The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Book Review - "Barrel Fever" by David Sedaris

Yeah, uh..., no. I didn't like 95% of this book. I have now read all of David Sedaris books and I can unequivocally say this is the book I liked least. I liked it even less than I liked "Naked" - or should I say I disliked it even more than I disliked "Naked".

This is Sedaris' first book and IMO it's obvious. There are twelve "stories" - allegedly fiction - and four essays, supposedly non-fiction. As far as I know, all subsequent Sedaris books are essay collections. I can see why. The difference between the fiction and the essays is night and day. I found the fiction to be just *too* disturbing. Seriously - really disturbing. Happily, it seems Sedaris' *real* life - albeit dysfunctional - is no where near as scary and twisted as his imagination.

My favorite entry in this book is the essay "Diary of a Smoker" - I thought it was very funny. In real life Sedaris is an avowed anti-non-smoker, he has said that's one of the reasons he left New York City for France where he now lives. It also includes his classic "Santaland Diaries", which is phenomenal - but you can read that in "Holidays On Ice" and not have to endure the rest of this book's unpleasantness.

In my opinion, this book is *leagues* away from my favorite "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and I would recommend it, warily, only to Sedaris fans.



Blogger Karoda said...

Hi Hilda! Isn't David Sedaris the guy that host This American Life on public radio? I love that show and its his story about Santa and Christmas that leaves me in tears from cracking up with laugther!

9:08 PM  

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