Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris

I knew nothing of this book except that it was on the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge list. Meaning it was mentioned or referenced or read by Rory Gilmore during the 7 season run of Gilmore Girls.

You'll be seeing more of these. I actually listed to this as an audio book while doing chores. I've decided I prefer listening to audio books or magazines or podcasts while doing mundane chores more than listening to music. Probably becuase it keeps my mind engaged on a level that helps me not care about the mundane task but not so much that I forget about doing said mundane task (as listening to classical music would most likely do to me, and for some reason I'm not a fan of pop music while cleaning). Perhaps I just want to associate music with only pleasant things and not housework.

Anyhow, this is a collection of short stories/essays. As far as I can tell, a few of these are based on real life experiences of the author and the other are just fictional accounts. There was some language and subject matter of a more adult variety. The tone VERY sardonic. I laughed several times during the recounting of Crumpet the Elf, was touched with the story of how his family treated a prostitute who worked with his sister and she rescued one night from an abusive boyfriend, and was more and more disgusted and appalled at the "Christmas Means Giving" in which the "Keeping up with the Joneses" was taken quite literally WAAAAAY too far. The Christmas letter one started out decently enough, making fun of those holiday letters we receive that all seem to give glowing reviews of the previous year and everyone's successes, triumphs, good grades, accomplishments, and picture perfect lives. And how sick they make everyone. I mean, we get to see this ALL THE TIME now if you're on facebook. It's like the never ending Christmas letter, right? So why do we need more? I remember a close friend's family who never did a Christmas letter because they didn't want to be a fraud but also didn't want to talk about how one son was still smoking weed and at least no one had dropped out of school-yay! Anyhow, this particular essay takes a VERY gruesome turn at the end and it made me feel ill. I think I understand the underlying message and beyond sardonic tone, but it wasn't very pleasant.

There was another making fun of a local elementary school's Christmas program. I didn't care for this one at all because it's not like an elementary school is trying to be anything more than it is and parents just want to see kids perform and they don't really care what it is. I thought this one was uninspired and really trying to offend people. I had a "whatever" attitude, but if I removed myself from being critical, there were bits where I might have given an offhanded chuckle at a specific description.

I really didn't get the one called "based on a true story" where a media person is pleading for help from a local religeous congregation to persuade a fellow parishoner to sell the rights to her miraculous story. It was all about how the media man paints a picture that is so motivated by money that he can't see that anyone else could possibly find motivation in anything else. Nothing should be too sacred to a person to sell for money. Annoyingly true, though, about some media outlets.

I give it 2.5 stars (3 on good reads since I tend to round up more often than not) for the good moments, but I won't be going out telling anyone they just HAVE to read it because it's so good.

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