Sunday, April 3, 2011

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

I am as big a David Sedaris fan as the next guy. When he's funny, he's hysterical but this book is nothing like his usual stuff. He normally writes essays about his experiences in ordinary situations-- Jesus Shaves is my all-time favorite. So I eagerly anticipated his latest offering, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary. As soon as I could, I put my name on the waiting list at my local library. I was number 32. When my name finally came up, I forgot to pick it up. It was reshelved and I was charged $1 for being irresponsible. I put my name back on the hold list: 16, not bad. Again, my name came up and this time I rushed right down and picked it up.

I had heard nothing about this book: not a single synopsis nor review, so I was surprised that it was a collection of Aesop-type fables. This could be good, right? David Sedaris making animals say the "f" word is a guaranteed laugh riot. Except that it wasn't. The stories are told in such a disturbing manner--and before you tell me that I'm just too shallow--yes, I get the messages. You should not pretend to help people just so you can use them, yeah yeah yeah. But really, does the message of selfishness really need to end with a bird plucking out the eyes of a baby lamb?

I have reviewed this book without reading any other opinions, so I may get blasted if everyone loved it. I'm sticking by my review. It was an uncomfortable read.

Janet's rating: A rare "did not finish the book" because it was just that bad.

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