Ashley's Reviews > Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
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May 19, 12

bookshelves: short-stories, group-reads
Read on May 18, 2012

I am normally a huge fan of David Sedaris. I think I've read every other book he's written. However, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk was not my favourite. In this collection of short stories, David has infused familiar animals with some very human characteristics. Mice keep pets and owls seek knowledge while some larks vacation in South America. It's a very interesting concept and parts of it were fantastic; however, other parts were quite off putting.

This book is filled with Sedaris' style of humour. I just found it to be jarring when coming from these animals. It seemed harsher. These are no longer stories about prostitutes coming home for dinner, instead there are murderous rabbits and gouged out eyes. It's the combination of these awful human traits with the brutality of the animal world that makes it darker than his previous works, at least in my mind.

This is an illustrated book. Each story has at least one original illustration to go with it. Be warned, these illustrations are not for the faint of heart. They go into graphic detail about the most disturbing sections of the stories in many cases.

Sedaris is still a brilliant humorist and there are stories that I loved, that made me laugh. The Parrot and the Potbellied Pig for instance was a gem. I definitely laughed out loud for sections of that particular story about a journalist parrot writing about a Potbellied Pig art dealer. A story about a dog debating morality and monogamy with himself in The Faithful Dog is also a standout. Overall, it was just a little brutal for my tastes.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is a really fast read, it only took me a few hours. I would recommend checking it out. The humour and satire is still there although the subject matter has shifted.
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