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SantaLand Diaries

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  30,254 ratings  ·  294 reviews
'Santaland Diaries' contains six of David Sedaris' most profound Christmas stories, from Dinah, the Christmas Whore to Season's Greetings to our Friends and Family.
Paperback, 138 pages
Published 2006 by Abacus (first published October 1st 1998)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisThe Princess Bride by William Goldman
Best Humorous Books
53rd out of 2,499 books — 4,881 voters
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Best Audiobooks
87th out of 870 books — 529 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aimee Meacham
I highly recommend you listen to Sedaris read the Santaland Diaries aloud. You can find it in the "This American Life" archives. His voice adds so much to this already funny story.
Lorenzo Berardi
Read. Re-read. Re-re-read. And on and on and on. I think I have a problem with this essay. That's the only point on which my doctor and shrink agree. They suggested me to rehab. I tried.

I found a job. The more you work the less you think. That's what I thought before thinking less. The job was great and satisfactory. I gave leaflets on the streets dressed like a french fry. The kind of job someone could kill to don't have one. Yet, I found more than a job. I found feelings. I fell in love with a
...more
Ali
Interesting, two books in one week. Who THOUGHT SO!

Now, I only read this because exams week is coming! Prepare for exams by reading irrelevant books. Yes, This is how I do it.

Now, let's review this good laugh.

I didn't enjoy it that much, but it's surely a good laugh before exams.

Christmas, only saw it in movie. Surely I've read about Christmas, what it is. The fact that people wait in line for more than one hour to JUST see A NOT real Santa Claus is funny.

Now David will act as an elf in this st
...more
Daniel Parsons
My third book by David Sedaris (following Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim) and my first disappointment. The back cover of the book inaccurately labels this as memoir, when in fact only two of the six stories are auto-biographical – and, tellingly, those two are the only ones I really enjoyed. Sedaris really should stick with non-fiction, which he writes with flair, humor and poignancy, whereas his fiction sections tend to be so over-the-top and garish that they ...more
Adam
Feb 24, 2009 Adam added it
Shelves: humor
The audio version (heard it first on NPR) read by Sedaris is unforgettably funny! The text version will make you laugh out loud and cause people to stare at you, but it is nothing compared to hearing Sedaris tell the story. Text alone would get 3 or 4 stars, but the audio get s 7 stars on a 5 star scale.
Sharon
I've tried to read this short story before, when I wasn't familiar with David Sedaris. I couldn't picture him in my head, I couldn't hear his voice, I didn't know what to make of him so I left it.

Now, after reading some of his other books and listening to him being incredibly funny, warm and self-deprecating (and singing jingles in the style of Billie Holliday) - it was time to revisit this. Or, read it because it popped up on my Kindle and I'd forgotten I had it.

Written in 1997, this is the sho
...more
M. Donner
The SantaLand Diaries is a gloomy anti-holiday tale for the rest of us gloomsters to get in the holiday spirit.

The first time I heard the SantaLand Diaries was in an audio recording, read by real-man-Charlie-Brown himself, David Sedaris. This took place in a highly conservative high school, mind you. The reception was hilarious. The exchanged glances: terrified.

That being said, I highly recommended The SantaLand Diaries in audio format, read by the author. If you have troubles navigating the "
...more
Rebecca
The fictional chapters in this book shocked me quite a bit. I enjoyed Sedaris' chapters based on his real life a lot more. They always make me laugh.
Frances Sawaya
My introduction to Sedaris was via my great friend, Craig. At the time the author was reading the SantaLand Diaries on NPR; we would listen on our respective drives home from AULA and then rehash all the crazy stories and images the next day, sometimes laughing so hard that tears rolled down our cheeks. The book (a slim one) was funny in its way but could not really equal Sedaris's dry humour on air. As we approach Christmas, I really suggest you get a copy of the tapes from NPR archives, failin ...more
Debbie Petersen
This should go down in history as one of the funniest stories ever written. Having been to the Macys Santaland in NYC several Christmases with my young sons only adds to the experience, as does having worked for Macys. Forget reading blah stuff like The Night before Christmas as your holiday classic! The first time I read this I was literally doubled over on the floor giggling helplessly with tears running down my face.
Kandice
I really wanted to like this. I did like the first tale, the Christmas Whore tale and the final little bit, but everything else was just too, too much, especially the letter and the one-upmanship story.

The Christmas Family update letter was just awful. I know what Sedaris was going for. We have friends who send those obnoxious letters and include a heavily airbrushed studio portrait. Those of us that are close to them know the "real story". How close they got to divorce, the teen pregnancy scare
...more
Gwen
This audio book is probably the only Christmas tradition I hold to besides Linda and I taking our fake Christmas photos with themes like "Cats as baby Jesus Nativity scene" "Creepy Elves" and "Fiberglass Jesus and Beenie Babies", I mention these because this audio book (and the book is best that way) is the PERFECT background to that sort of activity.
Debbie Kinsey
This is a very short collection of non-fiction and short stories, all grumpy Christmassy tales. It opens with an essay about Sedaris’ time working as an elf in Santa’s grotto in a shopping center (this essay has also been turned into a one-man play), and also includes a fictional story in the style of those annoying family newsletter-type letters and the true story of when a prostitute came to stay over for Christmas. As with all collections, some work better than others. My favourite was actual ...more
Colette
If you want a quick, bawdy, laugh out loud funny book, this is it! Hilarious.
Jessica
Not my favorite Sedaris book, but still wonderfully funny!
Kathy
Zum Inhalt: In einer Reihe von Kurzgeschichten erheitert David Sedaris den Leser mit dem allgemeinen Wahnsinn, der sich in der Vorweihnachtszeit so ergibt. Teils überspitzt, teils komplett aus dem Leben gegriffen beschreibt er das, was das "Fest der Liebe" für die meisten Leute eben so ausmacht: Konsumwahn und Familienkrach.

