Monday, October 06, 2008
My first experience with author David Sedaris almost got me killed.
I got one of his audio books from the libary, unaware of what I was in for. I thought it would be mildly amusing, but instead it was unbelievably hilarious. So much so that when I listened to it in the car, I was laughing so hard, I nearly ran a stop sign.
Sedaris isn't for everyone, of course, but if you aren't offended by his offbeat worldview and sometimes less than pc offerings, it is a treat to hear him read his work.
When I got an e-mail saying that someone I knew had an extra ticket to go hear David Sedaris speak, I jumped at the chance. Sedaris, who lives abroad, was here to promote his latest essay collection, When You are Engulfed in Flames.
As usual, Mr. Sedaris was laugh aloud funny. He is in the habit of paying someone at a book signing prior to a speaking engagement to introduce him. When a young woman who looked a little nervous approached the microphone, I thought she might have been university staff, but no, she was a student. Sedaris had offered her $10 to bring him out and for someone who hadn't planned to speak before a capacity crowd, she did a good job.
Book tours are all about promotion and he read a funny piece that The New Yorker had asked him to write about being on a book tour. But Sedaris doesn't just use him speaking engagements to promote himself. He also mentions, holds up and reads from the work of another author he admires. He read from The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders. This kind of promotion was good to see because not everyone is quite so generous.