Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars75
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio Download|Change
Price:£14.00
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

VINE VOICEon 8 December 2007
I have read and enjoyed other books by David Sedaris which is why I bought `Santaland Diaries' which is short book made up of a couple of typical memoir-type stories and a couple of short pieces of fiction:

`Santaland Diaries' recalls the time Sedaris spent as an elf during one Christmas at Macy's. Sedaris puts his own spin on the revolting stream of families coming to visit Santa and how he attemped to make life more interetsing for himself during his time in this mind-numbing job! (I especially enjoyed his thoughts about those families who insist of photographing and video taping every minute of the `experience')

`Season's Greeting's to Our Friends and Family!!!' is a pastiche of a round-robin letter (probably more common in America) that has a dark twist and I felt was one of the weakest of the stories, along with the next piece `Dinah, the Christmas Whore,' which seemed like a bit of a filler.

`Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol,' was better and was written as if a theatre critic was writing a serious critique of nativity plays. There were some seriously funny lines in this story;
`Pointing to an overstuffed crate that served as a manger, one particularly insufficient wise man proclaimed, `A child is bored.'
Yes, well, so was this adult.'

`Based on a True Story' was a short piece written as if a television executive was giving a sermon. More great one-liners.

Lastly the collection includes, `Christmas Means Giving' another great piece of black humour.

I quite enjoyed the time spect reading this (very) short collection but I couldn't really work out why it had been released on it's own. The stories were all loosely based on Christmas but didn't leave me feeling Christmassy and weren't the best examples of Sedaris's writing. If you haven't read anything by him before, you might be better off giving this one a miss and reading `Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denin' instead.

Ok, just not great.
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 January 2005
This is such a great book, David Sedaris never fails to make me laugh out loud on the tube! However, learn from my mistake - I asked for both The Santaland Diaries and Holidays on Ice for Christmas and it turns out they're exactly the same book, just with different titles, so don't buy both!
0Comment|41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 February 1999
If you haven't read 'Barrel Fever' and 'Naked' this is 4 stars. If you have, you've already read 2/3 of this book, so give it just another 2 stars.
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 November 2000
To summarize: would be impossible, this is a book of pure lunacy blended with humour but combined with Santa's elves and a overall realistically jolly feel(especially when read in December). It proves the best of a even a Humbug leaving you to not only giggle under the bed sheets at night, but you will also begin to notice a new side to Christmas, a commercial yet Fun side, and so every time you walk past that shop window every Christmas seeing the mechanical toys and people dressed in green tights, I promise you will chuckle remembering a great book.
0Comment|12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 October 2013
'[Y]ou don't want to see a Santa undress.' I'm not convinced the naked Sedaris would make a pretty sight either.

Dear David is occasionally lovable. In SantaLand Diaries, from his first book Barrel Fever, when, asked why he wanted a particular truckdriving job, he says 'because I like the brown uniforms', and when, as Santa's helper, he has to resist the urge to say to a waiting child 'I know a lot of people who would kill for that little waistline of yours'. Mostly, though, the bile is real. Take the mother in Santa's grotto. "Goddamn it, Rachel, get on that man's lap and smile or I'll give you something to cry about.. Now, let's get the hell out of here. Your mother has a headache that won't quit until you're twenty-one."

I find this kind of thing painful to read. There is a vein of cruelty, a shard of glass in Sedaris that makes me feel uncomfortable. How about you? Am I just getting old?
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 May 1999
The first story, "SantaLand Diaries", is hilarious, as funny a piece of writing as I have ever read.The other stories are quite amusing, but don't rise to the level of the first. Sedaris clearly has exceptional talent, and I will definitely try out his other works. Comedy(whether performing or writing) clearly being the most difficult art, makes this collection worth the modest retail price.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 December 2013
Found this second-hand some years ago, and I still buy it every Christmas for friends who've never heard of David Sedaris (don't worry, they get fewer by the year). Santaland Diaries, the tale of Sedaris's time as a department store elf, is laugh-out-loud funny and worth the purchase price alone, and the companion pieces, which include such gems as a New York theatre critic's archly sneering review of an elementary school nativity play, and the pricelessly titled "Dinah the Christmas Whore" are equally excellent. This mini collection is short, sweet, very very funny, and as unique and perfect in its own way as a snowflake.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 December 2004
this completely wired up collection of short stories never fails to satisfy a hunger for dark humour, unique writing, and downright bizarre tales that on some level, (some of us more than others,) we can all relate to. i re-read the collection over Christmas and noticed that somewhere in amongst "Dinah the Christmas whore" and "Christmas is about giving", the true spirit of christmas becomes remarkably apparent and we thank our lucky stars we dont live in america.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 November 2010
Having heard him do '6 to 8 black men' with an audience a few months ago, I bought this as an introduction for some friends of mine. 628BM is on here, and sounds great. However, everything else on it (lasting 4 hours in total), is much darker (particularly 'Greetings to our Friends and Family') and the lack of an audience somehow makes the whole thing sound a bit sinister. So if you're already a fan of his and want all his Christmas works, go for it. If you're giving it as a gift - beware; you'd be better off with 'Live at Carnegie Hall'.
22 comments|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 June 2012
A great book... and a great price. Arrived very promptly and much cheaper than a new copy. There are two books quite similar - 'Holidays on Ice' and another Christmas-themed one. Be careful - there is some repetition so make sure you check out which one to get. Sedaris does it again - very funny.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)