This book makes me laugh myself sick every time I read it Blood Work and La Nuit of the Dead are put together so perfectly Sedaris creates a series of misguided attempts at human connection that seem doomed to fail through selfishness or insecurity, but somehow don t Sedaris is so good at exposing the frailty of those emotional connections without ever doubting that they can still sustain our relationships He makes me relate to even the most impossibly awkward and painful situations Every time I read it I think, That s so ME And then realize that I m not a gay man living in rural France, fearing zombies and drowning a mouse in a bucket at midnight And yet somehow I can still not only relate to the situation, but feel the familiarity of it The parts about his brother make me miss my brother horribly Sedaris is so great at showing that most of our love for each other doesn t lie in our similarities, but in the strength of our shared history and our sheer will to maintain the relationship This can seem either damaged and pathetic or comforting and hopeful I m going with the latter. Find all of my reviews at think I may have broken free of the endless Sedaris loop which I have had playing in my car, but I m sure I ll return to it eventually If for no other reason than to hear about I will tell you, audio is the ONLY way to go when it comes to stories about the youngest Sedaris be it David or Amy s impersonation, you ll be hard pressed not to look like a hysterical maniac if driving while listening When my sisters and I eventually left home, it seemed like a natural progression young adults shifting from one environment to another While our departures had been relatively painless, Paul s was like releasing a domestic animal into the wild He knew how to plan a meal but displayed a remarkable lack of patience when it came time for the actual cooking Frozen dinners were often eaten exactly as sold, the Salisbury steak amounting to a stickless meat Popsicle I phoned one night just as he was leaning a family pack of frozen chicken wings against the back door He d forgotten to defrost them and was now attempting to stomp the solid mass into three six inch portions, which he d force into his toaster oven.I heard the singular sound of boot against crystallized meat and listened as my brother panted for breath Goddamned fucking chicken wings I called again the following evening and was told that after all that work, the chicken had been spoiled It tasted like fish, so he threw it away and called it a night A few hours later, having decided that spoiled chicken was better than no chicken at all, he got out of bed, stepped outside in his underpants, and proceeded to eat the leftovers directly from the garbage can.I was mortified In your underpants Damned straight, he said Rooster ain t getting dressed up to eat no fish assed tasting chickenAll the Stars. David Sedaris Plays In The Snow With His Sisters He Goes On Vacation With His Family He Gets A Job Selling Drinks He Attends His Brother S Wedding He Mops His Sister S Floor He Gives Directions To A Lost Traveler He Eats A Hamburger He Has His Blood Sugar Tested It All Sounds So Normal, Doesn T It In His Newest Collection Of Essays, David Sedaris Lifts The Corner Of Ordinary Life, Revealing The Absurdity Teeming Below Its Surface His World Is Alive With Obscure Desires And Hidden Motives A World Where Forgiveness Is Automatic And An Argument Can Be The Highest Form Of Love Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim Is Another Unforgettable Collection From One Of The Wittiest And Most Original Writers At Work Today Davidsedarisbooks Okay so the Chip Kidd covers usually ruins authors like this for me These covers almost ooze a Wes Anderson type Americana I ll let prejudices slip past.So this writer has a following and it is understandable This guy CAN WRITE And topping that he can write short stories I am very ambivalent about short vignettes or even the lofty novella why don t writers just extend the s t out of whatever story they are writing to fit the perimeters of the novel O so close.Sedaris observes, writes He s underwhelmingly unextraordinary, but his voice sures gots sass.I have known someone the exact prototype of this Woody Allenesque guy all style no substance Yes keen, keen like a knife But what ties it all Why are these so damn popular Sometimes, the collective I.Q I want to read of this self centered pedant He ain t all that, though This must be mentioned. So David Sedaris Well, let s be clear Nobody with a funnybone can hate David Sedaris And neither do I But it has to be said that last book Dress your family in corduroy and denim was quite a disappointment Judging by the number of people showing up for his readings here in San Francisco, and its lengthy sojourn on The New York Times bestseller list, it obviously did pretty well commercially And, based on the enormous amount of accumulated goodwill from his earlier books, I don t begrudge DS his commercial success Not one bit Well, OK Maybe just a little bit Because, for the first time, in this collection, we see clear indications that Sedaris is bumping up against his limitations How so I think and make no claim for the originality of this analysis it s because Sedaris is at his best when he writes from the point of view of slightly