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Holidays on Ice

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  79,341 ratings  ·  3,908 reviews
A new holiday classic--six of the most profound Christmas stories by the author of the bestselling "Naked" and "Barrel Fever"--is now in a paperback edition perfect for stocking stuffing.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 28th 1998 by Little Brown & Co (P) (first published December 1997)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
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39th out of 3,039 books — 5,986 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I feel weird reviewing this book right now because the honest truth is: I really genuinely did not like it. And yet I’ve been called out recently by a bunch of helpful strangers on Goodreads for not liking their favorite books—this asshole telling me I should avoid all literary fiction, this one here saying that my problem is with fiction in general—and I fear I’m going to develop a reputation for hating books, and then Otis will kick me off Goodreads and all the mean girls in the Feedback Group ...more
To the tune of “Frosty the Snowman”

Da-vid Se-daris
Was a writer oh-so-droll
With a quirky style and take on life
That will put you on the floor.

Da-vid Se-daris
Writes the weirdest stuff you’ll see
About the Christmas whore and the Macy’s elves
And deathly children’s pageantry.

There must have been some crazy
In the Sedaris family tree
‘Cause David ain’t the only one
Have you seen his sister Amy?

Oh! Da-vid Se-daris!
Can your stories all be true?
It matters not when you write as hot
As in Holidays on Ice!
After reading the first short story, I thought this was going to be a delightful book. "SantaLand Diaries," after all, had me rolling down the isle of the plane on which I was reading it... Okay, I was just giggling constantly with frequent bursts of loud laugher interspersed. No rolling, but still very humiliating on the whole. At any rate, I came home in a dither to read the other stories as well. Ugh. Appalling. Not a single chuckle among them. Worse, they were gross, often offensive (and I d ...more
I always get David Sedaris and Dave Eggers confused for some reason. Until now, I've never read anything by either of them, but I can't remember who it is that everyone seems to hate. Sedaris? Eggers? Both? I had planned to read this a year ago, but forgot I had it. I thought I'd better read it now during the holidays so I wouldn't have to wait another year to get to it--I can never watch Christmas movies or read holiday stories when it's not Christmas; it's depressing.

Anyway, this was a perfect

My mother was a little crazy.

She saw people looking through our windows, heard them whispering under our porch, spotted private family conversations in the newspaper, unexpectedly screamed profanity at people who looked suspicious (sometimes while we were in a restaurant or some other very public location), and thought the writing on trucks and other vehicles that passed us on the road were coded messages just for her. … It was a bit creepy.

My father didn’t help. Rather than acknowledging my mo
Jason Koivu
Holidays on Ice puts David Sedaris on ice. Why? Because, aside from one inclusion, this is a collection of short fiction, where as when he's riffing on real life in his other books, the man is on fire!

Sedaris is best listened to rather than read, in my opinion. I always go the audiobook route with him, because he narrates them himself, adding in all the oh-so-necessary inflection, as well as some hilarious renditions of his parents and, one of my favorites, Billie Holiday. But here too is an iss
So it might be a little cruel of me to review a book about Christmas when Christmas is off most of our radars, but, hey, there's still snow on the ground where I live so I'm allowing myself this review.

Like most people, I have often laughed at the strange humor David Sedaris illuminates in his past books, Naked being the funniest, IMO. When I was given a copy of HOLIDAYS ON ICE I knew what I was about to get into, so it sat on my shelves for a few months. On a whim, I plucked it from the mass o
In 2004 I was in a relationship where partner and I had very different ideas of what the holidays should look like. He's all about family and one-up-manship in the category of who brought the most unique/popular gift and who created the best dish for the potluck end of the Christmas meal.
Me, I'd rather vacate. So I packed up the dog this one year and drove to a secret get-away for Christmas alone. (Think "ahhh," not "awww") His gift to me was this book on CD, which I listened to during the 3 ho
Okay. Let it be said: "Santaland Diaries," the first essay of this book, is wonderful. But the rest of the book is basically filler; this was before Sedaris found his niche (humor essayist), and it really shows. He should never, ever write fiction, for example, and yet he tries to here. The results are not pretty, or even very readable.

It's also notable that half of the pieces in this short book have appeared in other collections of his. So, really, this is not worth buying; get "Santaland Diari
Holidays on Ice is great right down to the cover which features an alcoholic beverage with ice in in it (adorable and much like my family's holidays). It features Christmas themed stories some his holiday experiences, others just featuring his talent as a writer. Santa land Diaries is the first essay and it is the star of this show. These are journal entries from when David at the age of 33 worked as an elf at Macy's the age of 33.
It chronicles the insane parents, the unfortunat
Alison Looney
I'm afraid my book-selection privileges will be revoked by my book club for choosing this one.

I enjoy David Sedaris, in part because of his constant vigilance for finding the worst in people. Exploring the darker side of man makes for funny personal essays.

But when he turns to fiction, he has absolute creative control over his subjects. Instead of reporting on someone's shortcomings, he's inventing them. Perhaps this power is too much - he can't seem to help but create the worst imaginable scen
David Sedaris debuttò alla radio proprio con un pezzo sul Natale, nel quale raccontava la sua esperienza da elfo in un grande magazzino durante le feste natalizie.
In questa breve raccolta troviamo quattro pezzi sul Natale, anche se solo uno tratta della vita personale di Sedaris, e devo dire che secondo me è in assoluto uno dei suoi migliori racconti. In questo suo “Dinah, la zoccola di Natale”, Sedaris riesce a coniugare con brillante umorismo la percezione bambinesca e adulta delle feste natal
The Holy Terror
There were only three stories in this collection that I didn't absolutely despise; Santaland Diaries, Dinah the Christmas Whore, and 6 to 8 Black Men were the only ones that were even remotely funny. The rest I honestly wish I had never read. I'd suggest reading these in the store or borrowing the book from the library if you really want to read it. Don't waste your money on this collection, especially the hardcover version, unless you really want to spend money on stories about a baby killed in ...more
When I’m feeling down and fragile (from too many “emotional” reads), there’s nothing quite like David Sedaris to comfort me. I just snuggle in and wrap myself up in his thick coating of cynicism and mockery…mmmmmmm…cozy.

This particular collection is all about the holidays: that magical time when we manage to take a season that’s all about peace, charity, and goodwill and then just shit all over it. The horrid Christmas “specials,” the family update letters with waaaaay too much information, the
Sarah Null
This book gets one star instead of zero because I did not completely hate "Dinah the Christmas Whore" and thought "SantaLand Diares" was just kind of okay. I didn't like any of the other stories even the slightest bit.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a reread for me, although this version has a few more new stories.

Sedaris's version of the holidays is a comfort in a world saturated with sentimentality during Christmas. He pushes the limits, and hearing it in his voice is the way to go.

"The Santaland Diaries" feels like the greatest classic, about being a seasonal Macy's elf.

"Six to Eight Black Men" was my favorite this time around, about how Christmas traditions are different in Holland, and how political correctness tends to alter t
Shayantani Das
The first story was amazing, listening to David Sedaris sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem" like Billie Holiday had me rolling on the floor laughing..I cracked up so many times through out the story..

The other stories though, were very mediocre, not funny at all, sometimes even gross..So the first one gets sparkling, chrismasy 4 stars from me, and the others get 1, average- 2stars for the book.
Jen B
Dec 05, 2008 Jen B rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio
This was my introduction to David Sedaris, and I have to say I found a couple of the stories very, very funny. "The SantaLand Diaries" - about Sedaris' job as an elf at Macy's during the Christmas season - was absolutely hilarious. It took me back to my collegiate summer job at Walt Disney World, where I, too, was forced to deal with pushy adults, bratty kids, and an uncomfortable and unflattering uniform. I also thought "Delilah the Christmas Whore" was entertaining - as much for its references ...more
David Sedaris is messed up! I can't even begin to tell you, you'll just have to read these Christmas stories on crack and find out for yourself.

Holidays on Ice is a collection of six short stories all wrapped up in a black Christmas bow. They are dark, sarcastic, evil, irreverent, funny, real, revealing, and sweet.

SantaLand Diaries recounts Sedaris's experience working as a Christmas elf in Santaland at Macy's in Manhattan. He encounters overzealous, self-centered, and racist parents. He flirts
I was looking forward to reading this as I've never read anything by David Sedaris and I had heard really good things . . . plus I was really in the mood for a light/funny book.

But, ugh, this was awful. His writing did NOTHING for me. In fact, I was rather turned off by his topics and style.

I brought the book to the DMV to read. During the god awful four hours I spent there I couldn't even bring myself to finish the last two short stories. I just sat there—bored out of my mind—because that was
Sheylon (Eric) Burgess
I keep trying to like David Sedaris but I just don’t find him that funny or entertaining. Three books in, he’s like the sad-sack but reasonably witty guy in your sophomore writing class that was amusing while the semester was going but you don’t feel a strong urge to connect with on Facebook when it's time to move on. His observations are dry, cynical and devoid of insight. I picked up this slim volume at the library book sale and thought it would be funny to read in June with Christmas ages awa ...more
I finally met a David Sedaris work I hated. I admit, I was warned - but only that it "wasn't funny". I don't consider myself easily offended and, we are talking about David Sedaris here, so I wondered, "How "not funny" could it be?" I feel that a sense of humor is a personal kind of thing and I, myself, am often amused by cynicism, sarcasm, and irreverence so I went into it, if not with the usual gusto I feel when starting one of this author's books, at least with some expectations, however low. ...more
Sarah Cauble
After hearing David Sedaris' books are laugh out loud funny, I couldn't wait to read one. I chose "Holidays on Ice" as my first. To my dismay, I hardly enjoyed this book at all. For one, I couldn't tell whose perspective some of the chapters were written from; many of them definitely weren't from David's, which I found odd. Secondly, most of the stories felt like pure rambling. And it wasn't funny rambling, it was what is the point of this? rambling. I literally only laughed twice throughout the ...more
Jo Ann
I can only say I thought one story was mildly funny and the rest were just plain awful.
What the Fuuuh did I just read??? Not my style at all. Wishing I could have my money back for that purchase and I want my one star back but there is no other option for rating it.
Christina Mitchell
Another night of the public television fund drive that bounces regular programming, another night with a book. I'm not complaining. Reading is a tremendous joy for me. And, the fact that I am studying for my doctorate means my personal reading time is very limited. Thus, last night was a win-win situation. Public television got to raise much needed funding and I got to have the grand experience of uninterrupted personal reading time. I don't think I could have asked for better bookish company th ...more
This was a book filled with 6 different stories, they were funny, but some of them were a little lame...

I listened to this as an audiobook and David Sedaris actually read the book, which was both parts entertaining and annoying. His voice is high and slightly annoying to listen to.

Not sure if I would do another audiobook by him... :/
It would be a lie to truly say I "read" this book, because I gave up on it & just started flicking through, in the hopes of something redeeming leaping out at me. Nothing did. I enjoyed the elf story but really disliked the rest. It left me feeling plain icky and upset. A cynical and depressing view of the world.
Dec 17, 2008 Julie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with a slightly warped sense of humor
Recommended to Julie by: Cyber Book Club
One of the December books for the Cyber Book Club.

Okay, this is my first experience with David Sedaris. He writes really well, and I found myself chuckling at the book in places, but just as often my mouth was hanging open in shock at what the characters were doing/what they were saying, especially in the fiction pieces. I could have done without "Monster Mash" entirely, and lived my life very happily. I also found myself a little put off by the descriptions of Sedaris's attitudes and behavior a
Printable Tire
Read for Christmas cheer and spirit. What the situations lack in originality they sometimes make up for in... originality.

SantaLand Diaries- The most famous essay in the collection and the only one to make me laugh out loud: "I normally avoid leaflets but it breaks my heart to see a grown man dressed as a taco." Made me laugh out loud mostly because taco is a funny word. Just heard Sedaris read this on the radio before my own reading so mostly skimmed and read the parts not acted out on radio. G
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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
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