Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making.For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed...

Title:Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0316154725
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:514 pages

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 Reviews

  • Toni

    Dear Diary, I read this book recently that was completely in diary format since the author had, in fact, published 25 years of diary entries, (Volume I apparently), that started when he was about 20-21 years old and has continued on ever since. He started off with brief statements and observations of his day. I guess 1977 to 1983 are his really "bleak" years. Which are typical when you're young, broke and no real goals in life. I think many of us could relate. He's starting to sound a little hum

    Dear Diary, I read this book recently that was completely in diary format since the author had, in fact, published 25 years of diary entries, (Volume I apparently), that started when he was about 20-21 years old and has continued on ever since. He started off with brief statements and observations of his day. I guess 1977 to 1983 are his really "bleak" years. Which are typical when you're young, broke and no real goals in life. I think many of us could relate. He's starting to sound a little humorous.

    "The diary lightened up when I moved to Chicago, partly because I was in a big city and because I felt better about myself." David attended and graduated from the Art Institute here, where many fabulous entries; particularly his writing times at his favorite IHOP near his neighborhood. Bountiful years And he's still alive.

    In 1990 David moves to NYC and the world really opens up to him. Tons of cleaning jobs to earn some cash, millions to observe, and times to write, day or night. He meets Hugh here, thank goodness, gets himself together a bit more, and starts to become the success he is today. You know, that quirky little guy that a reads his books out loud at all different venues; and we pay our hard-earned money to buy tickets to go listen to him, willingly. What a racket! He's really funny though and we all like him. I myself have all his books in print form and audio. Personally, I like sarcasm.

    So diary, it's worth it, I get my own copy today! Amazon is going to drone it over. I'm lying, I pre-ordered it. But I am going to also listen on audio, so much better when David reads it to you. Still, what a racket!

    I'm really disappointed that there are not any pictures in this book. That "New Yorker" article recently got my hopes up for pictures. Oh well. Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for the ARC.

    Yay, got tkts to see David in October at the Aronoff Theatre.

  • Julie

    David Sedaris explains in the Introduction of his new book that “in the U.K., if you discover something of value and keep it, that's

    .”

    Thus a great title was born, and it suits the general theme of David's diaries. But, I have a suggestion for two alternative titles for this collection, one borrowed from Garth Brooks: "Friends in Low Places" and the other stolen from William Shakespeare:

    .

    Before I proceed, I want to clarify: I am a Sedaris lover, not a hater.

    David Sedaris explains in the Introduction of his new book that “in the U.K., if you discover something of value and keep it, that's

    .”

    Thus a great title was born, and it suits the general theme of David's diaries. But, I have a suggestion for two alternative titles for this collection, one borrowed from Garth Brooks: "Friends in Low Places" and the other stolen from William Shakespeare:

    .

    Before I proceed, I want to clarify: I am a Sedaris lover, not a hater. I love the guy's writing. I've read all but one of his books of published essays.

    But, I feel compelled to say this: If you are not an established reader of Sedaris's work, I would not recommend that you start here. Go read

    or

    .

    Start where Sedaris writes with some polish and some humor, not with the origins of his writing, the “bare bones,” if you will. These are stark observations, and they may or may not appeal.

    It's not that this book isn't often hilariously funny; it is. It's not that this book isn't sometimes poignant; surprisingly, it's that, too. It's just that. . . if you don't know David's writing, I'm not sure you're going to make it past page 75.

    Frankly, David's diary entries from the late 1970s/early 1980s are fairly disgusting. He was a hard core substance abuser at the time, and I found it depressing to read about someone so desperate, down on his hands and knees, snorting an unknown white powder he has found, in the hopes that it is cocaine, or sniffing bags of glue and tempera paint because he has run out of money for better drugs. Also, he shares many anus-focused ruminations (I don't know how else to say this politely!), and these entries contain almost ridiculous amounts of the “n” word, the “p” word and the “c” word. I don't mean to suggest that David himself is “using” these words (both racism and misogyny disgust him); he is just surrounded by the absolute dregs of humanity in scenario after scenario, and these losers love these words, and David reports them.

