Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is a collection of essays by David Sedaris. Many stories involve adventures in the world abroad. Even those who have not traveled can appreciate the humor of being an outsider. Stories range from Sedaris’ youth to the present. His wry humor and well-utilized sarcasm can make even the most mundane or embarrassing situation into a tale worth reliving. I would highly recommend listening to the audiobook, as I did, to fully immerse yourself in Sedaris’ tone.
Sedaris continues to be extremely adept at putting the feelings of being an awkward outsider into words. It would be impossible for anyone not to be able to relate to at least one of these situations. Everyday scenes are commemorated in his stories. Though not every essay is based in positive outcomes, Sedaris is able to captivate the reader, and leave them fully engrossed with a smile managing to escape, no matter what the topic covered. The antics of Sedaris’ family continue to color his stories, and their outlandish interactions feel right at home to the reader. It is laudable to share so many situations that would leave others rolling their eyes. Sedaris doesn’t seem to glamorize or criticize his family. Instead, he leaves the reader feeling as though they are sitting around the dinner table, laughing as the family takes turns retelling horrifying memories of their lives together.
The peek behind the curtain in Let’s Explore...Owls is intriguing, and altogether as enjoyable as the other stories. The process in which Sedaris catalogues his life is interesting, and it is strange to see how the process of keeping track of stories can become a story on its own. Throughout the other essays there are glimpses into how much Sedaris cares for his fans, and his true appreciation of them. One learns it is always important to keep our eyes and ears open; it is impossible to know what small detail might become the basis for a great tale in the future. Everyday we are surrounded by small bits of truth or humor. They are so easily overlooked, and it takes a craftsman like Sedaris to subtly highlight the importance of keeping an open mind. Every day contains a great story if you know where to look.
If you have been the star of your own tale, read Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.
Sedaris, David. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Little, Brown & Company, 2013. Audiobook.