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David Sedaris is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Public Radio International's "This American Life." He is the author of the books Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and Barrel Fever.
Here are six Christmas tales sure to please readers new to humorist, playwright and NPR commentator Sedaris‘and likely to disappoint his devotees. The three best pieces are reprints from his earlier collections, Barrel Fever and Naked. In "Dinah, the Christmas Whore," young David's 18-year-old sister befriends a prostitute and brings her home one night during Christmas vacation. In "Season's Greetings," a housewife facing homicide charges keeps her loved ones up-to-date on the case in a detailed Christmas missive. In the hilarious "SantaLand Diaries," Sedaris relives his short career as a Macy's department-store elf. In this memoir, the flagship of the collection, we see Sedaris at his wide-eyed best as he takes the SantaLand name of Crumpet, falls for an elf-Casanova named Snowball (as do "three Santas and five other elves") and discovers the seamy underside of the Christmas industry. Compared to the fully realized "Diaries," his three new sketches look very thin indeed: a splenetic theater critic pans the season's local school pageants; a TV producer tries to convince an Appalachian congregation to let him buy the weird life story of one of its members; two grasping, well-to-do families sacrifice everything, including non-vital organs, to out-give each other at Christmas. Sedaris never makes these one-liners pay off. Still, flashes of his customary brilliance, particularly as the critic ("In the role of Mary, six-year-old Shannon Burke just barely manages to pass herself off as a virgin"), will keep this too-slim gift book from disappointing neophytes who find it in their stockings. (Dec.)
Since the first edition has sold over 800,000 copies in ten years, it's probably smart to update it with six new stories. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"Sedaris is the closest thing the literary world has these days to a rock star." "New York Times"" "Sedaris's essays are written to be heard, so listen up-he just keeps getting better." -"AudioFile Magazine" on DRESS YOUR FAMILY "I love David Sedaris. I love his weird girlie-man voice and his weirder sense of humor. I love him even though his audio books nearly slay me. In fact, they would come with a warning: 'Remain still while listening. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery or even use ordinary motor skills'." "-"New York Post "on BARREL FEVER"