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.
hilarious! a perfect introduction to David Sedaris or a must-have for an established fan.