The American humorist, author, and radio contributor shares his most memorable work in a collection of stories and essays that feature him shopping for rare taxidermy, hitchhiking with a quadriplegic, and hand-feeding a carnivorous bird.
This is the best thing Sedaris has ever written ... No point planning a heist; Sedaris has opened the vault himself. The genius of The Best of Me is that it reveals the growth of a writer, a sense of how his outlook has changed and where he finds humor ... It is miraculous to read these pieces placed close together, the earliest written without any knowledge of where things would lead, the last guffawing at the ridiculousness of where they did ... You must read The Best of Me. It will be a new experience, knowing that enough time has passed to find humor in the hardest parts of life. More than ever — we’re allowed to laugh.
OK, so technically, there’s nothing new here. But The Best of Me is an excellent introduction to Sedaris’ work if, somehow, you’re not among the millions who have made him a mainstay on bestseller lists and flocked to his ticketed readings. Even if you’ve read or listened to every word he’s ever written, it’s a terrific highlights reel and a chance to view the arc of Sedaris’ development as a writer over 25 years ... In general, he’s moved from the often outrageous, escalating rants of unhinged characters, in which he takes an off-the-wall idea and runs with it, to more deeply personal material ... a well-earned victory lap.
The best pieces in this compilation are gems of smart prose ... The best of Sedaris’s writings revolve around his notoriously dysfunctional family. Sedaris mines their quirks for humor, but the description of their odd doings, often hilarious, is unvaryingly human. Regardless of the their idiosyncrasies, Sedaris loves his family and is thankful to be connected to them. He writes about them out of a well of humanness that makes them real and these pieces far from trivial. Combine that with a razor-sharp wit and a penchant for bons mots and you have a writer worth savoring ... This collection of favorite and beloved writings by an author with legions of fans is warm, witty, and guaranteed to please longtime and new readers alike.