Thursday, January 8, 2009

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

If the very thought of Christmas makes you want to run screaming for a wig or yarmulke, consider including David Sedaris's new and updated Holidays on Ice in your disguise kit. It's light, portable, and easy to hide beneath a tallis or foot-long beard. And now with six additional holiday-themed stories, including one never before published, it is the ideal companion with which to pass long hours beside the menorah.

Even if you take it straight-up Christian, if you choose to spend the holidays glazing hams, say, or baking cookies shaped like hobos, you will find this audiobook indispensable. Here is the timeless "SantaLand Diaries," which immortalized the struggle of department store elves the world over. Here is "Dinah, the Christmas Whore," in which the Sedaris family opens its heart to an unexpected, almost Mary Magdalene-like visitor.

These and four other favorites are joined by six new tales detailing the nuances of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French ("Jesus Shaves"), what Halloween looks like at the medical examiners office ("The Monter Mash"), the puzzling Chrismas traditions of other nations ("Six to Eight Black Men"), and a brand-new story about a barnyard Secret Santa scheme gone awry ("The Cow and the Turkey").

No matter what your favorite holiday, you won't want to miss celebrating year-round with the writer Entertainment Weekly has called "the preeminent humorist of his generation."

This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (4 discs/4 hours).

I gather that these are supposed to be humorous stories, although they seem to me to be decidedly tasteless and unfunny ones. I'm not sure if that was the author's intention, or if he actually is a WASPy ass.

The elf story was the best by far. It was funny, at points, and very true to human nature. And really rather sad at points also.

The Dunbar Christmas Letter story was completely tasteless and just wrong on so, so many levels.

The story based in the church was grating and stupid. The fact that it was supposedly based on a true story makes it that much worse.

I do have to say that the Christmas pageant/play story was deliciously funny at times. Not enough to redeem the rest of the book though.

The rest of the stories I won't even bother to mention individually. They were all tacky and cruel and completely humorless.

The author (who is also, unfortunately, the reader) has an annoying, whiny, almost baby, voice. I'm not sure if he does it on purpose, or if he actually speaks like that in real life. Either way, it made the book seem much longer than the four hours. I don't understand why a grown man would speak like that, let alone while reading his own book! He is seriously the male equivalent of Janice from Friends!

This collection was 95% horrible. Adding to the horrificness of it all was the author's Chipmunk voice. These combined to make it virtually intolerable. This gets five stars. It should really be four stars, but it gets an extra star for being so short and keeping the experience to a minimum.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆


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