    For me, the highlight was the center of the book, the mid-80s through the mid-90s, when David starts to get his act together, meets the love of his life and stops living on the total fringe of decent society. This is where the diary entries are laugh-out-loud funny, and I was actually taking pictures of passages and sending them to my sister, who is a Sedaris fan who has not yet received her copy.

    Ironically, once his life becomes

    stable, his regular observations became somewhat boring and my feverish reading slowed, though he did take me to a tender place regarding the premature loss of his mother. That aspect of his writing has always been relatable to me.

    For established Sedaris fans, this is a mostly fun read, despite the degrading and loathsome accounts of humanity it reveals, but, personally, I'm holding out for new material.

    Come on, David, let's hear about life in the U.K.! Crawl under an overpass if you need to, but give us something new!

  • Rachel León

    David Sedaris is funny. And he's funny in his own way. It's like his humor comes in its own flavor that you can't find anywhere else. Which is why when he has a new book come out, it's an event.

    This book is a collection of Sedaris's old diaries. I winced at the idea for a minute, then decided it'd still be worth reading. I wasn't wrong. This book is funny, introspective, and interesting. It's not the best intro to Sedaris for new readers, but fans will enjoy it.

  • Trin

    David Sedaris is so authentically David Sedaris. This first collection of his diaries reveal him as everything you'd expect, and want, him to be, and reading it only made me love him more. The feeling of being in the backseat (or perched on the handlebars of his bike, perhaps) as he struggles through his early years is both incredibly reassuring and, of course, hilarious. There is so much fantastic observational humor in this: Sedaris spends loads of time just sitting in various IHOPs and writin

    David Sedaris is so authentically David Sedaris. This first collection of his diaries reveal him as everything you'd expect, and want, him to be, and reading it only made me love him more. The feeling of being in the backseat (or perched on the handlebars of his bike, perhaps) as he struggles through his early years is both incredibly reassuring and, of course, hilarious. There is so much fantastic observational humor in this: Sedaris spends loads of time just sitting in various IHOPs and writing down what people say and do. His eye (ear?) for detail is superb. And his own wonderful personality shines through at every turn.

    Most mind-blowing moment (which I am spoiler-tagging only because I got so much pleasure out of being surprised by it, not because I actually think you can spoil history/reality):

  • britt_brooke

    "I'm not a misogynist. I'm a misanthrope. I hate everyone equally."

    This is a book for established Sedaris fans. I say this because I'm not sure one can truly appreciate if they haven't read his other work (or at least some of it).

    I love his style of humor. Very intelligent, but also so silly and twisted. I was captivated even by the most mundane stories. He has a way of making anything interesting. Looking forward to the next volume!

  • Matthew Quann

    I think this is my first Goodreads review of a Sedaris book, but I've been a fan for a good while before that. My first exposure to Sedaris was with the excellent

    audiobook. With his black humour, wry observations, humanist stories, and morality that never feels cheesy, Sedaris had me hooked. So I was pretty excited when I saw there was not one, but TWO new Sedaris books dropping this year.

    A bit of a disclaimer that should have been evident to me from the book's c

    I think this is my first Goodreads review of a Sedaris book, but I've been a fan for a good while before that. My first exposure to Sedaris was with the excellent

    audiobook. With his black humour, wry observations, humanist stories, and morality that never feels cheesy, Sedaris had me hooked. So I was pretty excited when I saw there was not one, but TWO new Sedaris books dropping this year.

    A bit of a disclaimer that should have been evident to me from the book's cover. This is not a series of essays that follow any arc, nor are they stories,

    is a collection of diary entries. Some days are quick snippets, the earlier stories are rougher, and the later entries hew more towards the Sedaris I first met. We follow Sedaris as a young adult dabbling in every drug imaginable, we see him meet many people who would become instrumental in his life, and we see the nuggets that would eventually become his well-known stories.

