Holidays on Ice

Holidays on Ice

3.7 244
by David Sedaris
     
 

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David Sedaris's beloved holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy's elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris's tales of tardy trick-or-treaters ("Us and Them"); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French ("Jesus…  See more details below

Overview

David Sedaris's beloved holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy's elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris's tales of tardy trick-or-treaters ("Us and Them"); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French ("Jesus Shaves"); what to do when you've been locked out in a snowstorm ("Let It Snow"); the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations ("Six to Eight Black Men"); what Halloween at the medical examiner's looks like ("The Monster Mash"); and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry ("Cow and Turkey").

No matter what your favorite holiday, you won't want to miss celebrating it with the author who has been called "one of the funniest writers alive" (Economist).

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
It's hard to describe David Sedaris to those who've never read him. Mixing autobiographical details with sharp sarcasm and social commentary, Sedaris can probably best be described as a '90s version of brilliant humorist Jean Shepherd (who did his own scathing take on the holiday season with the film A Christmas Story). Sedaris' essays and stories are at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. His new anthology, Holidays on Ice, collects three previously released stories and essays and offers three brand-new ones; all revolve around Christmas.

"SantaLand Diaries," which originally appeared in "Barrel Fever," leads off the collection and may be Sedaris's best-known work. A laugh-out-loud-hysterical look at Sedaris's experiences working as an elf in SantaLand in Macy's, the story is a wickedly funny slicing-and-dicing of the holiday season and the good cheer that supposedly accompanies it. His dark humor is exactly what you need when you're getting sick of all the fuss about Christmas. Look how Sedaris handled this experience with a mother who was tiring of her son's relentless pestering:

The woman grabbed my arm and said, "You there, Elf, tell Riley here that if he doesn't start behaving immediately, then Santa's going to change his mind and bring him coal for Christmas." I said that Santa no longer traffics in coal. Instead, if you're bad he comes to your house and steals things. I told Riley that if he didn't behave himself, Santa was going to take away his TV and all his electrical appliances and leave him in the dark. "All your appliances,including the refrigerator. Your food is going to spoil and smell bad. It's going to be so cold and dark where you are. Man, Riley, are you ever going to suffer. You're going to wish you never heard the name Santa." The woman got a worried look on her face and said, "All right, that's enough." I said, "He's going to take your car and your furniture and all the towels and blankets and leave you with nothing." The mother said, "No, that's enough, really."

"Dinah, the Christmas Whore" is another semiautobiographical essay, reprinted from the author's popular Naked collection. Clearly "Dinah" has a little more social commentary to it than "SantaLand Diaries." With generous doses of sarcasm and hyperbole, Sedaris tells of the Christmas when he and his older sister rescued a prostitute from her abusive boyfriend and took her home to meet their family. Funny and effective.

One of the new pieces is sidesplittingly funny. In "Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol," a theater critic shreds several elementary school productions of those excruciatingly dull Christmas pageants we've all had to sit through at one time or another. In reviewing the Sacred Heart Elementary School's version of "The Story of the First Christmas," the critic notes the children's pathetic acting.

One could hardly blame them for their lack of vitality, as the stingy, uninspired script consists, not of springy dialogue, but rather of a deadening series of pronouncements. Mary to Joseph: "I am tired." Joseph to Mary: "We will rest here for the night." There's no fire, no give and take, and the audience soon grows weary of this passionless relationship.

The remaining three essays also provide good laughs. The essay "Based on a True Story" brilliantly skewers the television industry's eagerness to cash in on tragedy for the sake of high ratings. "Christmas Means Giving" pits two neighboring families against each other in a very public battle to the death for the title of Most Charitable Family. And "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" is an amusing, although overlong, look at an exceptionally bad year of a family expressed via a Christmas card.

