SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK David Sedaris Book Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK
David Sedaris
 
 

Review Information

Reviewer: David Murcott
Review Date: January 2011

Book Information

Publisher: Little, Brown
RRP: $26.95

7.5

out of 10

 

 

David Sedaris is best known for his piercing, side-splittingly funny tales of personal (mis)adventure.  In collections like Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed in Flames he has documented the difficulties of growing up gay, the rigours of OCD, the joys of pot and cigarettes, the foibles of his fellow man, the endless idiosyncrasies of his family members.  Life’s weirdness never seems to weary him, and in countless stories and essays now he has nimbly trodden the fine line between detached observer and active, often bemused, participant. 

On first glance then Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, a collection of darkly capricious animal fables, represents something of a departure for the bestselling raconteur.  Sedaris’s whimsical weltarschauung and inimitable penchant for the absurd, however, shine through as keenly as ever, and the animal kingdom, as it turns out, contains more than its fair share of foibles. 

Handsomely illustrated by Ian Falconer, each of the book’s 16 stories involves a different species and their diverse daily interactions.  A pair of storks bicker over sex education techniques, a mink swaps his own pelt for a bottle of Kahlua, a setter remonstrates with a raccoon (‘Go trash somebody else’s fucking yard’) and gives her frank opinion of chickens (‘Each and every one of them a raging asshole’), ensuring the work more than lives up to its subtitle A Wicked Bestiary.  Via this motley crew of critters Sedaris pokes fun at humankind through a filter of allegory, but it’s abundantly clear the prime targets are animals of the two-legged variety, as opposed to the feathered, furry protagonists that dot the book’s 139 pages. 

Slender but never lean on ideas, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is more an accomplished diversion than a major entry in the Sedaris canon, with tails and roar replacing the usual uproarious tales.  It’s nonetheless a cagey and well-crafted outing that will do well to tide fans over until the next edition of essays hits the New York Times bestseller list.   






 
 



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