Theft By Finding (Review)

I noticed David Sedaris’ latest book, Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, on the shelf and knew instantly it had to come home with me. I didn’t even bother to open it for a sample. Sedaris’ writing has never let me down. I couldn’t be let down because current events have been letting me down all year.

Sedaris’ diaries begin with his years as a struggling, starving artist. Some of the entries are mildly amusing, some are matter-of-fact, and some are sad. “I’ve got $12, no job, and unpaid rent. I’m depressed, I’m broke, and soon I’ll be out of drugs. I feel so sleezy and cheap. Still, I have two sculptures in the art museum.”

While reading the book, I gained a better understanding about the author’s off-the-wall, wry humor that is found in his other work. Sedaris describes his emotional states in deadpan, wry, short snippets.

The book started out somewhat slow and unfunny. I was about to set it aside but I knew Sedaris would never let me down. I flipped ahead about halfway through. There it was, humor that was laugh out loud funny because of its peculiarity. “Ted called last night. ‘All my life I’ve been looking for Mr. Right, and here I’ve wound up with Mr. Wong,’ he said, referring to his new boyfriend, James Wong, who is from Hong Kong. Ted’s sister, meanwhile, has started playing guitar and singing gospel songs, mainly in malls.”

Before flipping back to begin reading the book in sequential order, my eyes caught one more oddity at random. It was one of many entries about his time at IHOP restaurants. “A man at the IHOP tonight lifted his entire steak with his fork and held it before his mouth, chewing off hunks of it.”

If you enjoy the eccentric humor of David Sedaris, you’ll get a kick out of Theft by Finding. Even though it’s not his best book, it’s not mediocre.

{ Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris; 528 pages, published May 2017 by Little Brown and Company; ISBN: 978-0-316-15472-7 }

The Blue Jay of Happiness agrees with David Sedaris’ comment. “I like to reserve the right to write about whatever I like.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
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