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Blog In Book Club

The delightful animal stories of David Sedaris's 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk'

By David Silverberg
Posted Nov 5, 2010 in
When I first heard about essayist/humorist David Sedaris's new book, I wasn't too excited. Animal parables with illustrations? Really? Is this the road he wants to go do down?
But don't judge a book by its premise. In fact, after reading Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, I wanted more. More stories, more humour, more life lessons. See, in this book the short short stories tell us about the dangers of blind trust or the beauty of life-long friendships. They each impart some lesson framed by animals doing very adult things, like manning borders with guns to keep out immigrants.
Each story displays Sedaris's trademark humour. It could be a quick description of how bad karma can cause a cold or a chipmunk wondering about the appeal of jazz. Sedaris knows how to hook you into his stories, even ones populated by pelicans, snakes and motherless bears.
The book won't offer the same kind of storytelling Sedaris fans have come to expect from his earlier works. You won't learn about the author's entertaining life, or receive any insight into his writing process. Instead, consider the book Aesop's for Adults, with the excellent illustrations providing artistic visuals reminiscent of those storybook days.