- Paperback: 257 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965904830
- ISBN-13: 978-0965904834
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (497 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,941,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim Paperback – January 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
There are some clearly funny places though. The author's account of his brother's cooking habits and dog training techniques made me laugh so hard I dropped the book - then I immediately took it to my friend's house so she could read it, but made her read it aloud instead of doing it myself because I know I wouldn't have been able to speak aloud for the last few pages due to the gasping for air.
I also found it interesting that one of his sisters lives in my town - but my neighbor tells me this is not news, she'll introduce herself to you in the local library :)
God forbid we ever have a smoking prohibition, or DS will be in Tourette hell. I believe him utterly when he says that for him, smoking is a good thing.
If you like reading about imperfect people who care about each other but can be quite ludicrous, and observations of human oddity in general, this book is for you. (As are all his other books.) I found the second half of the book to be funnier than the first half.
Dress Your Family doesn't quite have the belly laughs of Holidays, but it is comical nonetheless. One funny story is about his brother's wedding on the beach with his dogs as attendants (the flower girl was in heat). In another, he plays strip poker with his friends and makes up the rules in order to keep his clothes. Sedaris' self-deprecating humor is also amusing. The author had an unusual childhood, and while most boys were picking up footballs and hockey sticks, Sedaris was picking out wallpaper samples. But Dress Your Family is also filled with the angst of childhood, and most of us will identify with many of these stories. Some are downright heartbreaking. After dropping out of college, his father asks him to move out of the house. Only later does Sedaris learn the real reason: his father disapproves of his homosexuality.
Still, the Sedaris family has center stage here. With mom, dad, four sisters, and a very masculine brother, each one is quirkier than the next. It's hard to tell how much is Sedaris' very keen powers of observation, and how much is exaggeration. In any case, it's no wonder that when odd things happen to his sisters, they all scream at him "and I don't want to see this in one of your books!" Sedaris always promises to keep their secrets, but everyone knows they will appear sometime soon. Sedaris is an amazing writer and storyteller, and it is appropriate that he has such a rich source of material. I'm sure it will keep him going ad infinitum.
However upon finishing this I only mustered up some hearty chuckles. Success hasn't spoiled Sedaris, it's just stripped him of his anonymity. Consequently placing himself in situations where he can silently observe are becoming obsolete.Most of the stories revolve around his family; a melancholic and unflattering collection of portraits that frankly I felt depressed more than amused. There are some very funny moments, but generally the absurd wit that runs through his previous essays was replaced by a sadder, softer tone. Still, fans of his work will find at least some things to giggle over, and that's more than alot of writers can say.
David Sedaris is still the intelligent person's acid humorist, but he is growing to be able to play in two keys at once. The sharp-tongued "what was she thinking??" materialist, and the thoughtful guy who understands the source of his inspiration (mainly family), and honestly gets what they were thinking after all. And get this! Admits it!
If you read The New Yorker and Esquire and some other Lit mags you may have seen much of this material before (hey, a guy's gotta eat between hardcover releases) but much is gained in the compilation. Seriously. I swear you will still suppress an evil snort at regular intervals!
A fun, quick read that can be picked up and put down at a later date, if youre able. Just alot of fun...though prudish readers may be put off at some parts.
David Sedaris is someone Id love to meet just to hear his stories about his offbeat family in person.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best read when listening to the soundtrack of "Vertigo". When you think your childhood was goofy, you realize it's universal. NPublished 5 days ago by Butterlina
Well written with an eloquent voice and witty, wry insights into the mundane. Sedaris holds your interest you through the pages with a fast, humorous pace.Published 8 days ago by Caroline
This was a disjointed book. Very hard to follow. Occasionally funny.Published 1 month ago by Grandma
Reading it for the second time and haven't had it very long! Can't get enough of David Sedaris!Published 1 month ago by Deborah Rudd
All of David's books are worth reading -- especially if you want to laugh and lighten up. This book is hilarious - i'm listening to it while commuting and hearing David read his... Read morePublished 1 month ago by karena
Wit fully written. Loved this book and each chapter had a fresh story. Beautiful words used and exceptional vocabulary and literally hilarious.Published 1 month ago by melissa
Essay collections usually don't hold my interest, especially if the aim is humor, so I must commend Mr. Sedaris on holding my attention completely for the first half of this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Julian Wyllie
Growing up in Raleigh and being very familiar, not only with the era about which David writes, but also with several of the locations (Kwik Pik at North Hills, Emerald... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Larry Dickman