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Calypso

Written by: David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (449 ratings)

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Publisher's 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.

©2018 David Sedaris (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"The latest essay collection by humorist David Sedaris is a meditation on aging. It's a sardonic one at that, that he narrates himself in his quintessential tongue-in-cheek fashion....  Fans of Sedaris, who may well be in the middle of their own lives by now, will listen along, laughing, and perhaps wiping away a few tears." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Calypso

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Narration

This was my first David Sedaris book. I will definitely pick up another. I thought it was very funny, insightful and a heartfelt review of life. I listened to this book on audio with David Sedaris the writer providing the narration. I felt his reading was exceptional, and added significantly to the overall enjoyment of his book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • VS
  • 2019-01-13

Funny and sad and funny...

At first I thought I'd picked a wrong book for myself, turned out a great listen... Also made me think about my own, children, my own aged parents and how emotional these days are... Nice to hear all the oddness of thoughts from someone else.

2 people found this helpful

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Wanted it to keep going

David Sedaris is a genius. He brings the simple things and the crazy thoughts we all have to life. He reminds us that life is an experience that's best enjoyed imperfectly.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent as always!

I love David Sedaris' humour and the way he writes about the characters in his life! He leaves me laughing out loud at the outrageous stories about his family. I can relate to him easily, and his delivery in narration is spot on. #Audible1

1 person found this helpful

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Hilarious, sad, rich

I always love David Sedaris's stories and it's a delight to hear him read these. The live performances of some chapters add to the overall experience, and his delivery is always perfect. I was surprised by the reflective tone some of the stories: the loss of his sister, his relationships with his mother and father, and his own aging, Trump and the election. I laughed out loud, cried, and loved the whole book. #Audible1

1 person found this helpful

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Snort-laugh funny

I bought this book on recommendation and then delayed listening for ages because the title and cover design never drew me in enough to choose it over another option. Finally listened, found it hilarious. I can totally see why it was recommended to me, and immediately bought the rest of the author’s works!

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Brilliant

Another brilliant book and brilliant performance by David Sedaris, literally laugh out loud at times. This kind of humour can get you through some of the toughest moments in life - thank you

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  • SW
  • 2019-12-25

Best one yet!

Highly recommend this audiobook! I immediately replayed this upon ending. Thank you so much David!

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great stories from a strange man and his family's

great stories from a strange man and his family's struggles to live a normal existence with reach other. but then , what's normal.

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Literally laugh out loud...

This was my first book by Sedaris, so some of the life history may have been lost on me. But, some of his stories were so funny I found myself laughing, out loud, while out for a walk, or driving to work in the morning. Definitely worth listening to in Sedaris' voice as well!

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  • Ruthie
  • 2018-05-31

Excellent, as always

I listen to every David Sedaris book, rather than read them. You should, too. The inflection, the cadence is 50% of the pleasure of his books! I found myself both laughing AND crying at turns in this one, which can be awkward when you're listening while out walking your dog in public. Maniacally laughing while walking alone in a German neighborhood will possibly get you committed, but I did it anyway. A gem of a book, with all the biting humor we love. I love that he never spares himself in his stories, I can relate to his quirks of nature. My only complaint is that it was such a quick read, I'm in a low-grade state of depression that it's over. Anxiously waiting the next one!

175 people found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 2018-05-30

Funny, Touching and Brilliant

David Sedaris is probably my favorite performer…and he’s hazardous to my health. I’ve seen him live a few times and each time I’ve ended up almost choking with laughter. His latest book is as marvelous as anything else he has written. If you are new to David (where have you been?) you might want to take a run through ‘Holidays on Ice’ or ‘Me talk Pretty One Day’ to get you up to speed before embarking on Calypso. If you are already a fan stop dithering and start enjoying. This book is perhaps more reflective and maybe sadder than any of his other work. His dark eye turns to some pretty intense and moving topics. He deals with aging, suicide and addiction in his family ways which I found moving and funny…that’s a hard trick to pull off. About a quarter of this excellent book is performed in front of a live audience. I think I might have been at one of those recordings. When he discusses about what angry people shout at other drivers in other countries I think you can hear me choking in row M. David is a wonderful mix of Dickens and Carlin. He will make you think, laugh and maybe cry sometimes in the same paragraph. This book may be the best use of an Audible credit this year….so what are you waiting for?

137 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 2018-06-05

Laughed so hard

This is one of his funniest books. I listened to most of this while doing housework, with my headphones on. My husband finally asked what I was listening to because I was laughing so hard!

26 people found this helpful

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  • Brad Augustine
  • 2018-05-29

David, thank you.

A love letter to David:

You've carried me through Christmas withouty family, laughing with your unabridged honesty. You've carried me through a car during a miscarriage on an 8 hour drive with your fury at the coveted bulkhead seats. And now, you've cracked open my soul. Thank you for being the vulnerable, honest human we so seldom find in a world of performance. Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your unforgiving, uninhibited, distant friendship. Thank you.

-m

71 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew Beyer
  • 2019-03-15

NPR humor

I kinda like the straightforward, non-pretensions way Sedaris tells stories, that said, I can't shake the overall mediocrity of the stories here. Just sorta bland life stuff. There's a tinge of sadness with the suicide of the author's sister and the death of his father; that's the overarching theme of this book, but there's not really enough depth there. It's fine that it's understated, but I can't shake the feeling that the book only exists because Sedaris is an NPR guy. The humor is pretty bland overall (complete with a stand-up act about airlines 🙄). Maybe it's the kind of humor that's meant to be funny-interesting, not funny-funny... but a lot of it is constructed with punchlines so I can only conclude that at least some of it was going for belly laughs and falling short. I suppose I'm coming off too negative here, overall I thought it was alright and enjoyed the little vignettes presented. And I do think it was 'well-written' for what that's worth. But just nothing revelatory or hard-hitting.

44 people found this helpful

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  • WSE
  • 2018-08-28

Best since ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY

1. Me Talk Pretty One Day
2. Naked
3. Calypso
4. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
5. Dress Your Children in Corduroy and Denim
6. When You’re Engulfed in Flames
7. Barrel Fever

Something like that!

A great production too. Lovely music interludes. Crisp narration. Great sound mix on the live recordings.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-06-04

Sedaris does it again

I will never not read a Sedaris collection. He is my favorite non fiction author!

5 people found this helpful

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  • stella
  • 2019-06-01

Not a fan

This is my first introduction to Sedaris and I learned I am not a fan. Not a fan of ‘humor’ centered around BMs and GI distress and wish he would not feed the wild life, particularly his own lipoma. Hugh sounds like a guy I could side with though and his Mom sounds like she was a hoot. Maybe it’s best to hear other works before venturing into this story.

37 people found this helpful

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  • amazonian
  • 2018-05-31

Magnificent as usual!

I live for a new Sedaris book. This does not disappoint. I do wish he would start drinking again, however...

7 people found this helpful

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  • CJFLA
  • 2018-06-11

It's OK

David Sedaris is a very good storyteller, but this book is certainly not a collection of his best. He has mastered the art of simply talking about life and realizing that everyone, everywhere, has an interesting story. That said, this collection was simply no more than OK.

24 people found this helpful