Regular price: $17.09

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In David Sedaris' world, no one is safe and no cow is sacred. A manic cross between Mark Leyner, Fran Lebowitz, and the National Enquirer, Sedaris' collection of essays is a rollicking tour through the national Zeitgeist: a do-it-yourself suburban dad saves money by performing home surgery; a man who is loved too much flees the heavyweight champion of the world; a teenage suicide tries to incite a lynch mob at her funeral; a bitter Santa abuses the elves.

David Sedaris made his debut on NPR's Morning Edition with "SantaLand Diaries", recounting his strange-but-true experiences as an elf at Macy's, and soon became one of the show's most popular commentators. With a perfect eye and a voice infused with as much empathy as wit, Sedaris writes stories and essays that target the soulful ridiculousness of our behavior. Barrel Fever is like a blind date with modern life, and anything can happen.

©1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 David Sedaris (P)1998, 2001 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"Extremely, relentlessly funny." (Booklist)
"David and Amy Sedaris have a deadpan delivery as ironic as the words they read. The two of them create a nuclear barrage of humor you could never replicate by reading this material on your own." (The Boston Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    279
  • 4 Stars
    139
  • 3 Stars
    74
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    13

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    196
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    156
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 06-30-06

My least favorite David Sedaris so far

As usual, David Sedaris is hilarious, smart, and just fabulous to listen to. However, some of the stories were uninteresting and unfunny-- a first for me reading his work. And his sister got to be just irritating with her ridiculous (not in a good way) accents. I fast forwarded through a large segment of the second half.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • chris
  • Kelowna, BC, Canada
  • 04-15-05

My first wasted audio credit

After reading "Dress Your Family..." and "Me Talk Pretty...", which are both excellent, I was ready for more Sedaris. This is only 3 hours long but I figured it might be some of his live routines, which are usually the funniest. There were none.

It's hard to believe this is written by the same guy. The first 2.5 hours are dull, consisting of a series of stories which are bizarre but not funny at all. They are perhaps meant to be shocking because they were "gay" but I found them boring. I kept wanting to skip forward, but I was waiting for the jokes because sometimes he lets his stories build. I was always disappointed. The last half hour is better but still not up to his other material.

I'm not sure of the chronology of this, but I think it is some of his earliest works, long before he sharpened his wit and perfected his delivery. It feels like early Beatles bootlegs, which no one but die hard collectors would care about. Someone figured he could make a buck by digging up Sedaris' earliest works once he became famous. Save your credit for his more recent stuff.

23 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • United States
  • 06-05-12

Be warned- Santaland Diaries is NOT included

I understand this audiobook is abridged, but not including Santaland Diaries (by far the most popular story in the printed book) is bizarre. The publisher's description used by Audible.com is two paragraphs, the first paragraph includes a description of Santaland Diaries and the second paragraph is almost completely devoted to Santaland Diaries. And one of the other stories included in the audiobook even references Santaland Diaries. Yet no Santaland Diaries in the audiobook, and no warning of this from Audible.com.

Anyway David Sedaris is great as always and his reading is entertaining and fun but it's tough to recommend an audiobook of stories missing the best and most popular story in the printed book. I was on a road trip and promised my friend I would have Santaland Diaries audio for the ride. It was a little disappointing to sit through the recording while driving and wondering where Santaland Diaries is, so I emailed Audible.com support to let them know they might want to change the audiobook's description on their website.

Their email back to me (abridged, natch):

"Dear Eric, (not my name)
After reviewing your account and the title that you mentioned, it appears that the title maybe missing a section as the title is a revised and curtailed edition of the original version. However, let me further explain further details surrounding titles that are 'Abridged'.
An abridged book is usually a shortened version of the original written text. It is condensed by removing some of the original plot details, yet retaining the sense of the entire book."

I wrote them back again further explaining that I want to point out that this download is bound to disappoint most people who buy it with their current description and I did not get a response from their condescending computer customer support who (I guess?) calls everyone Eric.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jordan
  • Howard Beach, NY United States
  • 03-30-18

Uneven but still great

A mixture of essays and short stories, there are some great moments, but also some not so great. Not bad, mind you, just not as consistently good as David's later publications. Still, in the end, a must for Sedaris fans.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another Fun Book

David Sedaris told us more funny and slightly disturbing stories in his unique narrative style. If you like his stuff, this is a good pick.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

funny funny funny

The usual wit from a very funny man 😊... Original, provocative, silly and gutbustingly funny.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Family Fun For Carpool

Would you listen to Barrel Fever and Other Stories again? Why?

Sure way to be entertained. Love the overall essence of family lore for all to hear.

Any additional comments?

Solid choice.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Dallas, TX United States
  • 06-02-15

love David Sedaris

Laugh out loud funny story telling at it's best. I love it best when he talks about his family with their bizarre humor.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • debra
  • WEST BEND, WISCONSIN, United States
  • 12-28-13

Laughter Heals

Would you consider the audio edition of Barrel Fever and Other Stories to be better than the print version?

Always entertaining

Who was your favorite character and why?

David

Have you listened to any of David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I love them all

Any additional comments?

I can listen over and over and still enjoy

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rachael
  • Mobile, AL, United States
  • 03-12-12

David Sedaris is Edgier and Sometimes Funnier

Davis Sedaris was younger when he wrote this book and his sense of humor is dark and hilarious. LOVE this book!