David Sedaris is at his best when writing his memories. The first of the six stories was my favorite. His description of being an elf at Macy's was hilarious and when I tried to read parts out loud to my husband, I was laughing too hard to finish. I love his sarcastic yet amused outlook on life.
I didn't love the other stories, but they were a fun read. He knows when to lay it on thick and poke fun at the hyprocrasy of Christmas and how it's about the *idea* of giving in many cases. The annual Christmas letter is also lampooned, and he goes so over the top with it that you have to laugh.
Not my favorite Sedaris book, but SantaLand Diaries alone made it worth the read.
I loved When You are Engulfed in Flames and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Sedaris wit, sarcasm and ironic outlook on life, friends and family made me a fan and I am now reading his back catalog.
I picked up Holidays on Ice figuring it might be a tonic to the over commercialization of the Christmas Season. I was right and I was wrong. The first story Santaland Diaries was exactly what I was looking for, a skewering of all the things wrong with the mad rush holiday shopping season. It was funny and witty and I knew I was in for a treat. Then I read the next story, which was Greetings to Our Friends and Family, a twisted look at the ubiquitous holiday letter, it was a little too dark and nasty for me. Then I read Christmas Means Giving, a tale of keeping up with the neighbors that turns very grisly.
Several of the stories I had read before in Flames and Corduroy, so that was a bit of a disappointment, I didnt realize all the stories werent new. One of the other more memorable stories was Dinah, the Christmas Whore which was quite funny and rather touching. Of course it was a story involving Davids family, where I find his humor at its best. I also really enjoyed Jesus Saves, a hilarious story of Davids French class where everyone of a different nationality tries to explain Easter.
So overall this collection was very uneven and it actually took me a month to read this very slight book, because parts of it were just too dark and a little shocking for me.
I've listened to David Sedaris on APM's This American Life for years now, and finally decided that I'd like to read some of his books. So I requested a bunch on paperbackswap.com, and Holidays on Ice is the first that showed up.
This book has six stories; three original and three previously published. One of them, the SantaLand Diaries has been everywhere, and I'd heard about it before. It's also the best story in the book.
Overall, the book is kind of hit-and-miss. The stories based on his own life are the best (often making me laugh out loud), but his fictional pieces seem a bit forced.
"Santa Land Diaries" was hysterical reading, though personally I thought "Season's Greetings" crossed the line from sarcastic to not funny, bordering on sick and twisted. Overall, the book was okay, though I liked Me Talk Pretty One Day a whole lot more.
A David Sedaris classic. My book group read it a few years ago. Some people loved it. Others thought it was too cynical for a Christmas book...they probably have a point--but sometimes, cynical at Christmas is just what we all need!
This was funny, but in my opinion many of the segments were too long. The second CD isn't even worth it - at parts I felt it was trying too hard. The third CD is the best. I have read other Sedaris works, but this just didn't do it for me.
Highly disappointing. The first story was great but it was downhill from there. I think that his collections of short stories would benefit a lot if he varied the lengths and used a length comparable to the style he is mocking.
This is pretty dark and cynical for a holiday book. Which might be ok for some. But it's still not very funny, which is what I was expecting from David Sedaris.
I have read 3 other books by David Sedaris. This one seems like a whole different author. Seems dull instead of the dry humor in his later books: "Me Talk Pretty One Day", "Dress Your Family in Corduory and Denim" and "When You Are Engulfed in Flames". Try one of these instead.
I needed to read something light and fun after that last book and this certainly fit the bill! I just love David Sedaris! I was a little disappointed that the three new essays were fiction, but they are still very funny. I just prefer the stories about his family, like "Dinah, the Christmas Whore," but I really did enjoy "Front Row and Center with Thaddeus Bristol" quite a bit! I hear there is an updated version of this book out and now and it has even more new material, so I will have to get around to picking that up!
Giving this book a rating was a bit difficult. For the most part I was not impressed by the short stories in the book. HOWEVER, I did thoroughly enjoy the first rather lengthy story about Sedaris' stint as an elf at Macy's. I found that an extremely funny and well crafted story. Had that been his only offering I would have given him 4 stars.
A twisted holiday classic that can be listened to again & again. Written by David Sedaris; read by David Sedaris, his sister Amy Sedaris, and actress Ann Magnuson on two cassettes. Approximately 3 hours. Three previously published stories: "The SantaLand Diaries," "Dinah, the Christmas Whore," and "Season's Greetings Greetings to our Friends and Family!!!" plus three new ones "Based on A True Story," "Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol," and "Christmas Means Giving." David Sedaris is always laugh-out-loud, blow-milk-out-your-nose funny, especially in audio (as listeners to NPR's This American Life can attest).
Hilarious rendition of "The Santaland Diaries" heard on NPR and a few other essays. "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" is read by Ann Magnusson, and is (I believe) the funniest of the lot.
"Santaland Diaries" is hands-down one of the all time funniest pieces ever written--and even better when hearing it read out loud by the author (his "Away in a Manger" a la Billie Holliday is perfection). The other stories in this volume are a bit darker, but still funny and biting.
I adore David Sedaris and had been keeping this book on my shelf for months now, just waiting for the holidays to come so I could properly enjoy it. As usual, Sedaris's wit is sharp and biting. One story in particular (the second one)had me laughing out loud with tears in my eyes it was so ridiculously hilarious. This is one of his best, in my opinion.
Sedaris' twisted humor, at times, was a bit too much for me. The stories were entertaining and somewhat funny, but just okay. Fortunately, it is a quick read. For those who like his type of dark humor, this would be enjoyable. Not really my cup of tea.
Do not read this expecting lovely, charming Christmas stories. There are some lovely and charming aspects, but for the most part I read this with my hand covering my mouth, trying to hold in--what felt like an inappropriate laugh. Witty, shocking, and so very politically incorrect. But so funny, too.
Six of David Sedaris's most profound Christmas stories in one slender volume. Perfect for use as a last-minute coaster or ice scraper. This drinking man's companion can be enjoyed by the warmth of a raging fire, the glow of a brilliantly decorated tree, or even in the backseat of a van or police car. It should be read with your eyes, felt with your heart, and heard only when spoken to. It should in short, behave much like a book. AND, OH, WHAT A BOOK IT IS!