Monday, November 30, 2009

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Holidays on Ice is a collection of Holiday themed humorous short stories by David Sedaris. I’ve heard Sedaris previously on NPR.

The first story, “SantaLand Diaries,” is hilarious. It is Sedaris’ experience of being an elf at Macy’s in New York City. I laughed out loud several times as I read this story and read the highlights to my husband as we traveled home from Thanksgiving in Michigan. It is amazing the way that people treat their children and the way that they treat the people who work as Santa and the elves.

Unfortunately, after this first story, the book went downhill. The other Sedaris stories of holiday experiences during his life were pretty good, although none lived up to “SantaLand Diaries.” The stories where Sedaris veered off into fiction were quite terrible in my opinion. I understand that Sedaris was trying to be sarcastic about different human tendacies (such as greed at Christmas), but the death of children is never funny. And it kept popping up throughout the fictional stories. I found myself quite disgusted.

Overall, I really enjoyed the first story, but I could have skipped the middle section of the book and been quite happy.

This is the second book for the Christmas Reading Challenge and also the second book club selection for my FLICKS Book and Movie Club.

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library


  1. I've never really been a big Sedaris fan, but when I heard he had released a holiday book, I was interested. Now, though, I'm thinking I might just pass. Doesn't look that great.

  2. Sometimes David Sedaris is hilarious, and sometimes I just don't get his jokes. I enjoyed Me Talk Pretty One Day, especially the parts that took place in France. Naked was a little too wild for me, but readable. I didn't know he had a holiday book. Dead children? Yikes! That would NEVER be funny! I wouldn't get those jokes and would probably be disgusted as well.

  3. I always enjoy reading Sedaris, but I agree that SantaLand Diaries is by far the best offering in this collection.


  4. Sedaris is a toss up for me. Sometimes I love him and sometimes I'm like, what the hell are you doing?

  5. I have never read Sedaris although I heard he is funny. I'll check it out at the library and just read the Santaland Diaries and skip the rest. I absolutely DO NOT want to read about the death of children...a topic that is very hard for me to take.

    Great review! And congrats on completing your second book for my challenge =o)

  6. I think I will also just read the first story, though I would never have even done that if it weren't for this review. Thanks for putting me in the way of some fun holiday reading!

  7. This has always been my problems with his later books. It's harder for him to come up with original stuff. But when he's on, he sure is funny though.