Holidays on Ice

( 242 )

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 ...

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Holidays on Ice

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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).

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

It's been more than a dozen years since David Sedaris first unwrapped Holidays on Ice, but who can forget this collection of raucous stories about Christmas traditions and mishaps? Several of the stories have become twisted holiday classics; among them "Christmas Means Giving," with its competitively generous neighbors, and "Front Row Center for Thaddeus Bristol," Sedaris' mock serious review of a grade school Christmas pageant. Holidays on Ice now returns with a full bounty of entertaining stories at a remarkable low price . The six stories not in the original edition include tales about Halloween, secret Santas, and the difficulties of explaining the Rabbit of Easter to the French. Buy it; you deserve a laugh.

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
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."
Library Journal
Christmas laughs old and new from the comedian who made his name with "The Santaland Diaries."
Library Journal
Christmas laughs old and new from the comedian who made his name with "The Santaland Diaries."
From the Publisher
"Sedaris's essays are written to be heard, so listen up-he just keeps getting better." -AudioFile Magazine on DRESS YOUR FAMILY


"I love David Sedaris. I love his weird girlie-man voice and his weirder sense of humor. I love him even though his audio books nearly slay me. In fact, they would come with a warning: 'Remain still while listening. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery or even use ordinary motor skills'."
-New York Post on BARREL FEVER

"Sedaris is the closest thing the literary world has these days to a rock star."—New York Times

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."
New York Times
"Sedaris is the closest thing the literary world has these days to a rock star."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316078917
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/20/2010
  • Pages: 166
  • Sales rank: 106,227
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David  Sedaris

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.

Biography

According to Time Out New York, "David Sedaris may be the funniest man alive." He's the sort of writer critics tend to describe not in terms of literary influences and trends, but in terms of what they choked on while reading his latest book. "I spewed a mouthful of pastrami across my desk," admitted Craig Seligman in his New York Times review of Naked.

Sedaris first drew national attention in 1992 with a stint on National Public Radio, on which he recounted his experiences as a Christmas elf at Macy's. He discussed "the code names for various posts, such as 'The Vomit Corner,' a mirrored wall near the Magic Tree" and confided that his response to "I'm going to have you fired" was the desire to lean over and say, "I'm going to have you killed." The radio pieces were such a hit that Sedaris, then working as a house cleaner, started getting offers to write movies, soap operas and Seinfeld episodes.

In subsequent appearances on NPR, Sedaris proved he wasn't just a velvet-clad flash in the pan; he's also wickedly funny on the subjects of smoking, speed, shoplifting and nervous tics. His work began appearing in magazines like Harper's and Mirabella, and his first book Barrel Fever, which included "SantaLand Diaries," was a bestseller. "These hilarious, lively and breathtakingly irreverent stories…made me laugh out loud more than anything I've read in years," wrote Francine Prose in the Washington Post Book World.

Since then, each successive Sedaris volume has zoomed to the top of the bestseller lists. In Naked, he recounts odd jobs like volunteering at a mental hospital, picking apples as a seasonal laborer and stripping woodwork for a Nazi sympathizer. The stocking stuffer-sized Holidays on Ice collects Sedaris' Christmas-themed work, including a fictional holiday newsletter from the homicidal stepmother of a 22-year-old Vietnamese immigrant ("She arrived in this house six weeks ago speaking only the words 'Daddy,' 'Shiny' and 'Five dollar now'. Quite a vocabulary!!!!!").

But Sedaris' best pieces often revolve around his childhood in North Carolina and his family of six siblings, including the brother who talks like a redneck gangsta rapper and the sister who, in a hilarious passage far too dirty to quote here, introduces him to the joys of the Internet. Sedaris' recent book Me Talk Pretty One Day describes, among other things, his efforts to learn French while helping his boyfriend fix up a Normandy farmhouse; he progresses "from speaking like an evil baby to speaking like a hillbilly. 'Is thems the thoughts of cows?' I'd ask the butcher, pointing to the calves' brains displayed in the front window."

