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Not the best example of his writing
on 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.