Review: Calypso by David Sedaris

I felt like it was Christmas, my birthday and all the holidays rolled into one when I won a print copy of Calypso on Instagram a few months ago along with a ton of Sedaris swag – jackpot!! His first collection of essays in almost 5 years! I sat on it, and savored the cover and the early reviews, and finally decided to sit and get lost in it. Only knowing how sad I would be once I had finished.

I LOVE every book he’s written. I’ve gone to readings and shows more times than I can count, and I snatch up his books the minute I catch wind there is a new one. And I get way sad when I finish them. Because I devour them. I read them typically in one sitting and can’t get enough.

This one was devoured in about three hours flat. I know, I know. I should have paced myself. Savored it. But what I love the most about his witty stories – is those that revolve around his family. And this one is chock full of them – once I was in, it was all over. He delves into his deepest, tragic memories of his long passed mother, her alcoholism, his sister Tiffany and her 2013 suicide, his aging father, now in his 90s, and of course his sister Amy (love!) and his other siblings getting older as well. There’s plenty of Hugh and snippets of the Hamrick family, and I felt a bit like I was getting the yearly family Christmas update letter of the Sedaris family – but with the good and the bad all mixed in with old memories and fresh ones being made…

It’s peppered with classic Sedaris social commentary including some relevant political stuff – Trump and Comey are both mentioned, but it is not the focus of the book. Most of the essays take place at the family beach house – The Sea Section (lololol) and recollections of the past are aplenty. Some of my favorite parts revolved around Davids FitBit obsession, his signature stage culottes, “Your English is So Good” a guide to REALLY learning the language, the story of a lipoma tumor, learning about that cover image, and how the title Calypso came to be. I found a lot of animal themes that I loved as well! Stories and references to dogs, turtles, sharks, kittens, a fox, and many more.

I read several reviews that Calypso is “dark” but I felt it was more sad and somber, if anything. Not dark at all. As he gets older in life, his observational humor tends to head in that direction – aging, death, sickness, tragedy, tumors! But the sadness comes with a hearty does of one-liners and you will not be disappointed in this one! Dark and depressing – nope. not at all.

Calypso is fresh, it’s funny, and it was so real and so honest, that Me Talk Pretty One Day has been bumped from my top DS book and Calypso has officially taken the crown.

Get it now on Amazon here —> Calypso by David Sedaris


  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st Edition edition (May 29, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316392383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316392389


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