An Audie Award Winner
David Sedaris, the “champion storyteller,” (Los Angeles Times) returns with his first new collection of personal essays since the bestselling Calypso.
Back when restaurant menus were still printed on paper, and wearing a mask—or not—was a decision made mostly on Halloween, David Sedaris spent his time doing normal things. As Happy-Go-Lucky opens, he is learning to shoot guns with his sister, visiting muddy flea markets in Serbia, buying gummy worms to feed to ants, and telling his nonagenarian father wheelchair jokes.
But then the pandemic hits, and like so many others, he’s stuck in lockdown, unable to tour and read for audiences, the part of his work he loves most. To cope, he walks for miles through a nearly deserted city, smelling only his own breath. He vacuums his apartment twice a day, fails to hoard anything, and contemplates how sex workers and acupuncturists might be getting by during quarantine.
As the world gradually settles into a new reality, Sedaris too finds himself changed. His offer to fix a stranger’s teeth rebuffed, he straightens his own, and ventures into the world with new confidence. Newly orphaned, he considers what it means, in his seventh decade, no longer to be someone’s son. And back on the road, he discovers a battle-scarred America: people weary, storefronts empty or festooned with Help Wanted signs, walls painted with graffiti reflecting the contradictory messages of our time: Eat the Rich. Trump 2024. Black Lives Matter.
In Happy-Go-Lucky, David Sedaris once again captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about these recent upheavals, personal and public, and expresses in precise language both the misanthropy and desire for connection that drive us all. If we must live in interesting times, there is no one better to chronicle them than the incomparable David Sedaris.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It can be hard to find humor in loss, but David Sedaris does just that in this collection of essays. With his signature snark and slice-of-life style, Sedaris shares his thoughts on aging in a politically divided America during a pandemic, offering deeply moving life lessons along with the laughs. From moments where he cares more about the outdated names given to hurricanes than he does about his partner Hugh’s house actually being destroyed by one to darkly hoping that his father won’t actually “always be with him” after his passing, Sedaris expresses the thoughts that most of us wouldn’t dare to say out loud. Thanks to his extensive presence on NPR, it’s almost impossible to disentangle Sedaris’ writing from his delightfully sardonic speaking voice—and why should you try? Several of these essays are presented as recordings of talks he gave to a live audience, making the laughter even more contagious.
Mistake in audiobook
Track 8, at about 33:30 there’s two stories being told simultaneously
Laugh out loud dialogue told with wit, sarcasm, and charm. Still, underneath the humor is a great commentary on the current human condition.
Twistedly hysterical to morose
This collection spans from the twistedly hysterical to morose to funny, and more - all within a story or even a sentence sometimes. I appreciate the brutal honesty he seems to apply to his public self, especially the money porn. I like that he leans into being rich. His voice works for me, super talented dude says me!
But - why can’t the track numbers be story titles? Track 9 also has a name. This seems like it should be pathetically easy to do in the Apple book store.