    If you're like me, then you'll find a lot of common ground with Sedaris. His professional people watching and documentation of his ludicrous encounters is always spot on. He brings up situations in which

    and has thoughts

    . It's always nice to know there's other humans with whom you share some cognition. With an eye for the absurd and a knack for making me laugh, I'm just about guaranteed an enjoyable venture with Sedaris.

    This would never be my recommendation to a Sedaris newbie--

    is my suggestion!--but it still ends up being a pretty enjoyable listen. It functions extremely well as something to put on during the commute, dishes, and was a steadfast companion for my fiancé and I during a recent move. It is the audiobook equivalent of the book that's easy to pick up and put down. So, if you know you like Sedaris, I'd recommend it highly!

  • Giss Golabetoon

    The only reason it took so long to finish this is because I bought it on iBooks and the only time i had to read it was on the bus to work, anyways, it was worth it. Sedaris manages to be funny writing his diary and recounting daily routine to himself, he's very good with sarcasm and self sarcasm. Loved it

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Before I even begin this ramble, I feel a disclaimer should probably be provided regarding these 4 Stars. If you have not yet had the privilege of experiencing David Sedaris’ essays, you most definitely

    begin with

    . Pick up any one of his other collections and read that first. Then repeat. Repeat again until you reach superfan status and you’ve started fantasizing about how delightful it would be to wear him

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Before I even begin this ramble, I feel a disclaimer should probably be provided regarding these 4 Stars. If you have not yet had the privilege of experiencing David Sedaris’ essays, you most definitely

    begin with

    . Pick up any one of his other collections and read that first. Then repeat. Repeat again until you reach superfan status and you’ve started fantasizing about how delightful it would be to wear him around like a skinsuit as a beck-and-call-boy for your constant amusement. That’s totally normal, right????

    Right. When you reach that point of fandom, you’re ready for this.

    is exactly what the title states – various diary entries that span several decades. Sedaris himself said this book should be read in snippets. If you are of the ilk, this would be a perfect selection to have readily available whilst sitting on the throne. Since my gastrointestinal system is of the “all or nothing” variety (TMI??? Naaaaaah!) and I wouldn’t dream of defiling my lobster’s work in that manner, I can’t confirm or deny if this is the way to go. I can, however, confirm that the early years are a rough read as you follow Sedaris from his 20s in Raleigh where he more than dabbled in methamphetamines and underemployment as a starving artist while consuming daily feasts at the local IHOP. You LITERALLY read the phone book as well as random recipes and lists of what he got for Christmas and various other nonsense like what happened that day on

    or the off-color joke a co-worker told him that day.

    If you can get through the first 20% or so, it becomes smoother sailing. David puts down the meth pipe and details his initial successes as a playwright in New York City all the way to becoming a best-selling author and residing in Paris. He lets you in on his family history – including his mother’s death and his sister’s battle with mental illness and includes some truly poignant entries . . . . .

    While I could have lived without the never ending submissions regarding his various French classes, unforgettable moments in history are documented within its bindings . . . .

    As well as monumental moments in his personal history . . . .

    Most importantly, around the 25% mark Amy moves to the same town and made my life complete when her various antics began being included . . . .

    Amy is the kind of asshole I dream of becoming one day. Hysterical with absolutely no filter. David and I both tend to be more of the “George Constanza” variety when not in writing . . . . .

    There was little to no doubt in my mind when I requested an advanced copy that I would be denied so I immediately put myself on “pre-hold” at the library well before the release date. Words cannot express how happy I am now that I did not read this early, since it allows me to quote the story that caused quite the embarrassing moment at work . . . .

    I read that during lunch yesterday and while I was trying to muffle my laughter, my supervisor confused the noise for hysterical sobbing. At that point there was no way I was going to be able get myself back under control and, well . . . .

    Due a combination of Sedaris’ epic rise in fame here in flyover country along with my crippling phobia of strangers in crowds, I most likely will never be brave enough to attend one of his readings and officially declare us besties for the resties. But we’ll always have our mutual love of America’s best television program as an unbreakable bond . . . .

    And he won’t have to bother getting one of those pesky restraining orders against me. Winner winner chicken dinner.

    You’ll always be my lobster, though, David. Always . . . .

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