Holidays on Ice is a small package, clocking in at only 123 pages. But Sedaris makes the most of those pages, and the compact size of the book makes it an ideal choice for a stocking stuffer. If you're tired of "The Night Before Christmas" and prefer something more along the lines of "A Very Manic-Depressive Charlie Brown Christmas," then Holidays on Ice is the best gift you could give yourself this year. Matt Schwartz

The Barnes & Noble Review
It's hard to describe David Sedaris to those who've never read him. Mixing autobiographical details with sharp sarcasm and social commentary, Sedaris can probably best be described as a '90s version of brilliant humorist Jean Shepherd (who did his own scathing take on the holiday season with the film A Christmas Story). Sedaris' essays and stories are at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. His new anthology, Holidays on Ice, collects three previously released stories and essays and offers three brand-new ones; all revolve around Christmas.

"SantaLand Diaries," which originally appeared in "Barrel Fever," leads off the collection and may be Sedaris's best-known work. A laugh-out-loud-hysterical look at Sedaris's experiences working as an elf in SantaLand in Macy's, the story is a wickedly funny slicing-and-dicing of the holiday season and the good cheer that supposedly accompanies it. His dark humor is exactly what you need when you're getting sick of all the fuss about Christmas. Look how Sedaris handled this experience with a mother who was tiring of her son's relentless pestering:

The woman grabbed my arm and said, "You there, Elf, tell Riley here that if he doesn't start behaving immediately, then Santa's going to change his mind and bring him coal for Christmas." I said that Santa no longer traffics in coal. Instead, if you're bad he comes to your house and steals things. I told Riley that if he didn't behave himself, Santa was going to take away his TV and all his electrical appliances and leave him in the dark. "All your appliances,including the refrigerator. Your food is going to spoil and smell bad. It's going to be so cold and dark where you are. Man, Riley, are you ever going to suffer. You're going to wish you never heard the name Santa." The woman got a worried look on her face and said, "All right, that's enough." I said, "He's going to take your car and your furniture and all the towels and blankets and leave you with nothing." The mother said, "No, that's enough, really."

"Dinah, the Christmas Whore" is another semiautobiographical essay, reprinted from the author's popular Naked collection. Clearly "Dinah" has a little more social commentary to it than "SantaLand Diaries." With generous doses of sarcasm and hyperbole, Sedaris tells of the Christmas when he and his older sister rescued a prostitute from her abusive boyfriend and took her home to meet their family. Funny and effective.

One of the new pieces is sidesplittingly funny. In "Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol," a theater critic shreds several elementary school productions of those excruciatingly dull Christmas pageants we've all had to sit through at one time or another. In reviewing the Sacred Heart Elementary School's version of "The Story of the First Christmas," the critic notes the children's pathetic acting.

One could hardly blame them for their lack of vitality, as the stingy, uninspired script consists, not of springy dialogue, but rather of a deadening series of pronouncements. Mary to Joseph: "I am tired." Joseph to Mary: "We will rest here for the night." There's no fire, no give and take, and the audience soon grows weary of this passionless relationship.

The remaining three essays also provide good laughs. The essay "Based on a True Story" brilliantly skewers the television industry's eagerness to cash in on tragedy for the sake of high ratings. "Christmas Means Giving" pits two neighboring families against each other in a very public battle to the death for the title of Most Charitable Family. And "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" is an amusing, although overlong, look at an exceptionally bad year of a family expressed via a Christmas card.

Holidays on Ice is a small package, clocking in at only 123 pages. But Sedaris makes the most of those pages, and the compact size of the book makes it an ideal choice for a stocking stuffer. If you're tired of "The Night Before Christmas" and prefer something more along the lines of "A Very Manic-Depressive Charlie Brown Christmas," then Holidays on Ice is the best gift you could give yourself this year. (Matt Schwartz)

