The Santaland Diaries Paperback – 8 Sep 2005
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|Paperback, 8 Sep 2005||
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'a writer whose sentences are shaped for comic timing and to be heard as much as read. He focuses on the small details, piling themnm up neatily in his dry, clever way, building tension'. The Herald 'One of the wittiest books I've read this year... Santaland diaries is another Sedaris triumph. From describing the worst examples of greed and selfishness at a time traditionally given over to kindness, to shattering glittery Christmas myths, he has managed to keep his splendid sense of humour about it all, thus saving SANTALAND DIARIES from becoming too much like an offering from Scrooge .' Independent
The perfect anti-Christmas present from one of America¿s ¿most prickly, and most delicious comic talents¿ Washington PostSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
`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.Read more ›
With a Christmas theme, the six pieces in the book are very different. There's a mix of fact and fiction, some of it very bizarre fiction indeed. The first piece and the one which gives the book its title, is about the Christmas season that Sedaris spent working in Macy's as an elf. This is - not surprisingly - my favourite because it's the main autobiographical piece. After that, things get very bizarre very quickly. There's the monologue from the angry wife whose husband's lost illegitimate Vietnamese daughter has turned up out of the blue and moved in with them. Then there's account of the time his sister rescued a local whore at Christmas time, which I also found funny. Anyone who's read a few of his books will know that Sedaris's family and friends are a rich seam of comic inspiration which he shamelessly and frequently mines. There's a critic's-eye report on school nativity plays, a television documentary maker trying to bully, cajole and bribe a church congregation into telling stories on their friend and finally, a couple attempt to outdo their flashy neighbours with seasonal acts of selfish and extreme good will.
The collection doesn't really knit together and I was left with a sense of missing continuity and a certainty that Sedaris really must hate Christmas to let his imagination get so carried away.
Of the Sedaris books I've read (and that's most of them) this is perhaps the weakest. I prefer his more personal tales to his bizarre fantastical stories of death and destruction and general evil. I miss his usual sense of strong 'voice' when reading these but since I'm running out of books of his that I haven't yet read, I'll probably be reading it through again sometime soon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written and witty and often funny, but a bit too black for me.Published 1 month ago by Scarlett Jones
It starts well and is quite but then gets too weird for me, not an enjoyable read towards the end at all.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
I forget how much I love David Sedaris until the next time I listen to/read him and then I wonder why I don't listen to/read him more. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
Arrived on time thanks. Boom strange though and wouldn't recommend it!Published 5 months ago by Bex