Theft by Finding: a book review

The wonderful, hilarious, perfect human that is David Sedaris decided to release his diaries in book format. The first half spans the years 1977-2002 and was released on May 30th of this year. It is without a doubt, everything that I could have hoped for. As a long time admirer of Sedaris, I was particularly looking forward to this book, and am glad to say that it did not disappoint. The book is unflinchingly honest, inspiring, and of course, hysterical. But could we ever expect anything else from dear ol’ Dave?While it is not surprising that the book is presented to readers in a witty but honest and true to life style that is Sedaris’ signature, you will perhaps be a little surprised by the early years of the diary. If you’re like me, all of a the authors you admire occupy a neat, tidy space in your mind in which they have always existed as fully-formed, self-actualized, competent geniuses. Sedaris shows us that at least as far as he is concerned, this wasn’t the case. He started out just as clueless as anyone, and didn’t shy away from making his share of mistakes. Sedaris begins writing his extensive diary collection in 1977 as he is hitchhiking across the country with a friend. These early years reveal a heretofore unknown (or to me at least,) portrait of Sedaris. Sedaris is not bashful about presenting his readers with an accurate depiction of what his life was like at that time. He was addicted to drugs, he was unable to hold down an hourly job and resorted instead to odd jobs, he lived in poverty and he did not live well. He lived in low-rent apartments that were falling apart in violent neighborhoods. He spent hours each day observing people in the IHOP (a question that goes unanswered is how? As he was not able to hold steady employment,) and he was a slave to his addiction.  Continue reading “Theft by Finding: a book review”