David Sedaris Book Reading

David Sedaris Long Beach, CA May 4th 2010

This Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending a David Sedaris book reading in Long Beach, CA. His readings tend to be like stand up comedy and this one was no exception. Sedaris has a book of fables entitled: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer) due out on October 5, 2010. According to Sedaris the stories actually fall short of being fables in that they don’t contain any “morals”. He read one of the stories from the book and it was amazing. The story was a dark tale about a rabbit that gets drunk with power working the security gate of a forest. David said he got the idea after being treated rudely by an airport security worker. He described the incident and said that his reaction was “oh I’m going to write a fable about you…so there”. I have to admit I was skeptical when he announced he was writing a book a fables (as I love all his non-fiction short stories), but trust me this book is going to be awesome.

For anyone who has never read a David Sedaris book or listened to his stories on audio (which are just as good if not better), I encourage you to do so. Sometimes I find myself getting down on the fact that our generation doesn’t seem to have the same caliber of writers as back in the old days. Who do we have that can compare to likes of Hemingway or Twain? The answer is Sedaris. He’s always reminded of J.D. Salinger in his observance of human idiosyncrasies. He can take an experience, like waiting in line at the airport, and make it into something so funny you’ll soon be noticing the comedy in your own life.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about the event, and not just because he’s my favorite author. He read several stories, essays and personal diary entries. He also took some Q&A from the crowd and stayed after to sign books for thousands of waiting fans. Considering that this tour consists of something like 35 cities in 36 days, I was impressed by his willingness to meet with fans after the long reading. Besides his writing, I’ve always liked David Sedaris because he comes across as very easy to relate to. I’ve heard him express in public a couple times that he doesn’t like meeting people he admires because he never has anything to say. I completely get where he’s coming from as I have never stepped in line to meet him. I have a feeling I would act like Chris Farley on that episode of SNL when he interviewed Paul McCartney. Our conversation would go something like this in my head:

Me: You remember when you wrote that story about the “Stadium Pal” and you described peeing yourself just because you could.

DS: Yes.

Me: That was awesome.

Fun Fact: For anyone that is interested David Sedaris recommend a book of dark short stories called “Irish Girl” by Tim Johnston during the event and even read an excerpt from the book. I plan on checking it out and will review it soon!

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