~Free Book ☳ Holidays on Ice ♢ David Sedaris S Beloved Holiday Collection Is New Again With Six Pieces, Including A Never Before Published Story Along With Such Favorites As The Diaries Of A Macy S Elf And The Annals Of Two Very Competitive Families, Are Sedaris S Tales Of Tardy Trick Or Treaters Us And Them The Difficulties Of Explaining The Easter Bunny To The French Jesus Shaves What To Do When You Ve Been Locked Out In A Snowstorm Let It Snow The Puzzling Christmas Traditions Of Other Nations Six To Eight Black Men What Halloween At The Medical Examiner S Looks Like The Monster Mash And A Barnyard Secret Santa Scheme Gone Awry Cow And Turkey
Find all of my reviews at you follow my reading, you re probably wondering what the hell could have happened to make me rate a Sedaris selection less than every Star Well, lemma tell ya Although I was aware that this is a collection of items pulled from other Sedaris books, many may not so it will appear to be a money grabwhich it totally is I don t really care, though, since 1 I got it from the library so it cost me zero dollars and 2 David Sedaris could take a dump on paper, bind it up, and I d still buy a copy so I could really give a rip whether this was material I was already familiar with I put a hold on the audio version of Holidays On Ice in order to hopefully keep me in the Christmas spirit You see, usually around the week before Thanksgiving I look a little something like thisI want to put Christmas trees in every room of the house and bake and place myself firmly on The Good List But then December rolls around and I am faced with the daunting task of shopping combined with the busiest time of year at work and I completely lose my mojo and just want to hibernate until the new year I thought listening to David would at least help me fake it til I make it la Clark Griswold And for the most part it did David s tales of his experiences as a Little Elf in the Santaland Diaries are not to be missed, and the ever present Six to Eight Black Men never gets less funny The problem this time was the inclusion of some fictional shorts in addition to the riotous autobiographical entries To be fair, even some of them started out funny Sadly, it seems David doesn t know when to stop when it comes to fictional works and takes the joke to the point of it being the literary equivalent of a beaten dead horse Still, those meh selections can easily be skipped so you can get to the real gems like those mentioned above, or another favorite of mine Jesus Shaves You can read that essay for free HERE or take a listen look HERE. After reading the first short story, I thought this was going to be a delightful book SantaLand Diaries, after all, had me rolling down the isle of the plane on which I was reading it Okay, I was just giggling constantly with frequent bursts of loud laugher interspersed No rolling, but still very humiliating on the whole At any rate, I came home in a dither to read the other stories as well Ugh Appalling Not a single chuckle among them Worse, they were gross, often offensive and I don t get offended , and even horrific at times It was beyond black humor, to just being black dark, dismal, disgusting No humor there I was most sincerely disappointed The only other story that had even the slightest bit of resonance was Dinah, The Christmas Whore, and that was likely because it was also written from a personal experience Sedaris, in this girl s opinion, should stay very far away from writing fiction Can you say smug That s what I kept feeling about the author when suffering through the fiction stories I gave this two stars only for Santaland Diaries otherwise it d be a solid one for lack of a worse ranking. 2.5 to 3 stars rounded up to 3 on the official rating to give Sedaris the benefit of the doubt I did not enjoy this quite as much as previous Sedaris titles I have read While it contained the cynicism I have come to expect from him, it seemed to overpower the humor a lotthan usual So, instead of being amused, I was left feeling uncomfortable Also, since this is a much shorter compilation of holiday related stories, it did not have the full satisfaction of one of his full length books with all original material Note I say holiday related in the previous sentence, but there is one story in here about cadavers that I was not quite sure how it related to holidays.If you are a die hard Sedaris fan, check it out If you are just starting with Sedaris, there are much better places to begin When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Let s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim Just the kind of book to get me into the spirit of Christmas no sarcasm intended. Holidays on Ice puts David Sedaris on ice Why Because, aside from one inclusion, this is a collection of short fiction, where as when Sedaris is riffing on real life in his autobio journal work, the man is on fire David Sedaris is best listened to rather than read, in my opinion I always go the audiobook route with him, because he narrates them himself, adding in all the oh so necessary inflection, as well as some hilarious renditions of his parents and, one of my favorites, Billie Holiday But here too is an issue Some of these shorts are not read by him, but rather by guest narrators That s like casting Rip Torn as the evil yet somehow handsome villain in your movie and then replacing him with Rip Taylor, because you thought it would liven things up.Just one last gripe At least two of the half dozen ish stories in Holidays on Ice actually appeared in previous publications, so this shit ain t even fresh Go take a listen to Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family Up in Corduroy and Denim or When You Are Engulfed In Flames They re non fiction wellwith a bit of hyperbole thrown in for fun pieces about his life and they are comedy gold.Rating The short non fiction piece The Santa Land Diaries is of 4 star quality, but the rest drags it down a notch. I always get David