“It wasn’t the best story in the world, but, as the mouse had told him on more than one occasion, it wasn’t the worst, either.”
“Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest/Wicked Bestiary” by David Sedaris.
I am unique. I am an individual. I want to be known for my own voice and my own creative abilities. However, if I were to aspire to be compared to any writer, David Sedaris would be toward the top of my list. I have attempted to write with the brazen whimsy and quiet wit of this man, to perhaps little success, but that’s okay, because, even though I might not be able to weave my words in the same way he may, I can always just read them.
Sedaris mostly writes memoirs, and that is mostly what I’ve read thus far. I remember hearing him read the titular tale from Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk on NPR one day, and loving it. It had the dry humor and frank honesty of his memoirs, but with an Aesop-like twist in the surprisingly human-like animal characters. And that’s the brilliant thing about these tales. Everyone knows someone like the birds that migrate to Mexico instead of Florida to brag about the exoticness. Everyone knows the motherless bear who just can’t stop seeking attention for her tragedy. Everyone has known the squirrel who, built up with fear from the status quo, cuts things short with the chipmunk. In a lot of these cases, that person might even be ourselves.
Sedaris has a gift for weaving a tale in a deceptively simple way that sheds a light of truth on the world. While I adored most of the stories in this little collection, I think I was missing some of the personal connection that really makes Sedaris’s memoirs so incredible. An incredibly cute, an incredibly quick, and a surprisingly insightful little book, highly recommended, and makes me slightly wonder if I should have my ow hand at a few witty little modern fables myself…
Books read this year: 1/100.