Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls: A Review of an Author and His Work

| June 19, 2014

David-SerdakisEDITORIAL – When was the last time you read a book which made you laugh out loud in comedy that equally disgusted you as much as it pleased you? When was the last time you were to able to equally identify with a person as much as you were able to detest them? And, after all of that, you’re going to buy the next book as well as meet the greatest ironic mastermind of the century. Go see David Sedaris at his upcoming show in Tallahassee, Florida. Hear the novelist read excerpts from his diary—equally touching as well as frightfully close-hitting—and get a book signed by the man who once tried to keep sea turtles alive on hamburger meat.

It’s all there and it’s all amazing in his latest novel of essays entitled Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. A friend of mine whom I studied with during college was the first person to look at me in wide-eyed amazement and suggest I should read David Sedaris. And it was actually three years later that I did so. With titles like Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and various other awkward and random phrases shoved together like a McDonald’s Big Mac, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy him. He seemed—disorganized. But then there I was judging a book by its cover.

David writes mainly autobiographical works in short stories and essays, and it is for this reason he is so easy to read. He doesn’t beg you to understand everything he has to say or stick to one specific storyline for ages; in fact, I don’t think he cares if you like him, but you’re going to anyway despite himself. His work is at once touching and disheartening, and perfectly human. Perfectly imperfect. Stories aren’t molded together to stick with one story line. David writes his thoughts as he has them, and in this way we read poetic sentences about which person in the airport he thinks will die first while he also fills us in on the best coffee he’s ever had while in Seattle. Bringing new meaning to “stream of consciousness” David not only writes his thoughts, he also simultaneously analyzes them and, instead of getting lost in his world, you begin to realize yourself.

I met him recently at his Atlanta area book signing. I waited four hours. And in that time one would have thought I would have something intelligent to say. Several thoughts crossed my mind. And not one of them made it out of my mouth, which was unfortunate, but then after reading his novels I felt I knew him. I had no questions for him. He had written his advice to me in his books. It was all there. All of my questions had been answered. Therefore, he searched his bag for a scented lotion from the Four Seasons I might enjoy and sent me on my way, kicking myself all the way home for not taking him out for a beer.

He’ll be in Tallahasse, Florida, just over an hour away from Valdosta in a few months at Florida State University. And, for the love of God, make him laugh when you meet him.

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