I never thought I could get through a David Sedaris book without over-working my abdominals from laughing too hard, but with this book I seem to have achieved that milestone.
This book is seriously not funny. I suspect this may be somewhat related to the fact that it seems to be a commissioned anthology, but it fails to deliver the characteristic irony and that "we've all been there" identification so characteristic of Sedaris' work.
I appreciate the sentiments of an earlier reviewer so I skipped the story about the visitor from Viet Nam - what little I did listen to was, plainly, awful, and not helped by the dramatic efforts of the reader. I had high hopes that the humor contained in rest of the anecdotes and episodes would compensate. But the remaining stories were a bleak disappointment.
I hope this is just a glitch in the road for Sedaris, occasioned by the fact that he was forced to be funny for the holidays, and that his well of life experience and his ability to draw from that bounty have not run dry.
Amazonian since 2000
David's delivery is amazing. This book is funny, yet dark at times.
First chapter is funny.
David must be listened to to appreciate best.
32 year old female in the DC area with a terribly long commute and high standards for my audiobooks... I like science fiction, science, instructional, and humorous novels.
As always, David Sedaris is incredibly funny and, Mr. Sedaris, if you are reading this, I apologize. I love your writing so. I'd be your biggest fan but that's a pretty creepy appellation.
This collection, though, just didn't really flow. It was a collection of stories with only the mild theme of holidays. It gets a 4 overall because he is a really good author but, judged by comparing to his other books, it should get a 3.
Many of these stories were in his other books, to some extent that's expected, but not when it's such a significant amount of the book. Also, the long performance piece done by another voiceover actor should have been labelled "seriously unabridged" - it went on about twice as long as it ought.
I've bought 3 other David Sedaris books (Engulfed in Flames, Dress your Family and Me Talk Pretty) and have loved them all. I appreciate his wit, sarcasm, and self deprecating sense of humor.
I was very disappointed by this one though.
I find it mean-spirited and quite unlike the others.
I hope this isn't indicative of a new style he's trying on...
This book of essays weren't very funny or humorous. I was eager to read these essays, but didn't find them captivating, funny, or attention grabbing.
I might, but I've changed my oppinion of his talent.
He is a good reader/narrator. He reads well, and has good emphasis and tone.
I was disappointed by what I listened to and ultimately decided to stop. The first story, about Sedaris working as a department store elf, was mildly diverting, but far too long and not worth it. The second story, read by someone else was a macabre, bitter nasty, brutish, offensive story about a family that has the family's father adult Vietnamese child from the war days visited on them, accompanied by the story's rudely offensive characterizations and observations coupled with an ending too awful to consider. Said to be based on a true story. But even if true, there's no reason to repeat it. The third story is a smarmy, cyncical put-down of Appalachian types by an oh-so-superior media type. I turned it off in the middle or maybe it was just the beginning, but I preferred to hear the blaring horns of a traffic jam than listen to another word of this whiny drivel. I've been amused by Sedaris before, but this plainly isn't suitable for my sensibilities and taste. I wouldn't even give it one star if that was possible. This was just awful.