Saturday, December 01, 2007

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Okay, finished holiday book #2 for today. This collection of essays is autobiographical in nature (found in the nonfiction section) and again a very quick read. Some of the stories are fiction. The best essay by far is "SantaLand Diaries" about Sedaris' experience as an Elf at Macy's in New York. I almost wish the whole book were like this. I enjoyed this first story the most, the rest of the book was a little bit too sarcastic for me. While the stories are entertaining, cynical and sarcastic, they almost go a bit too far for me. I find the idea of making fun of the annual Christmas newsletter amusing, but by the end of "Seasons Greetings" I wasn't so amused. And I found that to be the case with most of the stories. I started out interested and amused, then just sort of ended up skimming through them toward the end.

On the Barnes and Noble website there's an editor comment that Sedaris could be a 90's version of Jean Shepherd (the author whose stories were the basis for the film, A Christmas Story). I'm not sure I agree with this sentiment. I found Dave Barry's story to be much more Jean Shepherd-ish than Sedaris' volume.

If you are extremely sarcastic and cynical of the holidays you will really enjoy Sedaris' collection. If you are just looking for fun, humorous holiday fare, I'd go more with The Shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog.

PS. While browsing book blogs I came across the Christmas Theme Book Challenge 2007. You can learn more here.

1 comment:

allisonmariecat said...

I read Holidays on Ice one essay at a time, over a longish period, and I think I enjoyed it more for that reason. Taken all together, it's probably way too much cynicism and holiday-bashing, but one every so often worked for me. Have you read any other Sedaris? Me Talk Pretty One Day is hilarious.