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Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  58,662 ratings  ·  6,054 reviews
A guy walks into a bar car and...

From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.

Sedaris remembers his father's dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarka
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Little, Brown and Company
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
When I told my mom what I was reading, she thought I said "Let's Explore Dead Babies with Owls."

Bravo, Mr. Sedaris.
4.5 stars
I love David Sedaris but I HATED his last book, 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk'. I'm hoping he redeems himself here.

UPDATE: I read this book and I was happy to find short stories and essays. I laughed out loud many times. The story about the taxidermist is my favorite out of this collection.
Jason Koivu
David's mah dawg, yo! I love this little guy!

I always listen to him read his own stuff in audiobook form, as opposed to reading it myself. I can't do his little elfin voice justice.

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls is more of the same Sedaris: observations skewed by his quirky worldview, which produces within me squirmy giggles with the occasional guffaw explosion. This collection of essays gets an extra star on the rating from sheer worn-shoe comfort joy. It's no better than his previous books.
Gary Anderson
I usually like the work of David Sedaris. He’s at his best when talking about his family or childhood memories, or wryly observing society’s foibles. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls has moments of that trademark understated irony, but it’s more self-absorbed than his earlier collections. This book’s primary theme seems to be the travails of a successful author as he fulfills his tiresome obligations to accept invitations to read his work out loud in exotic locations like China, Rotterdam, and C ...more
You know I'm shocked by all the high ratings for this book. Maybe it's because I'm younger than the average David Sedaris reader, but my eyes were literally bleeding towards the end of Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. I don't even rate nonfiction, but I'm making an exception for this... thing that reads like the inane, self-absorbed ramblings of a Grampa Simpson type - 'when I was young...' I killed endangered animals, never got the approval of my dad, wrote a racist rant, got my passport stole ...more
Let's get one thing out of the way right now - David Sedaris is the preeminent satirist/essayist working and writing today. Maybe it's because of his radio readings or listening to his audio books, but his is a distinctive voice that fills your head as you read his work. For me, I can't help but think as I read a Sedaris essay that he's standing right there next to me, speaking word for word what is written on the page, which makes for interesting mental company.

When I delved into "Let's Explore
I needed a laugh and Sedaris didn't disappoint. A few times I was laughing so hard, I expected angry neighbors to kick in my door and duct tape my mouth shut while shaking their heads disapprovingly or sighing theatrically at the evidence that I have finally gone insane. It’s not just the jokes and the context they’re in, it’s also the parallels I can draw with my own life, with my own cynical personality and my facetious nature. And a bit of empathy is essential when it comes to memoirs.

For ful
Yay! David Sedaris is even older than I am. (Every year it gets harder and harder to find someone who is...) BUT, he IS close enough in age that we are basically contemporaries, therefore, his gripes are my gripes, and this makes me happy.

Like Sedaris, I can clearly remember mundane incidents that occurred in third grade - the day THAT BASTARD, Marty W., pushed me down in the playground and tore my favorite pants (true, they were plaid, so maybe he did it as a favor), but, no, I cannot remember
As part of the promotional tour for this book, David Sedaris made a stop in a Barnes and Noble in my city, and I ended up going sort of by accident (I bought a copy of the book on a whim the day before the event and learned that, by purchasing the book, I had also unknowingly purchased a ticket to the reading the next day). It was a fun event - Sedaris is charming and adorable in person, and was very polite to the requisite crazy people who tend to show up at every author reading I've ever atten ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Louisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I want to like David Sedaris's brand of humour and observations, but he usually falls short for me. I don't seem to find some of what he has to say all that interesting or funny and this is my third attempt at trying to warm up to the man. I know I'm probably in the minority here, oh well, so be it. I'll go hang my head in shame now.

This particular paragraph from Attaboy made me chuckle which was a rare occurrence:

I don't know how these couples do it, spend hours each night tucking their kids in
It is no happy work to break the hearts of tens, but I can do nothing less than my duty. So here it is: David Sedaris is not funny. He is not clever, observant, witty, pithy, or trenchant. He is not deadpan or droll.

