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Calypso

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  77,599 ratings  ·  7,931 reviews
David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.

If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging i
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Hardcover, 261 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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Bonnie G. That is the entire point, that is what haunts him. Anyone who has loved a mentally ill person has a cache of those memories, where they shut down the …moreThat is the entire point, that is what haunts him. Anyone who has loved a mentally ill person has a cache of those memories, where they shut down the person who is mean and drains every ounce of energy, but who needed them at the moment. I can tell you I have a moment like that I think about every single day of my life, and my dear friend has been dead 8 years.(less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  77,599 ratings  ·  7,931 reviews


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Elyse  Walters
I don’t think I could love David Sadaris more if I tried .....he’s already filled my entire heart - body - mind - soul - spirit - and funny bone with enough uplifting, awesome and amazing, unforgettable storytelling for a lifetime with the collection of these stories.
They are passionate and affecting — achingly good - urgent and surprising - contemporary and insightful - playful and outlandish- showing us the beauty in the broken — and ultimately teaching us to choose love.

A few times I laughed
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Lori
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I’m often misunderstood at my supermarket in Sussex, not because of my accent but because I tend to deviate from the script.

Cashier: Hello, how are you this evening?
Me: Has your house ever been burgled?
Cashier: What?
Me: Your house—has anyone ever broken into it and stolen things?

With me, people aren’t thinking What did you say? so much as Why are you saying that?

Top line Sedaris aslant observations and commentary on family, love, and aging. Some of the subjects are dark, some sadly bitter-swee
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Larry H
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

For me, reading David Sedaris' books is like hanging out with that slightly strange friend—you may think you're crazy, but at least there's someone crazier than you out there!

I've been reading Sedaris' books on and off for a number of years, since his first collection, Barrel Fever , in 1994. In addition to helping bolster my self-esteem, he's always good for a fair amount of chuckling, giggling, and all-out belly laughing, not to mention his unique ability to highlight some of life
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Matthew
I think this is Sedaris’s finest work to date. While sticking with his usual humor and cynical delivery, he gets raw talking about topics like suicide, alcoholism, the afterlife, aging, etc. I found myself very emotionally engaged throughout the book and wanted to reach into it and give him a hug from time to time (which, no doubt, he would find disturbing and certainly have something to say about!)

If you have not read Sedaris before, I think he is one of the best memoir-ists of our time. While
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Julie
The most awful thing happened to me this past Friday. I was at the airport, my flight was delayed for hours by storms, and I ran out of material to read.

I was alone, and I had nothing to read.

I checked my phone. My emails. Called home. Walked around aimlessly for a while, wondering what I was going to do with myself. Finally, at the end of the terminal, I discovered a kiosk offering soft porn, chocolate and crime thriller/romance novels that I wouldn't touch with the bottom of my toes if they f
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j e w e l s
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FIVE STARS

It's really difficult to write humor, and nobody does it better than David Sedaris! I find him absolutely hilarious, but I know he is not everyone's cup of tea. (WHY NOT??)

Sedaris is in rare form with CALYPSO. Calypso, by the way, is the name his neighbors gave to his cat when the kitty is off living his completely hidden life. David Sedaris was not amused when he found out that name.

Sedaris makes every story funny, no matter how inappropriate the subject is. You will find yourself lau
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Karen
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I must admit... I had never heard of this David Sedaris guy, but damn he is entertaining!!
These stories, mostly about the himself and his partner Hugh, his parents and siblings ... and aging...just gave me the most laughter I’ve had in awhile! There is one about a stomach virus... I was just 🤣🤣🤣🤣
Great stuff here!
Candi
4.5 stars

"Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age. The only perk I can see is that, with luck, you’ll acquire a guest room."

From the moment I read that opening sentence in my very first David Sedaris collection, I knew we would be pals for life. Not to mention that my friends here, who happen to have excellent taste, have all raved about him at one point or another. I may be late to the party once again, but I’m very glad I decided to show
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Debbie
5 cha cha cha stars!

Others already knew that Sedaris would take care of us. I’m new to the game. Long ago, I tried reading one of his collections and quickly ditched it. Huh, this guy is funny? Not to me. I figured we did not match—his jokes, my sensibilities, no go. Everyone has a different funny bone.

