Friday, May 6, 2011

Barrel Fever by David Sedaris

Barrel Fever
Author: David Sedaris
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Published: June 19995
Paperback: 196 pages
Source: purchased

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from In David Sedaris's world no one is safe and no cow is sacred. A manic cross between Mark Leyner, Fran Liebowitz, and the National Enquirer, Sedaris's collection of stories and essays is a rollicking tour through the national Zeitgeist: a do-it-yourself suburban dad saves money by performing home surgery; a man who is loved too much flees the heavyweight champion of the world; a bitter Santa abuses the elves; a teenage suicide tries to incite a lynch mob at her funeral.

My Thoughts: David Sedaris is a famous essayist and commentator, bringing a hilarious twist to the world around him. I discovered David Sedaris about six months ago and fell in love. His writing is dry and quick, moving quickly and cutting to the heart of the matter. His observations have left me doubled over in laughter. I expected the same from this book but was a bit disappointed. The book is divided into two parts, stories and essays. The stories are pieces of fiction that Sedaris wrote, the essays things that Sedaris actually lived through. While the essays bare the things that I have come to expect from Sedaris' writing, the stories left something to be desired. While humorous, they weren't as good as his essays. I also felt that they went a bit too far at times, that Sedaris was trying a little too hard. If the essays weren't included, I don't think that I would have finished this book. That being said, I still like Sedaris and will continue to read him. If you haven't read David Sedaris, I highly recommend that you check out his work, like Me Talk Pretty One Day (link goes to my review), but would steer clear of this book.

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