HOLIDAYS ON ICE
By David Sedaris
Little, Brown & Company/Hachette 10/20/2010 original publication 1997
Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, eBook (176 pages), Audiobook (240 minutes)
narrated by David Sedaris, featuring Amy Sedaris, “Seasons Greetings to our Family and Friends” performed by Ann Magnusson
Library Audio Download. No Remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
David Sedaris’s beloved holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy’s elf and the annals of two very competitive families are Sedaris’s tales of tardy trick-or-treaters (“Us and Them”); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French (“Jesus Shaves”); what to do when you’ve been locked out in a snowstorm (“Let It Snow”); the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations (“Six to Eight Black Men”); what Halloween at the medical examiner’s looks like (“The Monster Mash”); and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry (“Cow and Turkey”).
No matter what your favorite holiday, you won’t want to miss celebrating it with the author who has been called “one of the funniest writers aliv” (Economist).
– See more at: http://www.davidsedarisbooks.com/holidays.htm#sthash.lts9w5H9.dpuf
David’s books are simply the funniest things I have ever read. His essays, or vignettes; maybe short stories start off with a smart observation and then his brain takes brilliant vectors off the initial observation and all funny hell breaks loose. I even like the cover.
This is a short audiobook, and having heard David read twice here in Portland, heating him do the audio is much the same great experience. Or, if you’ve listened to him on the radio in his bits on NPR, then you know his deadpan delivery where everything funny or not is given equal weight is brilliant. Sometimes his voice ramps up in enthusiasm, like a young boys might — not much, but it adds to his charm.
Here he is, this man my age, from a similar cultural background (rare enough), unassuming, with this unusual wit that I have seen make Jon Stewart fall off his chair laughing.
David talks about things that aren’t funny on their own. It’s that he notices them, picks them up and turns them into the funniest stuff ever. Never read or listen with anything in your mouth — it won’t stay there. He looks at Christmas, Easter and Halloween.
For example, in one of the vignettes in the book entitled Six to Eight Black Men, he tells us about the Dutch tradition of SinterKlaas which takes place on December fifth. In this tradition, Santa leaves his vacation home in Spain and travels to Holland with six to eight black men. If you are bad, you might get a pile of sticks, or, David tells us, you may be deported, in a sack, to Spain.
As outrageous as this sounds to an American, it is true! I looked it up. David laments that America’s Santa tradition is not nearly as interesting. And his time as one of Santa’s elves in Macy’s will make you laugh and possibly examine your holiday habits.
Having been raised in the Greek Orthodox tradition, David knows his odd holidays. Greek Easter, for example, he tells us is supposed to have some meaning but he suspects it was invented so they could get cheaper Easter candy.
And then there is the French class he takes in France when the students from different traditions try to explain Easter to someone who is not familiar with it.
This book is the perfect holiday hostess present you can read or listen to yourself before wrapping it. It was a great short download that kept me amused as I began running again. Laughing Hysterically makes running much, much harder. If you like to laugh David is a must read. And, with the holidays coming up this is a great time to read or listen to HOLIDAYS ON ICE. After all, it could help make even the most awful holiday pleasant if you can figure out how to hide the earphones.
What’s your favorite David Sedaris piece??
Both author and publisher’s sites have plenty of purchase links. It is also available at many libraries.