Library Journal
Christmas laughs old and new from the comedian who made his name with "The Santaland Diaries."
New York Times
"Sedaris is the closest thing the literary world has these days to a rock star."
Judith Newman
He's the best there is.
People
Christopher Muther
A joy to read....Sedaris is a connoisseur of human nature at its worst.
Boston Globe
Mark Washburn
Sedaris is certainly worthy of hero worship....He is a master pathfinder.
Charlotte Observer
Melissa King
A writer comparable to Mark Twain or James Thurber. You have to go back a ways to find someone to compare David Sedaris with; his talent is so huge it just doesn't come around that often.
Raleigh News & Observer
From the Publisher
"...Sedaris has as much fun as is humanly (or elfishly) possible in his behind-the-scenes look at this particularly American tradition of sitting on Santa's lap and asking for stuff...Part of the fun is hearing the reaction of the New Yorkers who have to wait in line, pay for Santa photos, and generally go mad in the Christmas frenzy that Macy's embodies. And Sedaris, never quite who he seems to be, has the nasty tone of his commentary down perfectly."—The News and Advance
Mark Washburn - Charlotte Observer
"Sedaris is certainly worthy of hero worship....He is a master pathfinder."
Melissa King - Raleigh News & Observer
"A writer comparable to Mark Twain or James Thurber. You have to go back a ways to find someone to compare David Sedaris with; his talent is so huge it just doesn't come around that often."
Judith Newman - People
"He's the best there is."
Christopher Muther - Boston Globe
"A joy to read....Sedaris is a connoisseur of human nature at its worst."
The News and Advance

"...Sedaris has as much fun as is humanly (or elfishly) possible in his behind-the-scenes look at this particularly American tradition of sitting on Santa's lap and asking for stuff...Part of the fun is hearing the reaction of the New Yorkers who have to wait in line, pay for Santa photos, and generally go mad in the Christmas frenzy that Macy's embodies. And Sedaris, never quite who he seems to be, has the nasty tone of his commentary down perfectly."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316073639
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
05/04/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
49,527
File size:
267 KB

Meet the Author

David Sedaris is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Public Radio International's "This American Life." He is the author of the books When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and Barrel Fever.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
December 26, 1956
Place of Birth:
Johnson City, New York
Education:
B.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1987

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Holidays on Ice 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 240 reviews.
FeliciaPM More than 1 year ago
David Sedaris once again brilliantly entertains us with his fabulously witty insights and edgy musings on a different view of the holidays in this collection of short stories and embellished essays. A great escape for any memeber of the family during the trying times of the holidays, or for any person who can relate to the complicated nature families seem to exist in when they get together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Holidays on ice is absolutely one of the funniest books I've ever had the sheer pleasure of reading. The 'Macy's Elf' essay is side-splittingly funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Holidays on Ice - It's hard to write a review through the tears of laughter. A very funny book. Remember the school Christmas plays? Suppose a theater critic was there and wrote a review. It happens in Holidays on Ice. Santaland Diaries is a classic that everyone who ever waited in line to sit on Santa's lap will appreciate. And there's the Christmas letter from hell. Don't wait until December to read this book. Read it now!
diane12557 More than 1 year ago
As always, I find David's stories about his childhood, his family, his odd jobs (Santa's elf!),incredibly funny and sad. His spot-on commentary about himself, his family, the people around him and the situations in which he finds himself or has put himself truly make me laugh out loud...and then sigh. This book, however, features only a few David Sedaris-esque stories. Big applause for those! The rest of the book is, well, mean-spirited. And, well, not humorous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first half of the book was soooo funny. However, I felt that the last half of the book was kind of blah. I love David Sedaris and would recommend any of his books if you like crude-ish humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very unlike his other stuff
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so bad, I couldn't even read it. What the heck was he smoking or drinking when he "wrote" this. Don't waste your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love David Sedaris's work. I wanted to read "The Santaland Diaries" and although the Nook description of this collection was in Italian, I took a look at the sample, found it was in English and included the diaries, and went ahead and bought it. The essays and stories are great, but I discovered that I had read some of them already in other collections also bought on Nook. If you have not read Dress Your Children in Denim or Naked or Me Talk Pretty, the essays in this collection may all be new to you, if you've read these 3, you will find repeats. Similarly, after reading this book, expect to find parts of it duplicated in other collections. In all cases from now on, read the table of contents before buying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tetnanger More than 1 year ago
An uneven collection of holiday stories. Some are laugh out loud hilarious and others ae just uncomfortable. Buy it if you love David Sedaris.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome story!!
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