Well, I’m here to tell you, all my thoughts about different sensibilities and different funny bones are bull. Because damn if I’m not on my pogo stick again! I haven’t had so many laughs since Nor
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Robin
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, 2020, american
January isn't just a month. In Montreal, it's an ordeal. After only ten days of January under my belt, I'd already nursed two children through a truly nasty gastro virus (which always erupts in the middle of the night. Why, why, why?) I'd suffered through my own adult version of this hell a few days later. After came the ice storm, and subsequent power outage (and all I could think of was the brand new container of Cherry Garcia melting in the freezer).

This, just the first third of the month. Sa
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Liz
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ok, so first off, I was laughing out loud within three pages of the first chapter. Well, laughing and kind of gagging. Eating your turtle’s nutrition bar with dead flies? Ugh. I’ll let David tell you the whole story. And then in the very next chapter, he talks about his sister’s suicide. This is a book that hits you with all the emotions. It’s the kind of book you want to share with friends, to read paragraph after paragraph out loud to anyone within hearing. There’s lots here. Not just the humo
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da AL
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Combine all the mixed feelings you could ever have about life as well as family -- make your reader laugh, think, and cry -- and then add in the same way the suicide of a sibling -- only Sedaris can do this...
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

To say that this is a biased review might be the understatement of the decade. Many of you are already familiar with my love for the Sedaris family. It began with Amy and Strangers With Candy before I discovered her brother was a writer. Having now read all but one of his collections – and more recently re-listening to several of them during my commute – I have no shame in admitting I am completely smitten with every single one of the
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Michael
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
A collection of twenty-one personal essays on approaching middle age with humor and hope, Calypso stitches together the poignant and the satirical. Sedaris takes on a wide array of lighthearted topics, from fitbits to vacation homes, as well as more serious subjects, like illness, addiction, and death. The author’s wit shines no matter what he discusses, though, and he paints a vivid portrait of his family across the entire memoir. The concluding essays focusing on his sister’s suicide and his m ...more
Victoria
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One writes out of one thing only--one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art. James Baldwin

I have listened to all of Sedaris’ books and this is by far his funniest, but also his most heartrending book to date offering up all that we have come to love from the bizarre to the bleak; the p
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Sam Quixote
David Sedaris’ latest collection of humorous essays, Calypso, isn’t up there among his best books but it’s not a bad read either.

The most impressive essays were on his sister Tiffany and mother Sharon. Not that they’re exploitative – Dave’s the celeb, not his immediate family (except for Amy, his actress sister) – though they are revelatory. Tiffany committed suicide in May 2013 just before her fiftieth birthday and Sedaris talks about her troubled relationship with the family, the squalid cond
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Jenny
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
David Sedaris does it again with Calypso. It’s funny, intelligent and brilliant. He’s honest with his feelings and not afraid to share the good, bad and ugly. His observations are candid, weird, perverse and humorous but honest which makes his books worth the read.
Cindy Pham
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to the other book I've read by him (Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim), I realize that I appreciate this book better because it feels more honest and real while still remaining funny. Corduroy painted a picture of a quirky little family; Calypso dives into more serious themes like death, aging, and suicide, while maintaining a dark sense of humor throughout. I like the natural balance between both - it feels innately human and real. I couldn't rate it 5 stars because I still think ...more
Esil
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I already miss David Sedaris. I finished listening to Calypso as an audiobook narrated by Sedaris yesterday, and I would have been happy to keep listening for weeks, maybe months... In a way, my love of his personal essays is bizarre. There’s a fair bit of revolting bodily content and he circles over some of the same family dynamics more than once. But, oh my! What a gift with words! And what a gift for scrutinizing himself, his family, life and the universe! Nothing seems to be beyond his inter ...more
JanB
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Wry and witty, this collection of essays is both hysterically funny one moment and heartbreakingly poignant the next. Nothing is taboo, and topics range from the serious to the ridiculous: aging, family, bodily functions, suicide, his Fitbit obsession (which I could relate to, having been known to 'house walk' late at night to get to my target), social commentary, literal potty humor, and much, much more. His powers of observations are spot on and he says it all without a filter. As in
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*Layali*
Unpopular opinion here.

