Audiobook Review: Let’s Talk About Diabetes with Owls


Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
Written and narrated by David Sedaris 
Ⓟ 2013, Hachette Audio
8.10 hours

If humor is a house built on the foundations of pain, David Sedaris has built a comfortable home. Sedaris presents 26 stand-alone comic compositions, ranging from the autobiographical to the fictional – all reflecting Sedaris’ keen sense of irony tempered by a softly cynical wit. Sedaris alludes to outrageous and embittering experiences & situations that have been mitigated in their virulence by over-long familiarity, the passage of time and, a sense of humor that mocks the absurdities of life. 

For those unfamiliar with Sedaris’ humor, it is is like being stung by a bee even as you eat the honey. There is an underlying tone of causticity even as you recognize the ridiculousness of the the situation at hand. If you are a homophobe, politically right-of-center and/or dress badly, you may feel more of the sting than the taste of the honey; but Sedaris is no less valid or funny for all that.

The whole of the audiobook is remarkable for its ambition in bringing in a number of different sessions of varying sound levels & qualities from different venues & studios, as well as Andrew Bird’s interstitial music and an exclusive bonus track for audiobook listeners. Some of the “comic essays” are performed live before an audience while others are read in a studio; and in each case Sedaris has a great sense of timing and seeming intimacy with his listeners whether they are immediately present or not.  Andrew Bird’s haunting gypsy string style music is fantastic, though it is unclear what the relationship between the music has with the material.

OTHER: I borrowed a CD edition of Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (Written and narrated by David Sedaris) from the Jackson County Library System in Oregon. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.

I am participating in The Armchair Audies 2014, judging the category of Humor.



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