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David Sedaris is subversive, funny, absurd and dry, and this book mostly about Christmas has some priceless gems, but I wish I'd started with one of his others first.
Having heard his live readings on BBC radio, I have come to love his wonderful and often poignant observations on the absurdities of life. His humour never fails to make me laugh, and reminds me of Tom Lehrer, with an absurdist twist. From the politics of being one of Santas Elves at Macy's to the difficulties of explaining the Easter bunny to a Muslim in French, or his fascination with autopsy reports, this book has some priceless and delicious stories.
So, why only 4 stars?
Some of the stories, (such as the Dunbar family Christmas circular), are certainly more poignant than funny - almost tragic, and his brilliant but biting cynicism sometimes left me feeling deflated. (He is at his best when being autobiographical, and with a live audience).
However, I think for me it is because this is a "collection" of assorted stories on a theme, rather than a whole book, which left me wishing I'd started with one of his more complete audiobooks.
That aside, I am off to buy another, and probably many more after that, for he is a rare talent, with an astute eye for Homo absurdus, and a genius for expressing that in humour. Don't be put off by his voice. Once you get used to his style, his delivery is impeccable, and his timing and inflection certainly add to the humour of the writing.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I picked this up, knowing David Sedaris from his "appearances" on This American Life. It's a great, funny, and insightful look into life from David's point of view. He's brilliant reading his own work, so much so, I think it's probably better to buy the audio book, than the printed book. Great listen for any lover of the absurd.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I will start by saying that I am now a fan of Sedaris after finishing a second book by the author.
This book is a cynical, dark, sarcastic, satirical collection of stories about the family oriented holiday season from the dysfunctional perspective of David Sedaris.
One story is about Mr. Sedaris applying for a job at Macy's store, New York to work as an elf during the Christmas season. Having experienced Macy's store during this period and reading about the author's time there working as an elf, made the reading doubly funny.
Another of the stories I laughed at just by reading the title: Dinah, the Christmas Whore.
Some of the tales are quite violent, but, somehow still weirdly comical.
I will definitely be reading more of his work.
Sergiu Pobereznic (Amazon author)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful