Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holidays on Ice

I love David Sedaris. I love his writing - it's witty and amazingly observant. His commentary on daily life is brilliant and I'm quite certain that if we met in real life, we'd be best friends. It was because of this that I was interested in finally, after all these years, reading his Christmas collection Holidays on Ice. Sadly, in the end, I'm very torn with the book. 

Some essays are hilarious, like "SantaLand Diaries" and "Dinah, the Christmas Whore." They share memories from his past Christmases worth mentioning (working as one of Santa's Elves at Macy's, having a prostitute join his family for Christmas). Some were published in other books of his, so I've already read them, such as "Let it Snow" and "Six to Eight Black Men" (which are both terrific, nonetheless). And then some (three to be exact) I really didn't care for. They were okay, sure, but not written in his usual style. Rather than being first person narratives, he assumed the role of someone else and wrote their story (a angered wife, a rich competitive man, a TV executive) I didn't care for those stories and found myself skimming the pages rather than indulging. When it got back to his voice, I was comfortable again. 

The book didn't exactly get me into the holidays spirit, but it did bring out the jaded side of me. And that's just as good, right?


SM said...

I hate to admit this, but I've never read a David Sedaris book. I always pick them up in the bookstore but never purchase them.

Since this wasn't a favourite of yours, what Sedaris book do you recommend for a first-timer?

Lauren said...

Hmmm, his most famous is "Me Talk Pretty One Day" which is fantastic! I also really like "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim."

LiLu said...

This was actually the first Sedaris I read. Next came Me Talk Pretty, followed by Corduroy and Denim, and now I'm officially an addict. He snarkasm is my absolute fave!