Live For Your Listening Pleasure

When David Sedaris goes on a book tour he can fill huge auditoriums with fans eager to hear his humorous observations and stories. His new CD, Live For Your Listening Pleasure, was recorded last year at various stops on his tour. It’s a new standalone album (there’s no corresponding book), but if you’ve had the opportunity to attend one of his events, you might have heard a few of the stories before. Here’s a list of the contents and my thoughts on each:

Cat and Baboon – This fable consists of a conversation between a cat and a baboon and I thought it was a cute way to begin the album.

Author, Author – When I saw him at an event in 2008 he read Author, Author but it was just as funny the second time around. It’s about his experiences on tour (which are hilarious), but he also describes a shopping trip at Costco with his brother-in-law, which had me in stitches. Only he could turn something as mundane as shopping at a warehouse store into an entertaining story.

Innocence Abroad – I had never heard this one before and I think it ranks up there with some of his all-time best. As the name implies, it’s about traveling abroad, in particular, an obnoxious houseguest he hosted at his home in France. It’s worth listening to just to hear Sedaris’ pronunciation of “Nicaragua.”

Laugh, Kookaburra – I’d read this story before in The New Yorker but I enjoyed it more this time since he actually sings the Kookaburra song (something I wasn’t familiar with).

Diary Entries – He ends the CD by reading random entries from his diary and there are lots of funny observations and excerpts from conversations he had with the people he met at book signings.

Live For Your Listening Pleasure is a little over an hour long and is a great way to experience David Sedaris. His audiobooks are always great, but I think several stories on this album were chosen specifically because they work well aloud. It’s the perfect medium for Innocence Abroad because his over-the-top pronunciations probably wouldn’t translate quite as well in print. Sedaris fans will love Live For Your Listening Pleasure and I think it would probably be a good way for new fans to become acquainted with him as well.

Quotes from Live For Your Listening Pleasure:


When did you last touch a monkey?

If Los Burritos Grandes was a mountain range amongst which toiled an oppressed peoples, well that would be different.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Hachette Audio | Format: Audio CD | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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