marginalized outsider In his earlier stuff, he was poor, he s gay and he managed to achieve a tone of bemusement in reporting what went on around him that was completely hilarious In the face of increasing commercial success, the edge that was conferred by his being poor became harder to maintain But he and his boyfriend moved to France, thereby achieving automatic outsider status, and Sedaris was able to mine this for comedy gold his accounts of misadventures while learning French are truly funny, and credit must be given for the way in which he makes the comedy seem so effortless But that s his previous book Me Talk Pretty One Day Problem is, the whole marginalized outsider position seems less and less plausible for an author whose books spend months on the best seller list Similarly, after a few years in France, the forces of assimilation are bound to cut down on the number of amusing misunderstandings funny enough to be worth writing about This leaves one other area which Sedaris has mined fruitfully in previous books anecdotes about his family Indeed, the majority of the stories in this latest collection are family based anecdotes However, the stories in this collection do not come close to matching the wit and poignancy of those in earlier books, suggesting that this vein of inspiration may be close to being tapped out Hardly surprising any author would lead with the funniest material this collection has occasional flashes of wit, but never reaches the laugh out loud quality of the earlier books Several pieces in this collection describing his brother s wedding, his job one summer at the State Fair are downright pedestrian, and a couple of pieces just fall flat ruminations about apartment hunting while visiting the Anne Frank house, accounts of visits with two of his sisters, whose feelings about being featured as bit players in this, or subsequent collections are decidedly mixed It s to Sedaris s credit that he too is ambivalent on this point, but his soul searching on the issue doesn t make for interesting reading One of Yeats s later poems is called The Circus Animals Desertion in it, he bemoans the fact that the themes which inspired him early in his career have lost their inspirational power Dress your family in corduroy and denim supports the notion that David Sedaris may be experiencing similar difficulties But don t count him out yet His previous books estalished Sedaris as a hilarious, extremely talented writer Anyone can have one bad book Let s hope he will leave it at that. I thought I was over David Sedaris I don t mean that I don t like him I do His essays are funny, but after a while they all seem to run together He mines the same territory again and again stories of growing up with his dysfunctional, quirky, yet lovable family Stories of himself as the odd and awkward kid growing up and trying to figure out how to live in this world.I wasn t going to buy Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim in print, but I saw the audio version, read by Sedaris himself, on sale at CompUSA when they were going out of business and selling their entire inventory for cheap I couldn t resist even though I much prefer to read books rather than to listen to them I did nothing with it for than a year until I decided I should listen to it while going for walks around my neighborhood.I found myself rolling my eyes, not laughing, and quickly becoming bored Finally I had the idea to take the book with me when I drove places I felt I would get through it much quicker that way and could finally move on to something else.It turned out that that was the way to listen to David Sedaris Walking around the neighborhood while thinking about the pain in my hip and how at 38 years old I m afraid I m going to have to have a fucking hip replacement is no way to appreciate him I just wanted to slap the shit out of him and his idiosyncratic family neighbors and everyone else he was talking about Relaxed and driving on the freeway with his pleasant voice in my ear was the way to go In fact, I enjoyed it so much that it made me want to listen to his books rather than read them, which was kind of a first for me.That being said, it s not going to come as a big surprise that this collection is of the same types of stories we ve heard in the past, but I have to say that Sedaris really shines when he talks about his sister, Tiffany, and his brother, Paul a.k.a The Rooster Those were my favorites in the collection I was also sad to learn that Sedaris s mother, Sharon, has passed away I ll never forget his Ya Ya refusing to call Sharon by her name and stubbornly referring to her as The Girl because she was pissed she wasn t Greek And if you already know and love The Rooster, man are you in for a treat when Sedaris reads in Paul s voice Something about this charming, well spoken man saying the words She had tubes coming out of her pussy in a thick southern accent cracked me up than reading it on the page ever could. I read this again which was a happy accident I didn t think I had I have heard several of these stories in other works, so David does recycle a story here or there This was a wonderful laugh and tension drainer for me I really enjoyed some of these stories I have to say that I think my favorite stories of his are when David uses his brother Paul