just to let you know, I found nothing anywhere close to false Pygmies. We’ll never know, sigh. Maybe an inside joke?

    Meanwhile, how could I not get reeled into Sedaris’s world, with or without a false Pygmy? He picks up on everything absurd and runs with it. And there is absurdity everywhere. I love looking at the world through his eyes. He’s on alert, his mind all a-churn, waiting to hear the next bizarre thing being said, waiting to turn it into funny. Oh, how he gets me going—he makes me want to go on high alert, too, and ferret out all those absurdities just waiting to be plucked and spouted. But the truth is, I’m a chicken. Sedaris has no problem asking off-the-wall questions to strangers, and he has a ball doing it. He likes to shake it up. I would prefer to say I don’t chat it up with strangers because I’m shy. Or, full of self-righteousness, I could claim that I don’t want to impose, I don’t want to bug people. But let’s face it, I’m just a chicken through and through. Man, the great interactions I must miss!

    I liked every single one of his essays. Some are about his family, and he is so good at describing both the unchi-ness and coolness that comes with having a close family. One of his strengths is his fascination with language and how comical communication can be; his chapter “Your English Is So Good” is one of my favorites. My other two favorites are “Stepping Out,” about his Fitbit obsession (absolutely hysterical), and the title story, Calypso. Here are a few lines from each. I could fill pages but I’m controlling myself:

    From

    From

    From

    A church lady, a pillar in her community, got dementia:

    See? How can I not love this guy?

    So sometimes I get a little OCD, okay? In the middle of all this crack up, I started noticing that Sedaris mentions a lot of animals. Hm… I must write them all down (insists the listy voice in my head). I opened my Notes app and went to town. I listed like my life depended on it. I better not forget one, I fretted. I attacked the project with fervor! Too bad no one paid me, and too bad no one gives a shit! I, on the other hand, found it fascinating that he could mention 64 (!!!) different animals when he wasn’t even writing a book about critters! Well, two animals are featured—a snapping turtle and a fox—but why were the other 62 mentioned? Isn’t that just crazy? (Yes, I realize it’s probably less crazy than I am, she who is zealously typing up all the damn animals.) I tried to get the spelling right (spelling is pretty important to me), and yes, I started categorizing them—there are domesticated animals, farm animals, sea creatures, wild animals, etc. No, don’t worry, I wasn’t insane enough to rearrange the list and put them into categories in the app; I just made mental notes. I can do that later if I have to, lol. By the way, I will gladly share the list, if you’re curious. Of course I will.

    I hate spoilers, but I got myself into a “situation” (i.e., I experienced a gigantic spoiler) when I decided to watch a utube video of Sedaris on the Stephen Colbert show. I was about a third of the way through the book when I suddenly needed to see and hear this funny man in action. I absolutely loved the clip--he is just as funny in person. What I didn’t know is that he would describe the hysterical title story, Calypso. OMG what a story! It is insanely creepy absurd, so watch out if you hate gross. I will only say these words: snapping turtle and tumor. (LOL, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to imagine their connection!) I know that for the rest of my life, if I hear snapping turtle or tumor, I will think of his story. Seriously. It’s a whopper.

    Turns out I didn’t care one iota that I heard the anecdote before reading the story. His delivery is magnificent, and Colbert’s reaction is priceless. Here is the clip, in case you don’t mind a spoiler and you want to see and hear Sedaris, not just read his words. There are several hysterical story tidbits that didn’t make it into the book, so it’s worth watching at some point.

    Sedaris is a wise guy. He’s cynical and irreverent. To some people, he may be to too crude or rude or snobby, but I didn’t see him that way. Now that I’ve turned into a raving fan, I can only see him as a comedic genius. Plus, his obvious love of and loyalty to his family humanizes him. He’s an astute critic, a curious observer of the absurdity of everyday life, a language nut, a witty storyteller with an occasional penchant for weird. This funny guy has brilliant anecdotes, insights, and word packages, and I just couldn’t get enough. One jazzy read that had me hopping happily on my pogo stick. Cha cha cha!

  • Matthew

    I think this is Sedaris’s finest work to date. While sticking with his usual humor and cynical delivery, he gets raw talking about topics like suicide, alcoholism, the afterlife, aging, etc. I found myself very emotionally engaged throughout the book and wanted to reach into it and give him a hug from time to time (which, no doubt, he would find disturbing and certainly have something to say about!)

    If you have not read Sedaris before, I think he is one of the best memoir-ists of our time. While

    I think this is Sedaris’s finest work to date. While sticking with his usual humor and cynical delivery, he gets raw talking about topics like suicide, alcoholism, the afterlife, aging, etc. I found myself very emotionally engaged throughout the book and wanted to reach into it and give him a hug from time to time (which, no doubt, he would find disturbing and certainly have something to say about!)

