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Summary

Back when restaurant menus were still printed on paper, and wearing a mask—or not—was a decision made mostly on Halloween, David Sedaris spent his time doing normal things. As Happy-Go-Lucky opens, he is learning to shoot guns with his sister, visiting muddy flea markets in Serbia, buying gummy worms to feed to ants, and telling his nonagenarian father wheelchair jokes.

But then the pandemic hits, and like so many others, he's stuck in lockdown, unable to tour and read for audiences, the part of his work he loves most. To cope, he walks for miles through a nearly deserted city, smelling only his own breath. He vacuums his apartment twice a day, fails to hoard anything, and contemplates how sex workers and acupuncturists might be getting by during quarantine.

As the world gradually settles into a new reality, Sedaris too finds himself changed. His offer to fix a stranger's teeth rebuffed, he straightens his own, and ventures into the world with new confidence. Newly orphaned, he considers what it means, in his seventh decade, no longer to be someone's son. And back on the road, he discovers a battle-scarred America: people weary, storefronts empty or festooned with Help Wanted signs, walls painted with graffiti reflecting the contradictory messages of our time: Eat the Rich. Trump 2024. Black Lives Matter.

In Happy-Go-Lucky, David Sedaris once again captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about these recent upheavals, personal and public, and expresses in precise language both the misanthropy and desire for connection that drive us all. If we must live in interesting times, there is no one better to chronicle them than the incomparable David Sedaris.

©2022 David Sedaris (P)2022 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about Happy-Go-Lucky

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Brilliant as ever - but a missed edit left in

David Sedaris is excellent as ever. Worth flagging overlaid audio approx 31 minutes into Hurricane Season.

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latest and possibly last excellent work by maestro

Another excellent piece of work by Sedaris - some memorable pieces including reflections on his father's demise, passages that in themselves make this audiobook worthwhile. However, there is a sense of the cream about to sour with the inclusion of the insistent reminders of his vast wealth.- possibly ironic intention and self-deprecating delivery still give the feeling of decadence and finality. Similarly, the knots he managed to tie himself into regarding his need to appeal to a distinct demographic of liberal anti-Trump fanatics and Covid cult members undermined much of his generally astute and non-partisan observations of the human circus.

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A man feels important enough to write and disregard a woman’s story of sexual abuse

This was my first Sedaris book and won’t read any more of his book. Absolutely outraged by his narration and opinions of his dead sister voicing her experiences of sexual abuse by their father. Sedaris writes that she’s troubled, changes her story through the years and doesn’t remember it to describe it to them so that leaves doubts and basically saying “their dad was a creep but never acted on it”. Left me speechless. Shows ZERO understand of how trauma works in the body and in the mind. I feel so frustrated at him for writing and disrespecting her story through his writing. His writing is of a grumpy old man, trying to be funny and avoiding going to therapy but writes a book to feel important.

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Sedaris never disappoints

Great stories from David Sedaris - getting better and better with each one. I hope the laughter never stops.

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Very very very good

Just great, funny, amusing, honest, revealing, poignant. Sedaris should be elevated to be a UK national treasure (though I don’t think I’d want to live with him).

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Just brilliant...

Poignant and cutting, David's essays and talks are a masterclass in storytelling and I'm so grateful for his sharing them.

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Mostly about the COVID lockdown..

era, and the decline and death of his father, this book is an astringent mix of the profound and petty. It’s both funny and a bit disturbing. Apparently always honest, it’s marvellously free of cliche. I loved it.

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Genius David Does It Again

David has honed his craft of storytelling to the maximum. His years of living in intriguing environments around the world have added to his unique mix. He is also someone who had a fabulous storytelling mother and those days around the kitchen table after dinner were key to his future editing skills. Thank you David.✍🏻📚📚

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fabulous

can’t beat this genius as he describes life . As always a fantastic listen.
Thank you David

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Always good

I just wish the sections weren't repeated in other books. Feel like I am buying some things twice.

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  • Tania
  • 10-08-22

Too many repeats of stories in other collections

Although the stories and the narration was as entertaining as always, I had a major issue with the fact that almost half of these stories were already in his other books. Especially since the blurb states that this is "his first new collection of personal essays".

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-07-22

Great collection of stories

This is a collection of different stories from the amazing David Sedaris, including ones from live performances. There is quite a lot about his relationship with his dad and his sisters, including his deceased sister Tiffany. Some of this is quite raw and his honesty is very disarming and intimate, especially given the taboos there are about discussing mental health, and speaking “ill of the dead”. He is such a unique story teller and there is a lot of humour in his work that is very unforced and genuine. I really enjoyed this, particularly as it was spoken by his voice which is so lyrical.

Small production problem at 1 hour 58 min, 49 sec where there is about 10 seconds of speech overlapping with the next passage. Needs fixing.

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  • gad
  • 28-06-22

Awesome as always

He never disappoints! He has such an great ability to share his darkest flaws, most of which we all share