Audiobook Review: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris


I really and truly love David Sedaris novels. Witty, self-abasing, and laugh-until-my-guts-hurt funny, his novels explore his life at all stages: his childhood growing up in newly-integrated North Carolina, his misadventures in college, and his recognition and acceptance of his homosexuality. His novels are often self-critical and circular, with seemingly unconnected events rolling back around to bite him in the ass. Many of his audiobooks are read by himself, often in front of a live audience. In his most recent edition, David Sedaris focuses on his present-day life with his husband Hugh. While the novel does have a chapter that features owls, the title of the book draws from an odd inscription he gave to a fan at a book signing. While I really like ‘Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls’, I felt like he has had better collections. As he has become richer from his works, his stories become less relatable. At one point, he decides on a whim to move from his summer home in Brittany region of France to a cottage in the Somerset region of England. However, despite his fame and fortune, he still faces many of the same problems as ordinary people: mean customs officials, deterioration of his health as he ages, pre-occupation with strange hobbies, and theft of a computer. His novels often focus heavily on his family. While his parents always came across as stingy, this novel made them seem unnecessarily cruel. He describes never being good enough in his father’s eyes, and it really felt like it hurt. While I really liked “Owls”, if you are new to David Sedaris, I would suggest checking out another one of his collections first. I think my favorite collection was “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, which did a nice job of sampling stories from all stages of his life.


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