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squirrelThis sounds like the title of a children’s book, and even comes with (disturbing) illustrations, but friends: this is NOT a children’s book. Nope. This is David Sedaris, humorist as dry as humorists come, with a series of short stories that feature animals acting out scenarios that seem more human than not.

I think I like Sedaris better when he’s writing about his own interesting life. The stories herein are depressing, somewhat humorous, but mostly morose. A mouse who has a pet corn snake, who must go out and capture live prey to feed it, becomes prey himself when the snake grows. A bear who becomes orphaned alienates the other bears around her when she looks for pity long beyond her mother’s death and eventually becomes captured by an inhumane circus trainer. A crow who talks spirituality with a mother sheep nursing her baby and pecks the baby’s eyes out while the mother attempts to meditate. Yes, all these and more can be found in this work by David Sedaris. Each story is accompanied by an illustration, each more disturbing than the next. (Except the owl listening at the rear end of the hippopotamus – that one’s pretty funny.)

Unusual? Yes. Original? Without a doubt. But give me Diabetes with Owls any day.

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