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Santaland Diaries [Paperback]

David Sedaris
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
Price: £8.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

6 July 2006
Santaland Diaries collects six of David Sedaris's most profound Christmas stories into one slender volume perfect for use as a last-minute coaster or ice-scraper. This drinking man's companion can be enjoyed by the warmth of a raging fire, the glow of a brilliantly decorated tree, or even in the back seat of a police car. It should be read with your eyes, felt with your heart, and heard only when spoken to. It should, in short, behave much like a book. And oh, what a book it is!

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (6 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349119759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349119755
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Sedaris lives in Paris. Raised in North Carolina, he has worked as a housecleaner and most famously, as a part-time elf for Macy's. Several of his plays have been produced, and he is a regular contributor to ESQUIRE and Public Radio International's 'This American Life'.

Product Description


Acidly camp, bitchily kitsch and slickly satirical packages of out-there humour...very funny. (Sunday Times)

This is a man who could capture your heart and lift your spirits while reading out the ingredients of a rice cake. (Observer)

His best, funniest, most satisfying book. (Time Out)

Sedaris writes with a gentle but unfailing acuity and a keen eye for the ridiculous ... extremely funny. (Sunday Times)

Book Description

*A collection of personal essays - surprising, disarming, heartbreakingly funny - from the No. 1 bestselling writer Time named America's Favorite Humorist.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
I was in a coffee shop looking through the want ads when I read, "Macy's Herald Square, the largest store in the world, has big opportunities for outgoing, fun-loving people of all shapes and sizes who want more than just a holiday job! Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best example of his writing 8 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious at best, mediocre at worst 11 May 1999
By A Customer
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars santaland diaries 31 Dec 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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit too dark 3 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD
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'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smile, damn you 14 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD
'[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?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Sue'sViews
4.0 out of 5 stars David Sedaris
Being a fan of the author I was intriqued to read a book or two, having got 2 audio tapes. I am about halfway Santaland Diaries, and it doesn't disappoint, my only grumble is that... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Neddy
2.0 out of 5 stars Fourth book in a row and horribly disappointed
Not sure where this fits in chronologically in terms of the four books I have just devoured
one after the other but about half way through this one disappeared up it's own... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pam Vick
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit hit and miss
I love David Sedaris, but I found this collection a bit disappointing. A bit 'curate's egg' i.e. good in parts.
Published 8 months ago by the trout
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and a little cynical
If you enjoy laughing and hate the way you get caught up in christmas stress and commercialism, look no further.
Published 9 months ago by cheerfulmum
3.0 out of 5 stars I expected more
I bought this having read lots of reviews from other readers and whilst it is a decent, easy read I don't quite understand the adulation from some. Read more
Published 9 months ago by essay2509
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
like all the other David Sedaris books I have read, this one is just as good, I am pleased to say.
Published 11 months ago by jam
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny as hell
I am a huge fan of David Sedaris and this book of anecdotes had me laughing out loud. If you don't know him, get to know him... hilarious.
Published 15 months ago by Kitten
3.0 out of 5 stars made me laugh
This book made me laugh, however I found the sense of humour in parts to be a little too dark for my taste. But on the whole a good read and a good giggle.
Published 15 months ago by lisa kay heys
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
David Sedaris is really clever and really funny. I can't really do him justice but do listen to these stories. You'll love them.
Published 16 months ago by Elizabeth Boyd
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