Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (Audio)

Summary:  Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

With original illustrations by Ian Falconer, author of the bestselling Olivia series of children's books, these stories are David Sedaris at his most observant, poignant, and surprising. -- Hachette Audio

I recently listened to HOLIDAYS ON ICE by David Sedaris (my review) and thought it was absolutely, positively hilarious. Of course, there were some parts that I thought were funnier than other ones; but overall, I laughed like a nut. Listening to David Sedaris read his essays is truly a great way to spend my workout time!

Needless to say, I couldn't wait to try another one of Sedaris' audiobooks. I decided to listen to SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK: A MODEST BESTIARY, his newest release. In SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK, Sedaris writes a variety of essays with animals as the main characters. To me, they sounded kind of like updated versions of fables; however, many of the stories took a rather dark turn. Unfortunately, this book didn't have quite the same effect on me as HOLIDAYS ON ICE.

That's not to say that I didn't find some of the stories entertaining, but I just didn't fully appreciate the type of humor in the book. Some of it was morbid and a little gross, and that's just not my thing -- we can chalk it up to my old age. In addition, I was a little disappointed that David Sedaris only read some of the essays. I have nothing against the other readers (in fact, there were quite good). It's just that I love Sedaris' voice and timing, and I wanted more of him!

Despite my misgivings, I will say that parts of this book were so clever and insightful -- more like what I was expecting from David Sedaris. While Sedaris used animals as the main characters in these stories, I couldn't help but notice how "human" they were. These animals exhibited so many of the traits, and yes quirks, of regular people; and these fable-type stories definitely demonstrated some important flaws that exist in human (and animal) behavior.

I do think that there will be a ton of David Sedaris fans out there who will love SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK. I'm just afraid that my humor and intellect weren't quite sophisticated enough to appreciate all of these stories.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me this audiobook.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Oh too bad on this one:( I have the print copy from the library but waiting for the audio.

bermudaonion said...

I'm a huge fan of David Sedaris, but like you, I prefer the essays about his personal life.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm surprised - I didn't know this collection included dark stories!

S. Krishna said...

I agree - I like his personal essays much more than his fables. I have an audio copy of this one, but am not clamoring to listen to it anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

I just downloaded Holiday on Ice audio, I've read it a million times but never listened to it. I'm sorry you didn't like this one as well. I'll give it a try still but with a heads up maybe I won't be as disappointed.

Serena said...

I've heard great things about Sedaris...maybe I'll get an audio to try out.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I loved the personal stories in HOLIDAYS ON ICE (that Thanksgiving dinner ... OMG indeed!), so it's good to know that there's a different variety in SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK.

This might be a library book for me, rather than a purchased keeper.