• Theft by Finding

  • Diaries: Volume One
  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-06-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (247 ratings)

Summary

'He's like an American Alan Bennett, in that his own fastidiousness becomes the joke, as per the taxi encounter, or his diary entry about waiting interminably in a coffee-bar queue.' (Brian Logan, Guardian review of An Evening with David Sedaris)
The point is to find out who you are and to be true to that person. Because so often you can't. Won't people turn away if they know the real me? you wonder. The me that hates my own child, that put my perfectly healthy dog to sleep? The me who thinks, deep down, that maybe The Wire was overrated?
For nearly four decades, David Sedaris has faithfully kept a diary in which he records his thoughts and observations on the odd and funny events he witnesses. Anyone who has attended a live Sedaris event knows that his diary readings are often among the most joyful parts of the evening. But never before have they been available in print or audio.
Now, in Theft by Finding, Sedaris brings us his favourite entries. From the family home in Raleigh, North Carolina, we follow Sedaris as he sets out to make his way in the world. As an art student and then a teacher in Chicago, he works at a succession of very odd jobs, meeting even odder people, before moving to New York to pursue a career as a writer - where instead he very quickly lands a job in Macy's department store as an elf in Santaland....
Tender, hilarious, illuminating, and endlessly captivating, Theft by Finding offers a rare look into the mind of one of our generation's greatest comic geniuses.
©2017 David Sedaris (P)2017 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Colin on 15-03-18

Not what you might be expecting...

I am a great fan of David Sedaris’ work, both the written and the performances, in which he shows an uncanny eye for finding the ridiculous and absurd in everyday people and events. Listen to any of his books, and you will find yourself smiling, a lot.

Not so with this title in which, through his personal diaries, Sedaris draws a picture of an America far darker and more dangerous than Hollywood ever let on, populated by bigoted and ignorant people who’s only thought is ‘What’s in this for me?’

David is in his 20s, and has relocated from the family home in North Carolina to the big, bad city of Chicago. Financial pressures mean he has to consider every penny when scouting for a rental apartment, and thus he ends up living in a very run-down and dirty part of town. He learns early on that if you want the cops to come to your aid you need to use the word ‘Gun’ when you call them, otherwise they just ain’t coming.

A typical day for Sedaris starts with the physical and verbal abuse he experiences from passing cars or strangers on the street pretty much every time he steps outside, followed by witnessing repeated abuse toward waiters in his favourite diner, then having his possessions snatched from him by vagrants as he walks along. This is then compounded by the dark, awful stories of abuse, addiction and squalor he hears from random people he encounters. A nation of helpless, hopeless people who have given up, and now spend their days with only one aim, to get as high as possible at someone else’s expense. People with nothing, who have nothing to lose…

The writing, and Sedaris’ delivery, is as brilliant as ever, even though I do find I take a deep breath every time I take off my headphones, just to clean the dirt out of my system.

A very different listening experience…

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Liz Scully on 28-11-17

Big fan Sedaris fan but this is just dull

There's ten years of diaries here and they become boring fairly quickly. It's a long audio book and there's none of the lightness of story of his other work. In fact as they're diaries, there's no story at all.

this is very much simply the inside of his head without much humour. As he's depressed, broke and a heavy drug user for all the parts I listened to, it's also fairly depressing

There is an interest in seeing what interests him - what he remembers and comments on. You can see how those themes come out in his more structured work.

But as his other books areso autobiographical anyway, i found this repetitive and dull. I tried really hard but i could only get through a few hours before wanting to throw it out the window. if you're looking for story any of his other works are superb.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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