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Publisher's Summary

If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong. 

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realisation: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny - it's a book that can make you laugh 'til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris's writing has never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realise that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumour joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris's darkest and warmest book yet - and it just might be his very best.

©2018 David Sedaris (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"Unquestionably the king of comic writing...Calypso is both funnier and more heartbreaking than pretty much anything out there." (Hadley Freeman, Guardian

“In Calypso, David Sedaris’s essays marry meditations on family, suicide, grief and mortality with the hazards of bodily functions and frequent travel for his massively popular public readings. Sedaris is as much standup comic as writer, making this a great audio and one for the car journey.” (Aminatta Forna)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Solid Sedaris. Hilarious late middle age memoir.

Excellent as expected. I prefer Sedaris's memoirs on Audio because his narration adds so much more intimacy and performance to it.

Covering his late middle age issues Calypso isn't my favourite but is none the less very memorable and full of chuckles.

There are plenty of heavy topics in this serving. The suicide of his sister, his deteriorating father, his own failing health. Covered with the right mix of pathos and perspective they are still light enough for a laugh.

There are also many highlights on lighter topics such as an international survey of road rage slurs, unexpected bowel movements and David's determined mission to feed a snapping turtle a pound of his own flesh... For whatever reason. I laughed out loud numerous times at the gym while listening to these chapters.

You simply cannot go wrong with Sedaris. While not his most jovial or insightful, it is a new, more mature (sometimes), era of his writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What’s not to like ?

I must be one of those bias people. I really enjoy David’s writing and narrating. I don’t think anyone else could read his stories. As l was listing to this book I had to stop walking as I laughing to myself and thought I would pee my pants. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • HF
  • Corrimal, Australia
  • 07-09-2018

Loved it, loved it, loved it

I've glanced at the bits and pieces of David Sedaris's writing before and enjoyed it well enough, but never got the absolute devotion of his fans. Well I do now.

To be frank, when I listened to the sample I wasn't sure I would want to listen to his delivery at length, but then I laughed and laughed again, and went ahead and got the audiobook. I absolutely loved it. So much so, I bought a copy of the book as a birthday present the next week. I eked it out towards the end so it wouldn't be done with, and now I'm about to get more of his audiobooks.

It has made me laugh aloud so many times, but there's also touching and revealing sections, which are brilliantly judged. I can't recommend it highly enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun "read"

I enjoyed David's prose and use of language. The honest and touching rendition of inside one's family.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Chris Queensland

Sedaris at his best, funny and touching and very thought provoking, a family we all can
Relate too

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I loved this so much

Brilliant, touching and hilarious. The authors narration was perfection. I can't wait to listen again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it !

Absolutely loved this book. I could listen to Sedaris talk forever :) I heard a couple of the stories before but I didn’t mind, still had me laughing out loud
As a Book publicist - he would be my dream author to go work a tour with.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Total joy

For fans, there really is nothing to say really except David wrote another collection of stories and he’s reading them himself.

For newcomers I’d say start with his book ‘Naked’ so you have some context for the family Sedaris.

How rare and wonderful to know, with absolute certainty, that you will love a book, and more importantly the voice that is reading it will be perfect. And it is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

David’s latest morsel is delicious!

I love David‘s life observations and how he makes the minutiae appear fascinating. His take on gay marriage (chapter 10) particularly resonated... nobody has distilled the issues so clearly, had me cheering in agreement and laughing all the way!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Was okay up until the anti-Semitic joke

This recording was “just okay” until a story with a deeply anti-Semitic joke was read. That was it for me, especially in these hate-fuelled times. Last Sedaris book I will own.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tania
  • 11-11-2018

A laugh with a tear

This is now officially my favorite David Sedaris book. The audio version was great, and I would strongly recommend that you listen to the author tell these stories, as it really enhances the experience.

