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Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris

Holidays on Ice: Stories

by David Sedaris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
I almost always love David Sedaris but this one was a dud for me. He way crossed some lines in several of the fictional stories that I honestly found them offensive while at the same time totally knowing they were meant to exaggerate egregious behavior to make a point. But the use of the word retarded over and over was not cool from my perspective, even if meant to be satirical and ironic. ( )
  kate_r_s | Feb 12, 2017 |
Funny short anecdotical stories, sometimes hilarious. For Dutch readers there is a particular interesting one concerning an American's view of Sinterklaas, which leads to an absurd and funny interpretation. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
This is a mixed bag.....SantaLand Diaries, which i have heard multiple times on NPR, believe it or not, actually made me laugh out loud when reading, which i did not expect. The Awkward Christmas card piece, while uncomfortable was fairly funny. A few of the 6 pieces were just lacking in my opinion, but reading the Diaries made it all worth it....proceed with caution.... ( )
  jeffome | Dec 29, 2016 |
"SantaLand Diaries" is my favorite Sedaris story, bar none. And it's perfect for this time of year! Ah, refreshing cynicism. ( )
  beckyrenner | Dec 29, 2016 |
This book was originally assigned reading for a Creative Non-Fiction class I took as part of a Creative Writing minor in college. We only read a few of the stories, and I always told myself I'd go back and read the whole thing. Now, I finally have. It's been one of those things I've wanted to make a regular Christmas thing for some time, but keep getting sidetracked.

Of course, "Santaland Diaries" and "Dinah" are my favorites of the collection, as they are based on real life, however, the rest are just as witty and clever. Sedaris creates these situations where real people are baring their souls for some unknown reason, until you get to the end, and find that the situation is beautifully ludicrous and bizarre. This is especially the case in "Seasons Greetings," "Based Upon a True Story," and "Christmas Means Giving," where the narrators are some of the most fascinating but true-to-life people in the world. Sedaris uses what he's observed of the human condition and added an almost Douglas Adams level absurdity to what the suburban middle class will do in certain situations, especially around the Holidays.

Finally, there's "Front Row Center," in which a theater critic takes on the dubious task of reviewing primary school Christmas plays and takes to the job like a seasoned, bitter professional on Broadway. To me, this is the absolute funniest of the pieces, at least as far as traditional humor goes. Here the humor comes from writer Thaddeus Bristol's brutality towards the acting of school children and the lack of skill in their grade school teachers to put together a "professional" production. The other stories rely on the absolute insanity of the situations for the humor, as the narrators take themselves quite seriously throughout.

Definitely a fascinating read, and if David Sedaris is your cup of tea (and he won't be for everyone), this one is definitely worth your time. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Dec 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
I love David Sedaris as he is one of my favorite authors but this is not one of his best books. You should still read
"Holidays on Ice" because it is funny and will make you smile. Holidays are crazy for everyone, no matter what holidays you celebrate and Sedaris reminds us to laugh at them, especially ourselves.
added by LizPhoto | editLizPhoto (Dec 22, 2013)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Sedarisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Magnuson, AnnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowohlt, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sedaris, AmyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I was in a coffee shop looking through the want ads when I read, "Macy's Herald Square, the largest store in the world, has big opportunities for outgoing, fun-loving people of all shapes and sizes who want more than just a holiday job! Working as an elf in Macy's SantaLand means being at the center of the excitement...."
"Every gathering has its moment. As an adult, I distract myself by trying to identify it, dreading the inevitable downswing that is sure to follow. The guests will repeat themselves one too many times, or you'll run out of dope or liquor and realize that it was all you ever had in common."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316779237, Paperback)

Holidays on Ice is a collection of three previously published stories matched with three newer ones, all, of course, on a Christmas theme. David Sedaris's darkly playful humor is another common thread through the book, worming its way through "Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" a chipper suburban Christmas letter that spirals dizzily out of control, and "Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol," a vicious theatrical review of children's Christmas pageants. As always, Sedaris's best work is his sharply observed nonfiction, notably in "Dinah, the Christmas Whore," the tale of a memorable Christmas during which the young Sedaris learns to see his family in a new light. Worth the price of the book alone is the hilarious "SantaLand Diaries," Sedaris's chronicle of his time working as an elf at Macy's, covering everything from the preliminary group lectures ("You are not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn't be here. You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like an elf.") to the perils of inter-elf flirtation. Along the way, he paints a funny and sad portrait of the way the countless parents who pass through SantaLand are too busy creating an Experience to really pay attention to their children. In a sly way, it carries a holiday message all its own. Read it aloud to the adults after the kids have gone to bed. --Ali Davis

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The author has always had a special affinity for Christmas. His celebrated National Public Radio debut, The Santa Land Diaries, which first appeared in print in Barrel Fever was hailed the Seattle Times. The New York Times also wrote of this book. Now The Santa Land Diaries & five other hilarious Christmas stories are available in a wonderfully subversive holiday gift package. For anyone who has had enough of the forced good cheer, family madness, & commercial overkill of Christmas, Holidays on Ice will be the perfect antidote.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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