Happy-go-lucky

David Sedaris

Book - 2022

The best-selling author offers a new collection of satirical and humorous essays that chronicle his own life and ordinary moments that turn beautifully absurd, including how he coped with the pandemic, his thoughts on becoming an orphan in his seventh decade, and the battle-scared America he discovered when he resumed touring.

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Subjects
Genres
Essays
Anecdotes
Humor
Personal narratives
Published
New York : Little Brown and Company 2022.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 259 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780316392457
0316392456
Main Author
David Sedaris (author)
  • Active shooter
  • Father time
  • Bruised
  • A speech to the graduates
  • Hurricane season
  • Highfalutin
  • Unbuttoned
  • Themes and variations
  • To Serbia with love
  • The vacuum
  • Pearls
  • Fresh-caught haddock
  • Happy-go-lucky
  • A better place
  • Lady Marmalade
  • Smile, beautiful
  • Pussy toes
  • Lucky-go happy.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Although a best-of collection and the second volume of his diaries have appeared, it has been four years since Sedaris' last collection of new essays, Calypso (2018)—an eternity to fans who rely on his sardonic observations to help them discern what their own eyes fail to register. Much happened in the interim as the world locked down with COVID-19, communities erupted in protests over police murders, and people recoiled from political machinations. What occurs on the world stage is magnified thousands-fold on the local level, and luckily for readers, Sedaris' neighborhoods range from coastal North Carolina to Normandy, Manhattan's Upper East Side to West Sussex, England, and are populated by his comforting cast of recurring characters: his husband, father, and siblings. Death comes for the Sedaris family once more, this time for his 98-year-old father, Lou. In the title essay, the clan is gathered in the nursing home, contemplating the finality of the visit yet "laughing so loudly" they fear they'll be asked to leave. "Because really, isn't that what we're known for?" Yes, they are, thankfully, and though his tone is more poignant than pointed, the essential Sedaris humor reassuringly endures. Amid the barbed quips, there is genuine sorrow, an empathy born of arduous experience and persistent aspiration.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Sedaris fans will fill reserve lists for a fresh infusion of his unique candor and comedy. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Unrest, plague, and death give rise to mordant comedy in this intimate collection from Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day). The author covers rude service workers, difficulties in his own life, and goings-on in "Eastern Europe countries no one wants to immigrate to" where "hugs guard parked BMWs and stray dogs roam the streets.... There are cats too, grease-covered from skulking beneath cars, one eye or sometimes both glued shut with pus." He faces mask sticklers in a Target checkout line, sees a drunken mask scofflaw on a flight, and communes with BLM protesters while deploring their "lazy" slogans. Much of the book has a dark edge, as it recounts the decline and death of his 98-year-old father; Sedaris voices still rankling resentments—"s long as my father had power, he used it to hurt me"—and recounts his sister's accusations that their father sexually abused her. As always, Sedaris has a knack for finding where the blithe and innocent intersect with the tawdry and lurid: "His voice had an old-fashioned quality... like a boy's in a radio serial," he writes of a Nintendo-obsessed 11-year-old; "?‘Gee willikers!' you could imagine him saying, if that were the name of a video game in which things blew up and women got shot in the back of the head." Sedaris's tragicomedy is gloomier than usual, but it's as rich and rewarding as ever. (May) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The best-selling, award-winning author of Calypso and regular contributor to The New Yorker is back with a whole new collection of satirical and humorous essays that chronical his own life and ordinary moments that turn beautifully absurd. 650,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The best-selling author offers a new collection of satirical and humorous essays that chronicle his own life and ordinary moments that turn beautifully absurd, including how he coped with the pandemic, his thoughts on becoming an orphan in his seventh decade, and the battle-scarred America he discovered when he resumed touring.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

David Sedaris, the “champion storyteller,” (Los Angeles Times) returns with his first new collection of personal essays since the bestselling Calypso. Back when restaurant menus were still printed on paper, and wearing a mask—or not—was a decision made mostly on Halloween, David Sedaris spent his time doing normal things. As Happy-Go-Lucky opens, he is learning to shoot guns with his sister, visiting muddy flea markets in Serbia, buying gummy worms to feed to ants, and telling his nonagenarian father wheelchair jokes.   But then the pandemic hits, and like so many others, he’s stuck in lockdown, unable to tour and read for audiences, the part of his work he loves most. To cope, he walks for miles through a nearly deserted city, smelling only his own breath. He vacuums his apartment twice a day, fails to hoard anything, and contemplates how sex workers and acupuncturists might be getting by during quarantine.   As the world gradually settles into a new reality, Sedaris too finds himself changed. His offer to fix a stranger’s teeth rebuffed, he straightens his own, and ventures into the world with new confidence. Newly orphaned, he considers what it means, in his seventh decade, no longer to be someone’s son. And back on the road, he discovers a battle-scarred America: people weary, storefronts empty or festooned with Help Wanted signs, walls painted with graffiti reflecting the contradictory messages of our time: Eat the Rich. Trump 2024. Black Lives Matter.   In Happy-Go-Lucky, David Sedaris once again captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about these recent upheavals, personal and public, and expresses in precise language both the misanthropy and desire for connection that drive us all. If we must live in interesting times, there is no one better to chronicle them than the incomparable David Sedaris.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

David Sedaris returns with his first new collection of personal essays since the bestselling Calypso.Back when restaurant menus were still printed on paper, and wearing a mask—or not—was a decision made mostly on Halloween, David Sedaris spent his time doing normal things. As Happy-Go-Lucky opens, he is learning to shoot guns with his sister, visiting muddy flea markets in Serbia, buying gummy worms to feed to ants, and telling his nonagenarian father wheelchair jokes. But then the pandemic hits, and like so many others, he’s stuck in lockdown, unable to tour and read for audiences, the part of his work he loves most. To cope, he walks for miles through a nearly deserted city, smelling only his own breath. He vacuums his apartment twice a day, fails to hoard anything, and contemplates how sex workers and acupuncturists might be getting by during quarantine. As the world gradually settles into a new reality, Sedaris too finds himself changed. His offer to fix a stranger’s teeth rebuffed, he straightens his own, and ventures into the world with new confidence. Newly orphaned, he considers what it means, in his seventh decade, no longer to be someone’s son. And back on the road, he discovers a battle-scarred America: people weary, storefronts empty or festooned with Help Wanted signs, walls painted with graffiti reflecting the contradictory messages of our time: Eat the Rich. Trump 2024. Black Lives Matter. In Happy-Go-Lucky, David Sedaris once again captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about these recent upheavals, personal and public, and expresses in precise language both the misanthropy and desire for connection that drive us all. If we must live in interesting times, there is no one better to chronicle them than the incomparable David Sedaris.