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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes One Wish For Misery!
No one writes quite like David Sedaris. This collection of stories and essays reaches new highs/lows in comedy so caustically humorous, that guilty pleasures become real. Revel in his memoir of his love affairs and fights amongst the rich and famous such as Charlton Heston, Pat Buchanan, Chuck Connors and his ultimate love, Mike Tyson. Listen in on Sedaris' account of...
Published on 7 Mar. 2003 by Martin A Hogan

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip This and Re-Read Me Talk Pretty One Day
What a tremendously disappointing read. If it weren't for the final story, Santaland Diaries, I would have only given this book one star, and only then because I couldn't give it less. I was not looking for a re-tread of "Me Talk Pretty One Day," but I was looking for something of comparable quality (which in "Pretty" was stellar), and this was NOT it. Meandering,...
Published on 4 Aug. 2008 by Graceann Macleod


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes One Wish For Misery!, 7 Mar. 2003
By 
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco, CA. (Hercules)) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Barrel Fever (Paperback)
No one writes quite like David Sedaris. This collection of stories and essays reaches new highs/lows in comedy so caustically humorous, that guilty pleasures become real. Revel in his memoir of his love affairs and fights amongst the rich and famous such as Charlton Heston, Pat Buchanan, Chuck Connors and his ultimate love, Mike Tyson. Listen in on Sedaris' account of living with his aunt and hearing all of his Mother and her sister's sordid stories. Nothing smacks of hilarious hypocrisy more than Sedaris telling his freind Gill he that he drinks too much while he cannot understand why using the vacumn cleaner as a pillow unintentially is wrong. If you have ever known a smoker, "Diary Of A Smoker" will have you licking ashtrays to stop from laughing. Of course, Sedaris chooses his most famous story, "The SantaLand Diaries" for last. This is the ultimate barometer for true magic in the commercialized Christmas world we all have to endure. Barrel Fever is worth it just for this one essay!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational - a rare thing, a laugh-out-loud book, 30 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Barrel Fever (Paperback)
I first encountered David Sedaris when cruising through the original amazon,com site, and have gone on to buy this book for every available birthday present that I've needed for the last six months. The book is a series of short episodes (rather than stories) all with a twisted and unusual perspective. Each one of them is laugh out loud funny. To provide a point of reference with UK comedy is difficult - it would appeal to anyone who likes a laugh and who maybe prefers something quirky rather than straight-forward. Having recommended it to one friend, he phoned me the next day to say he'd read the whole thing and declared it was his favourite book. Buy it and laugh.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Buy Me, I'm Funny", 3 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Barrel Fever (Paperback)
David Sedaris, you are a funny, funny man.
"The SantaLand Diaries" (the final story in the collection) really IS worth buying the book for and the other stories are all magnificently written, warped and wonderful.
One of the funniest books I have ever read,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sedaris is the funniest man alive, 16 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Barrel Fever (Paperback)
None of David Sedaris's books have disappointed me. Neither have those of Chuck Palahniuk or Jackson McCrae, so I know when to stick with a good thing when I find it. This said, "Naked" is not quite up to "Me Talk Pretty" but that's not saying much---it's still a very funny book. This "memoir" covers everything from Charlton Heston, Pat Buchanan, and Mike Tyson, if you can believe that. One note for those who are or have been a smoker. You have to read "Diary of a Smoker" included in this book. Buy it for nothing if not that. I also recently enjoyed the book "Katzenjammer: Soon to be a major motion picture" by J.T. McCrae which is about as close as you can get to Sedaris without actually being him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, pretty entertaining..., 3 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
Although not all the stories were laugh out loud funny as I was led to believe from all the rave reviews, it was still pretty damned entertaining; especially 'SantaLand' and the 'suicide letter'. Those are the two stories that had me chuckling to myself. The others sometimes lost me. But overall a good read... great for a long commute. Definitely recommend it! I look forward to reading more of his work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book I live my life by., 6 Mar. 1998
By A Customer
I thought "Barrel Fever" was just about the funniest book I've ever read. The story by the same name kills me just to think about it... jeeezus, I'm at work and I can't laugh out loud right now but it's impossible to shut out a couple of chuckles just thinking about that guy's writing. His use of the comma in his literature is utterly hilarious! The game "Find Mom, find Mom's cigarettes," or (and I know I'll mess this up) the Wind-Blown Reporter saying, "I bet it really hurts to lose a home like that, a nice home like yours," just lends this kind of flow to people's sentences that sounds so damn realistic and by-the-wayish that I have to start laughing again. I was at a really boring lecture in medical school and one of my friends turned to me and asked me if I had anything interesting to read-- I turned around and gave "Barrel Fever" to her, and the rest of the hour was punctuated with loud sobs and brays of poorly-restrained laughter that disturbed all the serious little pre-doctors trying to learn about crudded-up kidneys.
At the risk of sounding snotty, I'll say this book isn't for everybody-- some people will find it bizarre or even dark, pessimistic, and perverted, but who always wants vapid happy-happy joy-joy humor anyway? David Sedaris tends to make fun of pretentious people who take themselves too seriously-- angry homosexuals (Glen), over-macho heterosexuals (Brude Springsteen, Mike Tyson), sickly-sweet bitchy housewives ("Season's Greetings..."), angry women types (Dolph's sisters in "Barrel Fever", the story), self-righteous anti-smokers ("Diary of a Smoker"), literary pseudo-intellectuals ("After Malison"), and I could go on, but I'm sure you've got the idea-- if you take yourself too seriously, or if the term "not normal" connotes something undesirable or bad to you, then don't waste your time. Go read a burningly affected, beautifully written book like "Cold Mountain," by James Frazier instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Warning, 17 Jun. 1997
By A Customer
I read this book on a commuter train and I'm almost frightened at how hard I laughed.

