Daniel Parsons's Reviews > SantaLand Diaries

SantaLand Diaries by David Sedaris
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Feb 02, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: glbt
Read from January 28 to February 02, 2010

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 resemble sketches from a TV series. An especially tiresome chapter is "Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!", written in the style of one of those ghastly round robin newsletters received at Christmas. The novelty wears off quickly. By contrast, "SantaLand Diaries" and "Dinah, the Christmas Whore", which tell of Sedaris’ actual experiences and observations, are funny and truthful. But 67 pages out of 138 isn’t an especially high success rate even in such a slim volume. I’d recommend You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs for a better selection of seasonal related laughter
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01/28/2010 page 9
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