That man is crazy and so funny He just had me laughing He has a way of finding the funny in the mundane I would love to be able to do that A list of the stories copied from Wikipedia Us and Them childhood memories of a family who don t believe in TV Let It Snow the day when Sedaris s mother locked her children out in the snow The Ship Shape childhood memories of the second home that his father never bought Full House a childhood game of strip poker gives the young Sedaris a touching moment Consider the Stars reflecting on the cool kid at school Monie Changes Everything Sedaris rich aunt The Change in Me the 13 year old Sedaris wants to act like a hippie Hejira Sedaris father kicks him out of his house due to his homosexuality Slumus Lordicus Sedaris father s experiences as a landlord of a apartment complex in the early 80s The Girl Next Door Sedaris relationship with a girl from a troubled family Blood Work a case of mistaken identity while cleaning houses The End of the Affair Sedaris and Hugh s different reactions to a love story Repeat After Me Sedaris visit to his sister Lisa, and his family s feelings about being the subject of his essays Six to Eight Black Men thoughts about the traditional Dutch Christmas story, among other cultural oddities Rooster at the Hitchin Post Sedaris younger brother is born and gets married Possession searching for a new apartment, and Anne Frank s house Put a Lid on It a visit to Sedaris sister Tiffany s home, and their relationship A Can of Worms Sedaris s mind wanders as he, Hugh, and a friend eat at a diner Chicken in the Henhouse prejudiced attitudes towards homosexuals in America Who s the Chef bickering between two people in a long term relationship Baby Einstein the arrival of his brother s first baby Nuit of the Living Dead a late night encounter at home in rural France This was my first book by David Sedaris and though there were some stories that spoke to me than others, all in all, I enjoyed it and would read by the author Yes, he came across as kind of cranky and irritating at times, but I think that is probably part of his charm He doesn t seem to put up a facade, which makes for entertaining reading I very rarely read collections of anecdotes like this, because I already know a number will stand out and others will not, and I tend to prefer one cohesive story That being said, I knew what I was getting into, and I can see Sedaris appeal He is chatty, yet very observant and doesn t shy away from anything Overall, this book was a good introduction to this author s work and I m curious to see how I like Calypso in the near future.Find reviews and bookish fun at Find all of my reviews at think by this point it s pretty much common knowledge that I love David Sedaris like a fat kid I love cake and, well Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim might be my favorite collection yet I could seriously kick myself for not only not trying audiobooks before this Fall, but also for not thinking of collections like these as something that would fit into my short commute time perfectly We re talking true Even while in a stupid ass Fiat rather than a Volkswagen since mine decided to die like a whore on the corner a few months back And when work got like WAAAAAAY too worky the other day and I was afraid I was going to full out pull a Milton Or a Leslie Knope I opted to schedule a mental health vacay day instead and went home to immerse myself in my favorite type of therapy this time of year decorating Christmas trees with an added bonus of listening to the soothing sounds of David s dysfunction this go round Dress Your Family was a great blend of stories of the Sedaris children and parents words cannot express how much I adore Sharon, their mother , the Sedaris children as adults, David and Hugh and everything in between Thanks to the combo of some sort of sinus condition basement dust I lugged upstairs along with the decorations, I laughed until I was overtaken by an emphysema ish coughing fit wheeze that may or may not have concluded with me urinating a bit on myself and if THAT isn t an endorsement, I don t know what is I ve put a hold on every other available Sedaris audio in order to get myself through the end of the year without hopefully causing bodily harm to anyone at work Now I just have to deal with a cat who is terrified of Santa s impending visit after hearing the story of 6 to 8 Black Men No it isn t Read the story Anyway, I keep telling him we don t live in Amsterdam so he doesn t have anything to worry about, but I think it s pretty obvious by the look on his face that he doesn t believe me this is a book by david sedaris.shrug.i mean, what else am i supposed to say it s not like he went out on a limb here and wrote a space opera or a bodice ripper it s david sedaris if you like him, you will probably like this one if you don t, you probably won t.this is not my favorite of his collections, but i laughed out loud three times, which i think is pretty good i like laughter one time, connor made david sedaris laugh he has yet to write a story about this incident, but we are all holding our breaths and waiting.
Barrel Fever, in 1994 Each of his four subsequent essay collections,
- 257 pages
- Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
- David Sedaris
- 04 June 2019 David Sedaris