What he is, is not funny.

I do not argue that he has never been funny or that he may never be funny in some theoretical future. I argue that he is specifically, painfully not funny in Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, his latest book of “essays, etc.” (and it’s that “etc.” that should
I feel like I'm now on some sort of NPR blacklist for not liking David Sedaris. Like, I'll call in to the next fund drive and they'll say "I'm sorry but our records show you gave ...Diabetes with Owls two stars. We don't want your money." Two stars, because he's a competent writer, especially when he's not writing as himself, and he made me chuckle a few times but, wow, I haven't felt this alienated by a book in a while. Maybe it was because I listened to the audiobook and hearing the howls of l ...more
I'm continually amazed at David Sedaris' detail. The way he writes conversations and chance encounters - brilliant. "Day In, Day Out" describes his journal-writing process, and is it surprising? The man works nonstop at it - recording the minutest of details for later use. I've seen him read from one of these journals. His satire and sarcasm just get me all weepy...with laughter. I love this man.
The most embarrassing part about writing a review of a David Sedaris book is the moment when you realize that what you are really trying to do is to write a David Sedaris-style essay. Something cute about how you were reading his book on the subway and you started laughing so hard that even the drunk homeless people moved away from you, but slowly because they hoped you wouldn't notice. You'd segue into a bit about how this made you realize that even when everyone around you makes you feel like ...more
Brian Warren
April 23 marks the end of a long wait for David Sedaris fans. It has been five years since his last book of essays, “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” was published. I’ve had an advance copy of “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” for a week now and it’s been fun making my friends jealous (one of the perks of the job). And, of course, it’s been fun to read. I’m not usually one of those, “you gotta’ hear this” kind of readers who insist on reading aloud to whomever happens to be in the room, but on ...more
After seeing David Sedaris in Durham, North Carolina for a reading/book signing, I couldn't wait for this book to be released. And, true to form, I purchased it as an audio book. I like reading David Sedaris, but hearing him read his essays enhances the entire experience. My husband and I listened to this book while I was driving down I-95 on our way to Florida and, thankfully, the traffic wasn't heavy because I'm sure that my driving was more erratic than usual because of my outbreaks
of hysteri
4/23/13: It is always my intention to read a David Sedaris book hot off the press. And by "read" I really mean listen to David read to me. For that is the way he is most enjoyed.

5/16/13: Finished! There were a couple of these that I had read and LOVED in the New Yorker and I was very pleased when they came along.

The rest were new for me. Some hilarious. Some disturbing.
All David Sedaris. In other words: Fantastic.
Aug 06, 2013 Caris rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
When I first read Holidays on Ice, I didn't get it. I followed that up with Naked, which I also didn't get. I saw the humor and understood why it was supposed to be funny, but it just wasn't. Then I read When You Are Engulfed in Flames (solely because of the cover)and loved it. I revisited the books of his I'd read and walked away loving them. After having gone to two of his readings and reading pretty much everything he's written, I'm glad I persisted in my efforts to like Sedaris.

That last boo
Most of the essays in this book are funny, but I kept getting major deja vu from earlier David Sedaris hits. I feel bad for Sedaris because I get the impression his successes have kind of painted him into a corner, and when he tries to do something new people are like "bleh, we liked your old stuff better" and when he settles into his familiar territory of wry essays about the various weirdnesses (I don't think that's a real word, BUT IT SHOULD BE) of his life people are like, "SEEN IT!!!" I'm s ...more
Liz Dahl
This book was funny, as many of David Sedaris's books are but I found myself not laughing as much as I do upon a first read of his work. This is due to the insertion of fiction pieces in between the memoir anecdotes, which was kind of jarring. He did the same thing in Barrel Fever which is probably my least favorite of his books. These short stories were written in the same tone as his non-fiction and until he identifies a characteristic or trait that he doesn't share with the fiction narrator, ...more
È il solito Sedaris: l’uomo che da ogni piccola bazzecola riesce a tirare fuori un pezzo che fa veramente ridere e, in più, riesce ad infilarci dentro anche una sana morale. In questo libro l’ho trovato un po’ meno “scoppiettante” che in altri, però è arguto, intelligente, e sentimentale come sempre.
Impariamo un po’ di più riguardo alle sue compulsioni: scopriamo, infatti, la sua passione per cose veramente strane come, ad esempio, scheletri di pigmei e modellini di gole umane; vediamo come, in
Cannot wait! I will purchase this for the cover art alone!

