Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – Audiobook Review

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

“Holidays on Ice” is not really summary-able, since it is a collection of humorous stories in the vein of most of David Sedaris’ work. As you might guess, this one focused primarily on holiday-related stories. Most, but not all, were Christmas-centric, including Sedaris’ hilarious recitation of his time working as an elf for a department store Santa.

Any time you want to read David Sedaris, I will always suggest that you listen to the audio. Sedaris reading his own work is quite entertaining, but Sedaris on paper seems to lose something for me. Being able to hear his interpretation is simply invaluable.

All of that said, “Holidays on Ice” was not my favorite Sedaris. He was on form, and his stories about his own life were hilarious as always, but there was an additional component to this work I haven’t seen in some of his other books. In addition to humorous memoir, there were also some pieces that were simply written as darkly humorous bits. These sections dragged. Sedaris’ work is funny because it is about him. These additional pieces – a faux Christmas letter written by a woman having a terrible year and a ‘sermon’ by a television producer wanting to create a mini-series based on a small town’s Christmas miracle – felt like they were trying too hard. Perhaps those pieces actually would have worked better as the written word, since I like to hear Sedaris relate his own story.

Sedaris’s pieces were quite funny, but not my favorite of his work. Always opt for audio with him!

Buy this book from:
Powells: paperback/audio*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound: paperback
Amazon: paperback

This review was done with a book borrowed from the library.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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5 comments to Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – Audiobook Review

  • Completely agree with you, Jen, about Sedaris on audio. I listened to (and read) Me Talk Pretty One Day and the audio version was much better.
    Great meeting you at the Book Blogger Convention on Friday!

  • I noticed that on Me Talk Pretty One Day, not all of his segments were funny. But the ones he hit, he knocked out of the park! His delivery is priceless, so I would completely agree that reading this in print won’t cut it.

  • I read this one a few years back, in an attempt to get a taste of Sedaris (I read another one of his books too but I can’t remember which one). I must say I wasn’t impressed. I know he has quite a fan base, including on of my college professors who loved him, but I just couldn’t see the humor. I prefer Augusten Burroughs–he never fails to get a laugh out of me!

  • I liked Holidays on Ice more than his previous books. He has a nasty sense of humor than only a disgruntled Christmas Elf in New York City would possess.

    I like his stories in Naked, which were mostly about his family and his mother in particular. It was the softer side of Sedaris. But I need to space out his books, or else I get annoyed with the constant sarcasm and bitterness.

    • See, I love the nasty, disgruntled elf thing, but the tv producer story, and the one about the mom writing the Christmas letter were so boring to me, because there wasn’t any personal connection.