Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) – David Sedaris

Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 contains the contents of David Sedaris’ diaries.

A few years ago, I had read a book that collected Kevin Smith’s blog posts.  David Sedaris’ Theft by Finding is essentially the same thing.  Theft by Finding is twenty-five years of writing extracted from Sedaris’ journal.  I suppose that’s all a blog is, really.  Just an online journal that you let people read rather than a book you keep under your mattress.

Comparing this book’s contents to David’s previous work is like comparing a tweet to a letter.  There are no essays here – these are quick snapshots into the daily life of David during a twenty-five year period, although you could see snippets of what would become full-length essays in his future books, like David’s job as an Elf in Santaland and his adventures in French language class.

My favorite parts involved overheard conversations where David gleefully does impressions of others.  That and incredibly inappropriate jokes that are told to him by friends, coworkers and classmates.  Also, his incredibly raw reactions to the 9/11 attacks that are told over several diary entries.

During the intro, David notes that he’s left some entries out because not everything he writes is worth reading, however, there’s still a hefty amount of content here.  This is akin to a deep cut from a musician or band you’re already a big fan of.  This is the stuff you look for after you’ve listened to all the albums.  It should not be a starting point for any newcomer to Sedaris, but it’s an interesting look at his life and how he ultimately became a revered, crowd-drawing writer and performer.

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