Sedaris and Dave Eggers confused for some reason Until now, I ve never read anything by either of them, but I can t remember who it is that everyone seems to hate Sedaris Eggers Both I had planned to read this a year ago, but forgot I had it I thought I d better read it now during the holidays so I wouldn t have to wait another year to get to it I can never watch Christmas movies or read holiday stories when it s not Christmas it s depressing.Anyway, this was a perfect little book to read during all the holiday chaos while suffering from a near mental breakdown Mental breakdown caused by the mom freakout that happens every once in awhile when you realize there are actual lives depending on you, and you don t even know how that happened, or have a fucking clue what you re doing, and are scared someone is going to find you out, and are a little puzzled that they haven t already, and you just go to bed to cry into your pillow You know, that old chestnut It s a quick read, funny, and made me feel a little better knowing that I at least don t have to make a living handing out leaflets dressed in a taco costume Working as a Christmas Elf would be kind of fun, though Well, just for like a day The first story was my favorite, and I was grateful for the laughs instead of the above stated tears There s a blurb for yaA great alternative to sobbing yourself to sleepJ Soutas, author of this really bad, whiny reviewSo really, thank you Dave Eggers David Sedaris, I like you. My mother was a little crazy She saw people looking through our windows, heard them whispering under our porch, spotted private family conversations in the newspaper, unexpectedly screamed profanity at people who looked suspicious sometimes while we were in a restaurant or some other very public location , and thought the writing on trucks and other vehicles that passed us on the road were coded messages just for her It was a bit creepy.My father didn t help Rather than acknowledging my mother was crazy she had paranoid schizophrenia, which I didn t know until my late teens , he said she was nervous This verdict suggested her visions were normal, and to my young mind, validated the notion that there were indeed people peeking into the house It made me rather skittish.However, as a bright side to my mother s fickle mental state, she was brilliant and often savagely funny when lucid Form letters letters sent at Christmas generally boasting of a family s all around success and wholesomeness were targets of particular glee My mother would read these saccharine missives with just the right amount of over the top chirpiness, and then would compose her own, much darker, Christmas form letter about our family For example, Last summer, mother was institutionalized again at Grover s Sanitarium It is a lovely tree lined facility, and who can forget the shock treatments Whee We had a highly evolved sense of humor However, even in her darkest moments, I doubt my mother could have matched David Sedaris send up of form letters in his essay, Season s Greetings to Our Friends and Family Humor has always been about pushing the envelope How far can you stretch humor before it tips over the edge and becomes disturbing There s no clear answer I had a friend once comment vigorously, You think the movie Fargo is funny That s not a funny movie Well sorry I think it is But humor is also deeply idiosyncratic In Sedaris s mock form letter, and this is not much of a spoiler given that you know something truly amiss is going on with the Dunbar family early on, the baby grandson is found lifeless in the dryer, having died while in the washing machine but mercifully and most certainly, our letter writer assures us, before the spin cycle It s not an essay that would appeal to everyone.I doubt few would debate the humor of Sedaris classic Santaland Diaries or Jesus Shaves, which also appears in his collection Me Speak Pretty One Day Yesterday, I was trying to describe and then read a couple of short excerpts from the latter essay, when I found a YouTube clip of Sedaris reading the essay Humor is wickedly difficult to write you re confined to prose to convey the pacing and intonation comedy requires And then there s Sedaris voice, slightly nasal, droll, and deliciously snarky When my husband heard the essay, read by Sedaris, he laughed so hard he had tears running down his cheeks The Cow and the Turkey is another wonderfully funny essay, slightly reminiscent of James Thurber s wild fables There s no way to convey its humor adequately Just think of a barnyard, the problems being a Secret Santa might pose for the animals, and a very sinister cow My mother was that cow, and yes, Moira, I know this has Faulknerian echoes My mother is a fish. To the tune of Frosty the Snowman Da vid Se darisWas a writer oh so drollWith a quirky style and take on lifeThat will put you on the floor.Da vid Se darisWrites the weirdest stuff you ll seeAbout the Christmas whore and the Macy s elvesAnd deathly children s pageantry.There must have been some crazyIn the Sedaris family tree Cause David ain t the only oneHave you seen his sister Amy Oh Da vid Se daris Can your stories all be true It matters not when you write as hotAs in Holidays on Ice I may be in the minority when I admit that I had never read listened to a David Sedaris book before despite hearing wonderful things about him So, when I decided to pick up Holidays on Ice, I was unsure what to expect After finishing the collection, I ve concluded that I, for the most part, enjoyed the essays Santaland Diaries and Six to Eight Black Men are two stories that had me rolling with laughter However, there were also many essays and stories that were boring or slightly disturbing which put me off slightly ie Seasons Greetings To Our Friends And Family Overall, while wasn t entirely wowed by my first experience with David Sedaris, I didn t completely hate it I reckon that I would be willing to bite the bullet and pick up another one of his books in the future.