Sedaris has always been funny, but in Calypso there is always a keen sense of regret and/or sadness. Almost all the stories focus on his family, especially on his mom who passed away a few years ago and his sister who committed suicide. I laughed out loud and shed some tears, often doing both while listening to one paragraph.

This is probably not for everyone, but I think it takes quite a bit of talent to write about nothing and still make it interesting, humorous and touching.

#Memoir #Funny #Author-narrated #Family-focus #Recommended #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 12-10-2018

Mundane. Sedaris on boring subjects

Big Sedaris fan. But this a drag. Hit wit and storytelling is buried underneath the mundane and boring subject matter. Tried 3 times to finish. But can’t

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-07-2018

Funny and sad

Really funny but also surprisingly sad, probably because even though my family and life are pretty different, it was so easy to relate to.

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  • J. Ryan
  • 16-06-2018

Better than ever!

Wonderful stories by DAVID Sedaris again. Funny and poignant and intimate and just wonderful. Best yet.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Theunis
  • 10-06-2018

Enjoyed everything except...

the live recordings. It was still classical Sedaris, but I found the audience’s laughing inappropriate at times

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • P. Lee
  • 08-06-2018

Rrpeat repeat

I was disappointed to discover I have heard a lot of this material before. I think as parts of the bbc‘s ‘Meet David Sedaris’ series. Low rating for story is because it isn’t one so really this is not applicable. This is still laugh out loud funny though and the new material I really enjoyed. Particularly the touching piece about his sitter Tiffany.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • JJ
  • 04-06-2018

A 'laugh out loud' treat!

As always, David Sedaris entertains and his frankness, humour and sensitivity, plus his obvious love for his family and loved ones, shines through in Calypso. However, having read/listened to almost everything he has written, I was a little dissapointed that some stories from previous books are included in this one and this leaves me feeling slightly short changed.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Antonio
  • 21-07-2018

One of his best

Totally loved this book. Tender, observant and frequently hilarious. I’ve read everything he’s written and this is one of his best

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Harold Hughes
  • 20-07-2018

Always A Five Star Experience

It’s David Sedaris, what more do you need to know. Brilliant observational comedic writing read as always wonderfully by the man himself.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nina
  • 15-08-2018

Not what I expected but thoroughly enjoyed it.

when I bought this I was expecting I different type if humour. However, I did thoroughly enjoy it. I felt it was very true to life and I could relate to a number of his stories, or could see other family members doing similar things. Due to it being a very real account of his life some parts are very emotional .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott Evans
  • 02-08-2018

laughed out loud on the train..<br />

laughed out loud in the train and was stared at by some people who thought I was mad

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elvisthecat
  • 27-07-2018

Dry humour at its very best

Sedaris is, in my opinion, a genius in writing. His darkly comic observations on all aspects of life, from rubbish collection to suicide, are handled in a way that neither disregards decency or humour. While we may not all share in his life experience, the open and unfiltered accounts he give leave the reader with the feeling of stepping in and out of someone else’s life and mind. Furthermore, his execution emphasises every possible piece of comedy and is even better as an audiobook than a written novel for it. As his most recent work (in 2018), it focuses more on middle age so I might consider downloading some of his earlier works first if you are new to him, but you will not miss out by starting with ‘Calypso’ either. So, unless you are extremely squeamish, this should be a compulsory listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cyan
  • 22-07-2018

A heartwarming and smile inducing listen

As a fan of Sedaris' work, this didn't disappoint. If you've enjoyed his other books, I see no reason why this would be any different!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Whistling Woman
  • 02-06-2018

Another Slice of Sedaris Life

More essays about the life of David Sedaris and the characters that inhabit it, mostly hysterically funny, sometimes piercingly poignant and very occasionally heartbreakingly sad. Never boring, that's for sure. I listened to this in two big chunks as I always feel, somehow, befriended by the author and wanting to join in the conversation. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-2018

Found it boring

But disappointed as it's a bit boring if I'm honest. After reading reviews was expecting to not stop laughing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful