Alison Looney's Reviews > Holidays on Ice

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
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Dec 15, 08

it was ok

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 scenario. He has some funny premises, like a fake holiday letter and a game of benevolent brinksmanship between wealthy neighbors. But each of his "fiction" stories devolves from amusing and odd to troubling and grotesque.

My advice is to pick this book up at a book store or library and read this first piece, Santaland Diaries, about his time as an elf at Macy's. That's classic Sedaris and worth reading. Then put it back on the shelf and walk away - the rest is not worth it.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Rachel Agreed - His nonfiction and satire are hilarious, but when he tries to write fictional stories, they start out promising but there is soon a horrific crash and burn. In this book, truth was not stranger than fiction, but it sure was a whole lot funnier.


Marian Completely agree that the elf piece is the only worthwhile bit!


Rachel Yes - instead of writing entire fiction stories, Sedaris should just write the first paragraph or two of the story, and then let another writer take over. He has good ideas for stories, but he just goes way overboard with the morbid and vulgar humor.


Andrea I agree--I hate his fiction! Stick to personal essays, David!


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