Note: This is #59 in my 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge for 2008.
After enjoying my first exposure to David Sedaris in When You are Engulfed in Flames, I clicked on over to grab something else by him and decided on Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Like the other, Dress Your Family is (presumably) autobiographical collection of humorous essays, but it’s much less eclectic, choosing as it does to focus on tales from Sedaris’s childhood. It’s still great, though.
Well, on balance. Like When You are Engulfed in Flames, this book has its near misses as well in the form of stories that just didn’t seem to click with me and which felt a little bit padded out, like when he discussed talking with his sister about being the subject of so many of his essays or the time he helped a child carry some coffee up to a hotel room. On the other hand, I was literally howling with laughter during “Six to Eight Black Men” in which Sedaris illustrates the absurdity of other country’s version of Santa Claus (and, by ironic extension, the American version as well). And the author’s younger brother, who is some kind of cross between Shakespear’s John Falstaff and Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies, puts in a couple of sublimely hilarious appearances as a foil to Sedaris’s whole effete, gay intellectual shtick. When Sedaris hits, he hits really hard.
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Others doing the 52-in-52 thing this week: