Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk Review
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Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is David Sedaris’s quirky little book of short fables, featuring illustrations by Ian Falconer. Each story features animals with human characteristics. Among them, you’ll meet an alcoholic cat who’s forced to attend prison-mandated AA meetings, a motherless bear who wallows in self pity, a potbellied pig who finds it difficult to go through life labeled as such, a dog who married beneath his station, a toad, a turtle, and a duck who commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line, and squirrel and chipmunk lovers who are separated by prejudiced family members.

Each story has a moral—as fables always do. You may have to wade through some religious intolerance, unfaithfulness, and adult language and humor to find it, but it’s there.

Is Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk bust-a-gut funny? No, not always. But the humor is there, if you’re receptive to change. Seek and you shall find.

Of course, one thing remains the same: it wouldn’t be David Sedaris if it didn’t go over the top at some point, and this happens in the last story in the collection (as well as in the illustration that goes with it). “The Grieving Owl” is so outrageous that it will leave you with your mouth hanging open.

Some readers have called Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk “dark,” “disturbing,” “angry,” and “creepy,” and, to a certain extent, it is. Some readers may have a problem with the fact that the characters are animals. These animals are faced with the harsh realities and injustices of the human world, and the endings aren’t all rosy. Others may have a problem with David Sedaris deviating from his usual form of personal essays. The book isn’t what one would expect, based on Sedaris’s past writings (like 2008’s When You Are Engulfed in Flames). If you can get past that, though, there’s a lot to like here.

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