Book Reviews of Santaland Diaries

Santaland Diaries
Santaland Diaries
Author: David Sedaris
ISBN-13: 9780575068223
ISBN-10: 0575068221
Publication Date: 11/1999
Pages: 134
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Victor Gollancz
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

59 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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, 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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
hilarious! a perfect introduction to David Sedaris or a must-have for an established fan.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
"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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This little book of Christmas stories is the evil twin of a Reader's Digest Christmas story edition. Lots of wit and cynicism, really fun to read.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very funny book! I read this when I was at the beach and was laughing out loud. I definitely would read this book again.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 119 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Funny, ironic, sad, allegorical, wise ... and of course, witty!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 101 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Brilliant, wonderful adult read-aloud holiday tales. An annual read at our house...truly gut busting hilarious!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Cool holiday stories--good writer but just not for me.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 130 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Light, fun reading. Perfect for lounging on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 269 more book reviews
Absolutely hilarious!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 604 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
Loved the book, Holidays on Ice, but I'm a David Sedaris fan so... what can I say. His writing is delightful.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 43 more book reviews
Hilarious essays and short stories from the pen of David Sedaris.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 18 more book reviews
Funny, darker than "Me Talk..." good if you can find it cheap.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 31 more book reviews
eh... not worth it unless your collecting his books.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 636 more book reviews
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!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 200 more book reviews
I am not sure I like David Sedaris writings. I loved the Christmas Elf stories. The rest of the stories may not be my thing. Decide for yourself.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 32 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 72 more book reviews
David Sedaris is so quirky and funny - this is a very quick read... laugh-out-loud funny.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
Very funny short collection of short stories.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 255 more book reviews
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).
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 159 more book reviews
hysterical piece about being a Macy's elf.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 5 more book reviews
The Santaland Diaries is hilarious! Life as a Christmas Elf has never been so exciting.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 32 more book reviews
Very funny. Not for kids, though. Very grown-up, biting humor.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 3 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 72 more book reviews
A wickedly funny collectoon, read by the author, his sister Amy, and Ann Magnuson.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
The stories of being an elf at Macy's were roll on the floor funny. If you need a good holiday laugh this one is the ticket.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 307 more book reviews
Funny stories ready by David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 19 more book reviews
short stories, some funnier than others...
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 9 more book reviews
Sedaris's humor wasn't a great fit for me but some of his stories were entertaining.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
I was disappointed that these were short stories that were primarily not autobiographical. It wasn't as hilarious as Naked or Dress Your Family.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 9 more book reviews
So funny!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 75 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 21 more book reviews
So, so funny!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 121 more book reviews
Very comical. David writes various stories that deal with the Christmas season. A definite read!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 53 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 120 more book reviews
Loved the Macy*s story and the holiday letter, but the rest are a bit uneven
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 2 more book reviews
This book was a quick read and full of interesting, funny stories. Highly recommended.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 3 more book reviews
I did not enjoy this book as much as David Sedaris' other books. The stories did not feel like they were his stories as they did in the other books. The distance took away some of the humor.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 410 more book reviews
"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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 36 more book reviews
Really enjoyed reading these dark, short stories. Mostly about Christmas, but can be enjoyed anytime and quite funny. I read it on the commute to and from work, and it fit the time span wonderfully.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
So far, my least favorite David Sedaris far.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 6 more book reviews
do not read this book during the holiday season unless the holidays suck already for you- which is common BTW
reviewed Santaland Diaries on
very entertaining.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 6 more book reviews
Fucked up. Funny.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 355 more book reviews
I really couldn't get into this one. I guess I look at Christmas in a different way, but I can see where this would appeal to some.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 39 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 161 more book reviews
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 25 more book reviews
Sharp-witted Sedaris with six holiday vignettes. Perfect to enjoy "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."
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 20 more book reviews
Author Sedaris is a regular commentator for NPR. This story collection is shrewd and wickedly funny. You will indeed
laugh out loud. Book is brand new.
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 21 more book reviews
This book has the Santa Land Diaries in it (which David Sedaris read from on This American Life).
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 167 more book reviews
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I just read it- it took me a little over and hour and i was laughin my butt off. Out loud. I got a few looks.

I love all of the essays in this book- especially his last one. Definitely his best!
reviewed Santaland Diaries on + 242 more book reviews
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!