Yet another humorous gay book.
David Sedaris is very well-known in this city (San Francisco), as one of the funniest of the bunch. This book, in turn, is quite well-known for being one of his masterpieces. So it goes.
Let me tell you: it is funny. More the grin-and-smile kind of funny, witty, articulate, smart in places, but nothing of the promised outright heartsplitting laughter I thought I would get out of it. Not even in Hawai’i, reading after dark with my camp light on.
The book is stricly split in two. A first part deals with the author’s youth in an average American family. A bunch of nice people with intersting idiosyncrasies, but nothing out of the ordinary. The second, and probably much funnier part, is about Sedaris’s life in a small village in France, shlepped there by Hugh, his lover.
Far from the usual frog-bashing you’ll find all over American literature, this is a sweet portrait of a country that is radically different, and yet radically livable. Some of the comments deal with the rural life more than with France per se, but in bulk, Mr. Sedaris defends the French as eminently nice people that have unjustly been targeted as arrogant by a people that associates lack of demureness as such.
It doesn’t read funny, so far, doesn’t it? Well, it actually is quite amusing, with all the twists and turns of the author’s with and attention to people’s life and attitude. I give it a thumbs up.