Dec 21, 11
Read from December 20 to 21, 2011, read count: 1
Was it well written? Yes. Were the parables clever? Yes. Did I like it? NO.
These 16 beast fables follow in the tradition of Aesop, Horace and La Fontaine. While I appreciate Sedaris's craftsmanship, I found the stories to be excessively gruesome and tongue-in-cheek, castigating a variety of modern fools without providing the "moral of the story" at the end.
Sedaris pokes fun at the sort of uneducated, bourgeois attitudes you find televised on Jerry Springer. Ignorance, hatred and fear lie at the root of these tales, which showcase a variety of awful prejudices. No ugly human mindset is left unexposed: from xenophobia to homophobia, infidelity to fanaticism, this is a dark catalogue of our failings as a species.
I will admit to three contributing factors to my dislike for this book:
1) I loathe thinking about the plucking out of eyes, it's HIGH on my personal Nasty Scale, and Sedaris includes eye-plucking multiple times.
2) Narrations of chicken slaughter (which also occur in this book) gross me out completely ever since I read "Man Descending" by Guy Vanderhaeghe, where the first short story opens with a boy trying to decapitate a chicken and failing in a spectacular, nightmare fashion.
3) When closing the book for the last time, it gave me a paper cut. INSTANT FAIL.