Essayist David Sedaris is back with another comical, only could happen to him, relevant to the times we are living in collection of stories.
These are much more personal writings, I feel, which encompass his father’s decline in health and his ultimate death and funeral, an homage to his wonderful sister, Amy, his travels abroad and to his homes which ultimately do not go so well, and what he learned during Covid.
The main themes throughout the book are his honesty about the decline and death of his father. It encompasses his love, hate relationship with him, some not so happy stories of growing up with him as his father, never being able to please him, even when he had become famous. The funny stories of what it was like to live under the same roof as his father and what he and his siblings would do to when things became rough. More importantly he had to come to grips with his feelings for this man as he watches him decline and then die.
But the essays are not always so sad! He tells a story of how during Covid, he and his partner who never really spend all that much time together because David is always touring, must somehow learn to live together full-time again with him asking his partner’s sibling, “What’s he like?”. He also describes what living with someone full time can do to a relationship. For example, his partner likes to play the piano. Sedaris likes to write. Hence the problem. Well, let’s buy the apartment upstairs so one can get away from the piano playing and continue to write. This caused his sister Amy to chastise him only to be reminded that she bought the apartment upstairs from her to get away from her pet rabbit!
Another quite funny story involves a teenager who seems to have a crush on him and stalks him which nobody believes because he is in France and has a hard time with the language. Another involves his love of wearing masks during Covid because he felt so free from his horrible smile because of his terrible teeth!
Intertwined are stories of his siblings and what they have had to endure during their lives, a sister who committed suicide and watching her downfall and feeling helpless. But also, many stories of their love for each other and what they are willing (or unwilling) to do for the other.
Filled with his quirky humor, wisdom and unapologetic rationale of well, just about everything, Happy-Go-Lucky is another stellar and funny read.