It was uncomfortable, like being covered by hundreds of ants or falling into a silo of feathers.

The other people on the CalTrain, who were cursed to share a car with me, looked over warily, but I never stopped laughing.

I put the book down and I would laugh with the memory of the pages, I opened the book and new images caused me to giggle and chuckle and eventually erupt again in laughter.

This book needs a warning label.

I emphatically implore all those with heart conditions to not read this book without nitroglycerin tablets handy.

Everyone else should read it, and freak people out by laughing hysterically in the parks and on the buses.

Pages of this book should be pasted in bathroom stalls and the din that would emerge from the john would be so seditious and delicious, people would line up whether they had to pee or not.

Or people would run away, but that would be just fine for those of us who know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, but inconsistent, 11 July 1998
By A Customer
This predecessor to 'Naked' doesn't quite deliver the goods the way Sedaris' later book does. A mix of fiction and essays, Barrel Fever swings from weird and funny to just plain weird. The essays, highlighted by his priceless 'Santaland Diaries', far outstrip the fiction. In any case, inconsistent Sedaris is still worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn funny, 28 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
David Sedaris has a caustic painful witty sense of humor. His book is a quickie, a comic book in its attention span. This is good because to linger in the world of these bitter, self-absorbed people would be degrading if prolonged. Sedaris can evoke the paranoia and mania of teenagehood in a convincing way.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip This and Re-Read Me Talk Pretty One Day, 4 Aug. 2008
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This review is from: Barrel Fever (Paperback)
What a tremendously disappointing read. If it weren't for the final story, Santaland Diaries, I would have only given this book one star, and only then because I couldn't give it less. I was not looking for a re-tread of "Me Talk Pretty One Day," but I was looking for something of comparable quality (which in "Pretty" was stellar), and this was NOT it. Meandering, pointless, humorless ramblings from someone who is capable of much better writing.

Only in Santaland Diaries do we get to see the Sedaris that crackles with dark humor and hilarious cynicism. I loved every word of this story and couldn't help but wish that the rest of the book had been this wonderful. My heartfelt advice is that you borrow Barrel Fever from the library, memorize Santaland Diaries, and ignore the rest.
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Barrel Fever
Barrel Fever by David Sedaris (Paperback - 6 July 2006)
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