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Happy-Go-Lucky  By  cover art

Happy-Go-Lucky

By: David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
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Publisher's 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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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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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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Awesome as always

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

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  • keepingitreal
  • 06-11-22

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Julian Konczak
  • 06-19-22

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hellsbells
  • 11-25-22

I think we could have been great friends!

At the start I’d no idea who David Sedaris was and I still don’t really. However that’s not important the way he looks at the world and the great sense of humour he possesses makes this worth a listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-19-22

Charming, insightful and ruefully funny

Always prefer the audios to reading the books, as no one can deliver David Sedaris's words better than him.
Sad I have finished it

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  • james walker
  • 11-18-22

Literature's version of Larry David

David Sedaris confronts a variety of taboo subjects and revels in the discomfort this causes his audience. This ranges from the things people stick up their bum to his experience of covid. His latest collection is the one we've been waiting for as his father dies (woe behold anyone who says 'passed' away). How will he deal with this complex person who has brought such misery to his family over the years but comedy gold to his writing. I think you can guess...

The tracks are labelled according to story - a rarity for audible and something that should be standard. Some are recorded live, others in the studio.

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  • HeyDon't.
  • 11-12-22

Best yet

I think I have enjoyed this volume the most. Especially the more straight chapters. Great stuff.

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  • Miss Suzanne K Dickinson
  • 10-11-22

Great company

I listen to Audio tapes whilst i work. (Curtain maker/Upholsterer)
I find David Sedaris is just the best company. I love the unashamed, honesty of his writing and the insight in to his sometimes disturbing family life.
I find it cathartic to laugh out loud with him yet still be very moved by those darker moments.

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  • Metal Mover
  • 10-09-22

Fantasticly entertaining, poignant and engaging.

I never tire of David's musings on life. So much detail on human nature and the frailties and positives that intertwine in our lives.

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  • williampr43
  • 09-20-22

scary clown

David Sedaris never misses, both funny and sad, poignant and hilarious. I have taken two stars off the overall as I am terrified of clowns. sorry David .

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  • Emmylou
  • 09-13-22

His best yet.

Absolutely loved this - in my opinion it’s his best yet. His work is always amazing, but all the more enhanced by his reading it. Funny, interesting and still fresh after all his other work. Love him.

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  • Joanne
  • 11-17-22

I'm gonna start taking my bra off

hilarious, irreverent, interesting. loved it all, and I'm off to buy another DS book

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-10-22

More funny stories

It feels like a continuation of Calypso. The stories seem a little less coherently linked but just as funny. It can feel a little bitchy but that's what makes it funny.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-02-22

Sedaris is a comic genius.

It's pretty rare to find a book that makes you laugh out loud consistently through every chapter. Sedaris easily achieved that and what's more, has made me fall in love with his personality along the way.

My only concern is that, living in Australia, I won't get to see him perform live, but maybe I'm wrong?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-22

Stumbling laughter on an evening walk

Either I'd be surprised by gutteral expulsions of chuckle whilst walking or inanely smile while driving. Sometimes drivers on the opposite side of the road would find themselves gently smiling in return but the pedestrians would need to assess their willingness to defend their lives. In any case, I always loved to listen. Much love from Woy Woy, Oz

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  • Sarah L. Butler
  • 06-28-22

Never fails…

… to make me smile. David Sedaris is an international treasure.
10/10 as always. Love from Australia.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-22

A great read

I loved the book, especially with Sedaris' narration. Equal parts funny and profound, this book is a must read.