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Summary

Holidays on Ice collects six of David Sedaris' most profound Christmas stories into one volume. This drinking-man's companion can be enjoyed by the warmth of a raging fire, the glow of a brilliantly decorated tree, or even in the backseat of a van or police car.

If the very thought of Christmas makes you want to run screaming for a wig or yarmulke, consider including David Sedaris's new and updated Holidays on Ice in your disguise kit. It's light, portable, and easy to hide behind a tallis or foot-long beard. And now with six additional holiday-themed stories, including one never before published, it is the ideal companion with which to pass long hours beside the menorah.

Even if you take it straight-up Christian, if you choose to spend the holidays glazing hams, say, or baking cookies shaped like hobos, you will find this audiobook indispensable. Here is the timeless "SantaLand Diaries", which immortalised the struggle of department store elves the world over. Here is "Dinah, the Christmas Whore", in which the Sedaris family opens its heart to an unexpected, almost Mary Magdalene-like visitor. No matter what your favourite holiday, you won't want to miss celebrating year-round with the writer Entertainment Weekly has called "the preeminent humorist of his generation."

©2008 David Sedaris (P)2008 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Holidays on Ice

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The subversive, funny, absurd side of Xmas

David Sedaris is subversive, funny, absurd and dry, and this book mostly about Christmas has some priceless gems, but I wish I'd started with one of his others first.

Having heard his live readings on BBC radio, I have come to love his wonderful and often poignant observations on the absurdities of life. His humour never fails to make me laugh, and reminds me of Tom Lehrer, with an absurdist twist. From the politics of being one of Santas Elves at Macy's to the difficulties of explaining the Easter bunny to a Muslim in French, or his fascination with autopsy reports, this book has some priceless and delicious stories.

So, why only 4 stars?

Some of the stories, (such as the Dunbar family Christmas circular), are certainly more poignant than funny - almost tragic, and his brilliant but biting cynicism sometimes left me feeling deflated. (He is at his best when being autobiographical, and with a live audience).

However, I think for me it is because this is a "collection" of assorted stories on a theme, rather than a whole book, which left me wishing I'd started with one of his more complete audiobooks.

That aside, I am off to buy another, and probably many more after that, for he is a rare talent, with an astute eye for Homo absurdus, and a genius for expressing that in humour. Don't be put off by his voice. Once you get used to his style, his delivery is impeccable, and his timing and inflection certainly add to the humour of the writing.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

great in places

First time I heard the elf memoire I was in stitches. Having relistened I find myself less tolerant of the casual way in which the author is happy to upset others for his own amusement, and by our listening, ours. I guess I'm a bit sensitive after 2016, year of the unconscionable hater. Its still pretty funny in many places, and does offer the occasional pause for reflection but its patchy.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

David Sedaris is brilliant, as usual

I picked this up, knowing David Sedaris from his "appearances" on This American Life. It's a great, funny, and insightful look into life from David's point of view. He's brilliant reading his own work, so much so, I think it's probably better to buy the audio book, than the printed book. Great listen for any lover of the absurd.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love David Sedaris

I have some of Davids books as hard copies, but nothing beats listening to him read his own work. The chapter on being an elf in a department store had me laughing out loud. I have several of his audiobooks now, and am on alert for any new ones.

2 people found this helpful

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Dated Views!

David Sedaris is now starting to look dated in his views and frankly mars his writing. It is easy and lazy just to label people as "retards" at the drop of a hat. And this he does frequently. Naturally, another target is people who are overweight or, in his view, ugly or pretty. He mainly relies on shock value land ridiculing everyday people going about their lives like sheep. And constantly mocking them in the way a teenager does about older people and being so smug and sure they themselves are different.
Being deliberately unkind to people by telling lies or causing problems or confusion does not seem something I want to read about as being something that is fun and funny. It is not.
Leaves a very unpleasant taste.

1 person found this helpful

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Appalled and disgusted!

Ok working as a Santa elf in an American department store at Christmas time isn't the greatest job to have, think we realise within 5 minutes how tedious it actually is. Pity this listen continued on and on in the same tedious nature, albeit with a few amusing moments. However, what put me off to the point of utter disgust was the awful way the author describes those with learning and physical disabilities who come to visit 'Santa'. I was surprised to hear these people being described as retards and freaks, this is not something you expect to hear these days! Mr Elf desperately need some disability equality training me thinks!! I certainly do not recommend this book, do yourself a favour and don't subject your ears to this tedious and vile piece of trash!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

T'was the night before Christmas..HIDE.

Mr Sedaris is a brilliant absurdist, writer and performer. His series on BBC Radio 4 has had me giggling, laughing and on occasions, snorting. I love listening to his views on the world and allegedly true recollections of his life. Some reviewers have complained about his use of language and insults to other people but that is to miss the point. I believe the written Mr Sedaris is as fictional as the written David Copperfield and is used as an instrument to describe certain kinds of, mainly American, middle class, aspiring, well off human beings in the same way Dickens' described Victorian London. The terms he uses fit that character in the same way Tarentino uses the N word in his films. It is often the real Mr Sedaris' sparkling and dramatic use of the English language here that is the main joy and often that is best enjoyed listening to Mr Sedaris read his own work . Some works are better read out loud.
This book is often darker and often nastier than his other work and not always easy to listen to. This may not be a good starting point for new readers/listeners but it is often funny, often cringe making but always interesting. Think Ricky Gervias meets P J O'Rouke. These characters are opinionated, often obnoxious and you really would not want to be stuck in a house with them over Christmas but I loved it

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Sedaris at his brilliant best

I've long been a fan of David Sedaris, and this is him at his very best. Not only are the stories amongst his most keenly observed and sharpest, but the audio brings an added dimension ... for example (and unforgettably) his version of Silent Night, sung in the style of Billie Holiday...

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Mixed.

I found the first section where the narrator is talking about Santaland absolutely hilarious but didn't enjoy the rest as much.

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A great listen over the Christmas period

Very funny sometimes very dark but really good fun to listen to over Christmas. David Sedaris is a very funny man!