Reviews for A Carnival Of Snackery

by David Sedaris

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The second volume of diaries by Sedaris (after Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002), who navigates the early 21st century wealthier but still bemused. The flashpoints of the modern era—the Iraq War, Ferguson, Trump, Covid-19—pop up throughout these entries, but mainly so the author can sail past them with his usual irreverence. For example: “When the pandemic hit, my first thought wasn’t Oh, those poor dying people but What about my airline status?” His bottomless capacity to make everything about him doesn’t read as selfishness or ignorance, though; as with all good comics, the particulars of his life are stand-ins for everybody’s foibles and frustrations. Traveling the world for readings, Sedaris takes note of every culture’s peculiarities, from spitting on the street in Tokyo to offensive insults to language quirks—e.g., Tagalog is like “English on quaaludes.” Sedaris treats his own life as a kind of foreign country, too. After moving from his longtime home in France to England, he began his hobby of picking up litter (documented in Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls), and the reactions of his neighbors, not to mention the trash itself, provide comic fodder. Family matters were trickier during this period: His troubled sister, Tiffany, killed herself, and his elderly but resilient father still treated him like a failure. Because Sedaris traveled all over the world during this stretch, the tone and form of the diaries shift; he’s sometimes glib, sometimes contemplative, sometimes content just to catalog funny stuff he overhears. So for better or worse, he’s a humorist who’ll go anywhere. This book contains one of the best jokes about the Crucifixion you’re likely to hear, along with a few subpar quips: “To honor the death of Marcel Marceau I observed a minute of silence." A rich trove for hardcore Sedaris fans, though no more personally revealing than his well-shaped essays. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The second volume of diaries by Sedaris (after Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002), who navigates the early 21st century wealthier but still bemused. The flashpoints of the modern erathe Iraq War, Ferguson, Trump, Covid-19pop up throughout these entries, but mainly so the author can sail past them with his usual irreverence. For example: When the pandemic hit, my first thought wasnt Oh, those poor dying peoplebut What about my airline status? His bottomless capacity to make everything about him doesnt read as selfishness or ignorance, though; as with all good comics, the particulars of his life are stand-ins for everybodys foibles and frustrations. Traveling the world for readings, Sedaris takes note of every cultures peculiarities, from spitting on the street in Tokyo to offensive insults to language quirkse.g., Tagalog is like English on quaaludes. Sedaris treats his own life as a kind of foreign country, too. After moving from his longtime home in France to England, he began his hobby of picking up litter (documented in Lets Explore Diabetes With Owls), and the reactions of his neighbors, not to mention the trash itself, provide comic fodder. Family matters were trickier during this period: His troubled sister, Tiffany, killed herself, and his elderly but resilient father still treated him like a failure. Because Sedaris traveled all over the world during this stretch, the tone and form of the diaries shift; hes sometimes glib, sometimes contemplative, sometimes content just to catalog funny stuff he overhears. So for better or worse, hes a humorist wholl go anywhere. This book contains one of the best jokes about the Crucifixion youre likely to hear, along with a few subpar quips: To honor the death of Marcel Marceau I observed a minute of silence." A rich trove for hardcore Sedaris fans, though no more personally revealing than his well-shaped essays. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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