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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
For those dreading the holiday season, bestseller Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames) makes life a little easier with this re-release of his uproarious essay collection, newly expanded from the original 1997 edition. Sedaris gets the most mileage out of Christmas, from his stint as a Macy's elf in "Santaland Diaries," to comparing American and Dutch holiday traditions in "Six to Eight Black Men." In "Jesus Shaves," Sedaris recalls a French class in which students try to explain to each other, in broken French, the concept of Easter: "On the Easter we be sad because somebody makes Jesus dead today." This updated version includes "The Monster Mash," poached from When You Are Engulfed, in which Sedaris spends Halloween at the morgue; and "The Cow and the Turkey," a new story featuring the Secret Santa woes of barnyard animals. Longtime fans will be happy to have all Sedaris's holiday stories in one volume, and those who've managed to miss the literary funny-man couldn't get a better gift.
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