Sedaris has been compared to American humorists such as Mark Twain, James Thurber and Dorothy Parker; Publisher's Weekly called him "Garrison Keillor's evil twin." Pretty heady stuff for a man who claims there are cats that weigh more than his IQ score. But as This American Life producer Ira Glass once pointed out, it would be wrong to think of Sedaris as "just a working Joe who happens to put out these perfectly constructed pieces of prose." Measured by his ability to turn his experiences into a sharply satirical, sidesplittingly funny form of art, David Sedaris is no less than a genius.

Good To Know

Sedaris got his start in radio after This American Life producer Ira Glass saw him perform at Club Lower Links in Chicago. In addition to his NPR commentaries, Sedaris now writes regularly for Esquire.

Sedaris's younger sister Amy is also a writer and performer; the two have collaborated on plays under the moniker "The Talent Family." Amy Sedaris has appeared onstage as a member of the Second City improv troupe and on Comedy Central in the series Strangers with Candy.

"If I weren't a writer, I'd be a taxidermist," Sedaris said in a chat on Barnes and Noble.com. According to the Boston Phoenix, his collection of stuffed dead animals includes a squirrel, two fruit bats, four Boston terriers and a baby ostrich.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Raymond Sedaris (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 26, 1956
    2. Place of Birth:
      Johnson City, New York
    1. Education:
      B.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1987

Table of Contents

SantaLand Diaries 3
Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!! 45
Dinah, the Christmas Whore 69
Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol 87
Based Upon a True Story 94
Christmas Means Giving 112
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 242 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(86)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(22)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Escape from Aunt Diane's Haletosis

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2000

    Hilarious Hijinks!

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2000

    A GREAT read!!

    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!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2012

    Love David. This book, not so much.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    This book was so bad, I couldn't even read it. What the heck was

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Very Sedaris!

    If you enjoy his humor, then he's definitely got you covered for the ho- ho- holidays. Will probably read again next year, but it's not a tradition.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Not even remotely funny, rather disturbing and sad. He seems so

    Not even remotely funny, rather disturbing and sad. He seems so mean and cruel, the stories are just, so hurtful I had to stop reading the book. Is this the kind of response the author intended? Why then?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Read the table of contents

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Worth it but not Sedaris' best work

    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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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    Not an uplifting holiday read

    Read first few chapters, could not get through the rest. TDon't bothet

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    F, Destiny

    Awesome story!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    L&K

    It's pretty good! Read my story at "autograph" all results.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Very good

    Love it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Destiny chapter one

    I wake up to the sound of the blue jays call. My eyes adjust to the light and I see that my father is still asleep. Unwillingly and out of habit, I look at my mother's bed. With a pang of grief, I remember that she will never sleep or wake again, not after death took her away. I fight the tears back and slip out of my night gown and into my jacket and jeans. Why am I dressed like this? Well, today is the day all twelve year olds, like me, set off from this division, the family division, through the woods, and to the main division. We will travel through the woods, facing dangers and possibly death. They say that for every ten twelve year olds that set off, onlu seven actually make it to the main division. I start to shake from fear. What if I am one of those three that doesnt survive? I am so deep on thought that I dont realize it when my father wakes up. He puts his hand on my shoulder and says, "Olivia. If anyone can make it, it will be you. Remember this, though. Your thoughts become your words and your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits, and your habits become your beliefs. Your beliefs become your destiny. Think your thoughts wisly, for they become your destiny." I stare at him, hanging onto his every word. "Now go, Olivia. I believe in you," my father tells me. He then plants a kiss on my forehead and sends me off into the woods. I am on my own. For now.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    No.

    No.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    test

    test

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    I dont like it

    Butt

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Most entertaining !

    David Sedaris did it again ! I love his books he makes me lmao each time i read them . Great holiday read ! A++

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Another great Sedaris read!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Funny!

    Love this collection of fun holiday stories. I feel like it's not Christmas until I've read The Santaland Diaries.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews

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