    If you have not read Sedaris before, I think he is one of the best memoir-ists of our time. While his stories are almost always his viewpoint on events that happened to him, it is very easy for the reader to find them relatable. I can’t imagine making the stories from my day to day as interesting as he does. His delivery and timing are perfect with just the right amount of shock value. Not all fans of a genre like stand-up comedy will find him amusing, but he definitely fits that genre and takes it up another level.

    As mentioned above, this is the real-est I have ever seen Sedaris – and, generally he seems pretty real. But, I just don’t remember in the past starting off on one of his stories laughing and then finding myself near tears a few moments later. It is, without a better way to describe it, perfect Sedaris. That is it – he has honed his skills over the years and perfected them with this collection.

    Do yourself a favor – no matter who you are – check out Sedaris. If you are already a Sedaris fan, check this out ASAP. It is truly awesome!

  • Liz

    Ok, so first off, I was laughing out loud within three pages of the first chapter. Well, laughing and kind of gagging. Eating your turtle’s nutrition bar with dead flies? Ugh. I’ll let David tell you the whole story. And then in the very next chapter, he talks about his sister’s suicide. This is a book that hits you with all the emotions. It’s the kind of book you want to share with friends, to read paragraph after paragraph out loud to anyone within hearing. There’s lots here. Not just the humo

    Ok, so first off, I was laughing out loud within three pages of the first chapter. Well, laughing and kind of gagging. Eating your turtle’s nutrition bar with dead flies? Ugh. I’ll let David tell you the whole story. And then in the very next chapter, he talks about his sister’s suicide. This is a book that hits you with all the emotions. It’s the kind of book you want to share with friends, to read paragraph after paragraph out loud to anyone within hearing. There’s lots here. Not just the humor, but the revelations that come with a certain age, of dealing with loss, of aging parents, of a relationship that has been going on for years.

    Sedaris is pretty much f***in crazy, but he also starts describing other crazy people and I’ll realize I’m in that category. And he’ll describe me down to a T. Each to his own!

    Highly recommend this book! It’s a quick read but one that packs a lot of meat into its pages. My thanks to netgalley and Little, Brown for a copy of this book.

  • Larry H

    4.5 stars.

    For me, reading David Sedaris' books is like hanging out with that slightly strange friend—you may think

    crazy, but at least there's someone crazier than you out there!

    I've been reading Sedaris' books on and off for a number of years, since his first collection,

    , in 1994. In addition to helping bolster my self-esteem, he's always good for a fair amount of chuckling, giggling, and all-out belly laughing, not to mention his unique ability to highlight some of life's

    4.5 stars.

    For me, reading David Sedaris' books is like hanging out with that slightly strange friend—you may think

    crazy, but at least there's someone crazier than you out there!

    I've been reading Sedaris' books on and off for a number of years, since his first collection,

    , in 1994. In addition to helping bolster my self-esteem, he's always good for a fair amount of chuckling, giggling, and all-out belly laughing, not to mention his unique ability to highlight some of life's frustrating, mystifying, and joy-inducing foibles. Plus, every now and again he simply makes me gasp at his observations.

    , his newest collection, certainly is chock-full of laughs, and there's a good supply of slightly gross observations about bodily functions and other physical issues. But I wasn't prepared for how emotionally rich this collection would be—on a number of occasions I found myself getting a little choked up as Sedaris pondered growing older, the aging and death of family members, the legalization of same-sex marriage and what it meant for his relationship with his boyfriend, even the mood of the country following the 2016 presidential election.

    It's funny—in one story Sedaris talks about his mother-in-law, and how she "likes to interrupt either to accuse you of exaggerating—'Oh, now,

    not true'—or to defend the person you're talking about, someone, most often, she has never met." Some of his observations are so outlandish that I'll admit occasionally thinking like his mother-in-law, saying to myself, "That can't be true." Regardless of whether it is or not, Sedaris had me latching on to his every word.

    I'm not a Puritan by any means, but I'll admit there were a few stories that were a little heavy on bodily functions and feeding things to animals (read the book and you'll know what I'm referring to). However, so much of this book was terrific, beautifully written, funny, wry, sarcastic, and even poignant. In many of the stories (as is often the case), Sedaris spoke of his family and his relationship with his father, which continues to confound him, even as his father moves into his 90s.

    "Honestly, though, does choice even come into it? Is it my fault that the good times fade to nothing while the bad ones burn forever bright? Memory aside, the negative just makes for a better story: the plane was delayed, an infection set in, outlaws arrived and reduced the schoolhouse to ashes. Happiness is harder to put into words. It's also harder to source, much more mysterious than anger or sorrow, which come to me promptly, whenever I summon them, and remain long after I've begged them to leave."

    is a pretty terrific book, further testament to Sedaris' skill as a storyteller, a social commentator, and an observer of this crazy world we live in. His writing is great for some laughs (don't be shocked if you laugh out loud a time or two, so if you're self-conscious, don't read this in public), and this book is good for a few tears as well!

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

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