Hypocritical, pretentious, and underwhelming. Best words to describe this book.

It took me so long to get through this short selection of essays. I heard amazing things about it, and that it was hilarious. I had a couple chuckles, but overall I was completely and utterly BORED. I loathed picking this book up, and I considered DNF'ing it at 50 pages. I should have.

It's literally a bind up of a bunch of random thoughts by the author, most of which come off as dejected and di
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Nancy
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
As the Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert was airing on Livestream I opened my ebook and began to read. I was soon laughing out loud. A few paragraphs later I laughed even longer and harder. I had to read out loud to my hubby. And then I knew. I could not read Calypso by David Sedaris while listening to the symphony.

I could not read it in bed. I would laugh my husband awake. When could I read it? During the day, with the windows open to let in the fresh spring air, so inviting after a very, very
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Calypso from Little Brown, but KNEW I would have to hear the audio version in order for my experience to be complete. I started this last Friday on my commute and remained plugged in on the way to and throughout my youngest's double-header on Saturday. I'm not a real chatty person to begin with (my husband even bought me a "Do Not Disturb" sun hat to wear to games in order to enable my introversion) - but even without the hat the gods smiled upon ...more
Margitte
I won't call David Sedaris a comedian. He's not. He does not try to be funny. No, he is more of a satirist, a humorist. A fine observer of life's absurdities and oddities which provide the fuel to his many beloved, hilarious reflections. He doesn't like ghost stories and sharing recipes, but love fat people. People with 'phobian' resentments towards them should just shut up, he says (and he politely does not add that they should get over themselves, like I would have done).

David is no linguist,
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Mackey
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a full blown review, simply sharing that I adored this book. I don't normally read "compilations" or even straight up humor books but this one caught my attention and kept it until the end. I read it in a matter hours and spent the majority of that time LMAO!

All the stars for David Sedaris and his far too funny writing!
Toni
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Note: He signed my Calypso book! Psst, pretty certain I saw Hugh help deliver his dinner while he was signing. (If you’ve never seen him, he usually eats while signing cause he stays forever.) 🙂

In Calypso, David gives us 21 essays, YES, twenty-one essays or stories for us to laugh and maybe even tear-up a little. Some of these essays have been published in various periodicals before, primarily, "The New Yorker," but not to worry. Sedaris' fans follow David like a bloodhound (myself included), an
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Carole
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Calypso by David Sedaris makes you feel like you are spending time with an old friend. He discusses family issues, life, death, his summer home named Sea Section, ordinary life, etc. Every sentence is perfectly formed and you will laugh and you will cry but most of the time you will cry while laughing. If you can, try the audiobook version which is read by the author. He is an accomplished writer and reads his material with panache. I enjoyed Calypso very much.
Diane Barnes
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5 stars. Because it's David Sedaris.

This one is a mixture of serious and funny, new for him, new for us. There are essays here about his sister's suicide, his mother's alcholism, his difficult relationship with his father, and the agony of realizing he's a gay man in the South before it was accepted. Around every corner, though, there are the laughs, the twists and turns of a mind that thinks like us, only he has the courage to say it aloud or write it down. And he lets us into his family of 3
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Vanessa
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s something about inhabiting David Sedaris’ world that I can’t get enough of. I could literally read him all day long.

He has the kind of extended family I craved to have had growing up. Far from perfect but they all gather together at the end of the day, everyone allowed to be open and honest, there’s arguments and tension but everyone is still super supportive at the end of the day. This book mostly centres around his large family the only ones missing his mother who passed away 27 years
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Hilary
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hilary by: Requested from library
2.5 stars. Chatty, mildly amusing memories about life, family life, relationships and illness. I found my self skimming in some places and mildly interested and amused in others. This might have more appeal or relevance to US readers perhaps.
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18,349 followers
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
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If we need a paperweight, we're grabbing a hardcover. Otherwise, we're big fans of paperbacks. They're the lighter, less expensive option—the pe...
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“Have a blessed day.” This can make you feel like you’ve been sprayed against your will with God cologne.” 23 likes
“Happiness is harder to put into words. It’s also harder to source, much more mysterious than anger or sorrow, which come to me promptly, whenever I summon them, and remain long after I’ve begged them to leave.” 18 likes
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