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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Holidays on Ice

Author: David Sedaris
Originally Published: 1997
Edition Courtney Read Published: 2008
Publisher: Back Bay paperbacks, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company
Source: Purchased


The Story

From Chapters:

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 ).

The Response

Fact: Sassymonkey’s 24 Days of Christmas Books last year made me want to read this book.
Fact: I went out and bought it a week or so ago and promptly devoured it.
Fact: Karen still hasn’t read it, but she really should.

This book has earned the spot on my shelves next to the collection of Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story: The Book that Inspired the Hilarious Christmas Film. If you liked one, you will definitely like the other. They’re both extremely funny and both touch upon finding humour in things that can go wrong over the holidays.

While each of the pieces in this collection revolve around a holiday, they aren’t all Christmas-related. Yes, most of them are, but you’ve also got Halloween and Easter covered – so while this does make for a good Christmas read, it isn’t limited to Christmas.

As with all collections, there are pieces that are much more enjoyable than others. “SantaLand Diaries” was quite possibly my favourite of all included, while I didn’t particularly enjoy “Based Upon a True Story” nearly as much as the others. There was definitely a wide range in types of stories and whatnot, and the ones where you see people trying to guilt other people into doing something for them through the use of the holidays just doesn’t sit quite right with me.

On the other hand, stories about prostitutes and working retail in the Christmas season, I found absolutely hilarious. Hmm.

The Bottom Line

Definitely recommend this for a good Christmas read. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more of Sedaris’ work.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 8:11 am December 12, 2012.
Category: Humour
Book Author(s):
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  • sassymonkey

    lol yes I probably should. Though I haven’t finished a book in… um sometime in November. Which is a LONG TIME for me.

  • Cheryl

    My Book Club read this in December a couple of years ago–so very funny! I particularly liked the one when he talked about odd Santa traditions in other countries…I can’t remember the name!