By David Sedaris
Illustrations by Ian Falconer
Published by Little, Brown and Company
Copyright © 2010
I had always been tempted to read a David Sedaris book, but was always working on another book, or did not have time. I had a gap in my book schedule right about the time this new book came out and when I saw the title and cover I knew that it was now or never. Well I wish that it was…
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modern Bestiary is a compilation of moralizing short stories. These stories involve personified animals. The situations and problems are human, but he inserts animal actors. In the beginning it was quite amusing, though a bit cheeky; “The Cat and Baboon” and “The Migrating Warblers” actually made me laugh out loud. As I continued on the language began to get more vulgar, and the things that weren’t vulgar bordered on plane sick (to me anyway). With some stories I can’t quite say I discerned the moral, of course maybe the point is that the modern world is amoral, but I’ll leave that for others to judge.
The nail in the coffin came with the illustrations for the story “The Crow and the Lamb”. When I saw the picture of the Lamb with its eyes plucked out by the crow I had enough. I understand that nature can be cruel, but Sedaris has actually combined the worst in humans with the worst in animals, and to me it is just downright unappealing.