Calypso Summary

David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.

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 realization: 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 powers of observation have 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 realize 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 tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris's darkest and warmest book yet--and it just might be his very best.

Book Reviews


Not good or funny1 star

Seems it’s written by a middle school boy who is obsessed with male body parts and foul language.15


What’s not to love?5 star

The ever-creeping sadness and thoughtfulness in his work is on full display here, adding more depth than ever. But my god, how I laughed at some of these pieces. Sedaris is one of a kind.55

Bobby Doubles

Time well spent5 star

I toggled between complete agreement and suspecting it is I he making fun of, sometimes landing right in the middle.55


Fun5 star

Made me laugh out loud multiple times. Sedaris is genius and funny.55


Calypso4 star

Wonderful and insightful book that was a pleasure to read.45

cant take the NRA ads anymore.

Loved it.5 star



Bad1 star

Not funny at all. Gross and uninteresting.15


Best one yet5 star

This book is a collection of his most honest and personal writing yet. There is still humor and laugh out loud moments, but the stories are so much deeper than that. This is an introspective collection of essays that I truly love every time I read them. Spectacular. (The essay about Carol the fox is my favorite.)55


Calypso5 star

Ok, but not what I had hoped for. Dark, sad, and with a mean streak that I didn’t need. I’ve loved Sadaris’ other works, but this was disappointing—I think it was the self-absorbed back note that wasn’t present before. Not giving up though, and if this was cathartic for DS in some way, I’m glad for it.55


Calypso4 star


Other Books by David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One Day


Me Talk Pretty One Day
4     838
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk


Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk
3.5     618
Holidays on Ice


Holidays on Ice
4     280

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