Meine Meinung: David Sedaris hat für mich immer schon ziemlich genau ins Schwarze getroffen, was seine Beschreibung vom täglichen Leben angeht. Die von mir bisher gelesenen B
...more
Zoe
Oct 31, 2011 Zoe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: rwr
The Santa land Diaries is a collection of six short stories written by the outrageously funny David Sedaris! The stories are from the perspective of David Sedaris when he takes the job as an elf at the Macy's Santa land in New York City. The stories are about his life as an elf during holiday season, the way he reacts with the customers, the employees and other parts of the job. These stories made me laugh out loud! It was a very uplifting read, no matter what mood I was in I could count on thes ...more
Emma Makes
Hilarious, dark and greatly imaginative - this is a brilliant, entertaining book full of grim and laughable passages.

The first story should be a must for anyone who has ever worked in retail - it's observations of just how sad the mainstream shopper is are pitch perfect. The last is a brilliant closure on the spirit of Christmas, it's competitiveness and just how ridiculous we can become.

Devilishly enjoyable and hard to put down.
Dora
It seems this book is supposed to be really funny and entertaining. I found it to be neither. After the droning on in inapproriate tirades, I was happy reach the end. I can't say I was offended (no one forced me to read it), but I can't think of one thing positive to say. Too bad.
Aimee Trutt hardy
This is a quirky, hilarious short story. Perfect for the holiday season and shows just how crazy last-minute shoppers get during the "season of giving." I'll never forget some of his funny observations. I think I've found another Christmas tradition to read/listen to each year! Highly recommend!
Mary Morley
David Sedaris is original, irreverent, a lacerating wit, pulls no punches--in other words, my kind of guy! I have never laughed so hard, cried so spontaneously, or wanted to buy a guy a cup of coffee so badly, just so I could hear more. What is there about living in New York that shakes the pretense out of some people, and others see that pretense laying around loose and pick it up for themselves like they have a two-for-one coupon? I own nearly everything David has written, and I scour NPR's po ...more
Dewi
David Sedaris selalu kocak dan sinis. Kombinasi yang saya suka.
Inti dari buku ini : memandang Natal dari sisi lain. Santa yang kelelahan, kurcaci yang sinis, genit dan usil. Miris saat membaca salah satu baris yang menyedihkan mengenai orang-orang yang pernah punya karier dan terpuruk setelah resesi, tidak menyangka bahwa dalam perjalanan "karier" mereka akan menjadi kurcaci.

Di balik semua kesuraman itu, David Sedaris tetap bisa mengajak pembaca terbahak.
contoh :

“A child came to Santa this morn
...more
Jennifer
Hi Steve, I love Sedaris! The first one I read was Me Talk Pretty... which had me laughing out loud. I was a little disappointed then when I read Santaland so if you liked it so much you might want to read Me Talk Pretty One Day, I can loan it to you. Also google Stadium Pal and listen to that youtube from when he was on the David Letterman show. Ok, now I know we both have a rather crass sense of humor!
Hope you and your family had a nice Christmas. I have been caring for my parents lately (in m
...more
Florence Primrose
David needs a job, so he decides to audition for a job as an elf at Macy's in New York City. This was a funny short story as he experiences the "excitement" in December in Santaland.
Lynn
Well, I enjoyed Sedaris' self-deprecating and dry style in the first two stories in this collection: 'SantaLand' [Sedaris' experiences as a Christmas elf in a NY department store] and 'Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family'[round-robin letter satire], but found that the following four stories became steadily more convoluted and samey.
Many of the Americanisms and references to US lifestyle were also lost on me!
Emily Young
I breezed through this book in a day. I laughed through the first story--by far my favorite of DS and worthy of five stars--but didn't care much for the other stories.
Janall
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a department store elf? David tells of his experience.
Breezy little story that can be read in a sitting. Not hysterical but made me smile.
Adrian Puente
Avoid this author. I hated this book so muck I read it in less than three days to get over with it.
Vicky
I love listening to Sedaris's audio books. His voice and narration makes them even funnier.
Rob Healey
When he writes about his family or growing up he is absolutely brilliant. Just an amazing writer
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David Sedaris is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist and radio contributor.

Sedaris came to prominence in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries." He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. Each of his four subsequent essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Fa
...more
More about David Sedaris...
Me Talk Pretty One Day Naked Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim When You Are Engulfed in Flames Holidays on Ice

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“The woman in charge of costuming assigned us our outfits and gave us a lecture on keeping things clean. She held up a calendar and said, "Ladies, you know what this is. Use it. I have scraped enough blood out from the crotches of elf knickers to last me the rest of my life. And don't tell me, 'I don't wear underpants, I'm a dancer.' You're 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.” 20 likes
“Standing in a two-hour line makes people worry that they're not living in a democratic nation. People stand in line for two houres and they go over the edge.” 9 likes
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