After reading... The stories weren't his best, or close to it. I only laughed out loud about 3 times. But still, at this point it was like catching up with an old friend.
I love, love, love David Sedaris. Its kind of embarrassing how easily I will leap on the slightest conversational entry point and proceed to bore whomever is stuck with me about all the details of why I think Sedaris is amazing. However, this last book leaves me feeling a bit deflated. Don't get me wrong, there were still many laughs during the course of reading this book - but it was hard to escape the feeling that we have mined over the exciting tidbits of his life maybe one too many times. Ha ...more
I wasn't as enchanted with this book as with previous books. Perhaps as others have said before, his stories aren't as relatable as previous fare. I will likely never own houses in multiple continents, and I'm almost sure that international newspapers will not want my opinion on American politics. Also, he seemed to come off as a little too judgy (I'm remembering a line where he indicates that he wishes political buttons were bigger so that he could know sooner how others swung on the political ...more
i read a review of this that was all, "don't trust the five-star reviews! this book is okay, but it's not GREAT, like his other books were! what happened to david sedaris, man? he used to be so good. you don't even know. i remember back before he got all 'popular,' when he was writing about REAL things that matter to REAL people, man."

okay, i may have paraphrased a bit at the end there. but it was seriously ridiculous, like someone is some kind of david sedaris early adopted for having read "na
While I enjoyed this collection more than Sedaris' previous book 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk', it just didn't rise to the levels of his great collections ('Naked' or 'Me Talk Pretty Someday'), or even his very good collections ('When You Are Engulfed in Flames' or 'Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim'). I just feel like he is retreading the same ground, picking up the same litter, and is starting that phase in his career where he is like a band from the 80s that isn't creating as much as exploi ...more
Jun 03, 2014 J. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
Review also posted on My Bookshelf is Ready.

I like reading David Sedaris's books. There's a quality to them that is like sitting in a basement in the 1970s. You know the kind. It has faux wood panelling halfway up the wall, with wallpaper of harvest gold sunflowers on a field of avocado leading up to a popcorn ceiling. As you sit on the thick orange shag carpet, the nag champa incense fills the air; a bossa nova plays quietly on the record player in the background. There's a wonderfully weird wa
It seems that David Sedaris stopped being funny and decided to be only bitter, judgemental and mean.
Sep 12, 2014 Tania rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tania by: coleen
Shelves: bookclub, memoir
I think what draws me to David Sedaris writing is that he says it the way it is. He doesn't try and hide his flaws and insecurities. He doesn't try and justify his behavior. So even when I'm laughing out loud, it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable - and that's the combination that works so well. I must admit I'm definitely not a fan of the short stories spread throughout the book, I much prefer him telling us about his own obsessive and neurotic life.
Listened to the audiobook while driving to and from South Carolina and it was like having a great traveling companion along to keep me entertained. Hearing Sedaris is probably better than just reading him. It's all about voice with him, in more ways than one. Between Sedaris and the songs shuffling on my IPod while driving my fun rental Dodge Charger I got not at all sleepy.
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David Sedaris is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist and radio contributor.

Sedaris came to prominence in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries." He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. Each of his four subsequent essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Fa
More about David Sedaris...
Me Talk Pretty One Day Naked Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim When You Are Engulfed in Flames Holidays on Ice

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“As a child I assumed that when I reached adulthood, I would have grown-up thoughts.” 82 likes
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