Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Holidays on Ice
Author: David Sedaris
Published: October 1, 1997
Genre: humor
Paperback: 166 pages
Source: personal copy

My Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): 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.

My Thoughts: I really like David Sedaris's work and have been wanting to read his holiday book for quite some time now. Luckily, I was able to get to it right before Christmas and it made my holiday that much more enjoyable, being able to laugh at the absudity of it all, as seen through the eyes of Sedaris. This book focuses on the holidays (obviously) and Sedaris' commentary on the season definitely makes you realize how ridiculous some people get at Christmastime.

The book opens with "Santa Land Diaries", which is one of Sedaris's most well-known essays. He chronicles his month working as an elf at Santa Land in Macy's in New York City. If you don't laugh the entire way through this chapter, then you are a true Grinch. His time at Macy's his hilarious and I can only imagine what my own experience would be like working there. There are some other humorous chapters throughout the book, but there are others that are a drag to get through. 

If you had a stressful holiday season and need a little pick-me-up before the year is out, then this book will definitely help you to see the humor in the season. I've already recommended it to quite a few people to read!


  1. I read the sample which was the chapt about the Elf, I enjoyed it but not enough to buy and read the rest of the book.

  2. I listened to this one on audiobook and remember really enjoying that version. It's been awhile, but would probably be a good re-read for next Christmas!

  3. I love it when I a holiday read gives me this kind of experience. I'd never heard of this author before your review.