Monday, 13 April 2009

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

This was my first David Sedaris book, and it was recommended to me by so many people I was really looking forward to reading it. And because so many people seemed to like it, I really wanted to like this. And I tried really hard to like it, but ultimately, I failed.

This is a collection of autobiographical essays, told in a style that is supposed to be humorous. And I could see how they were supposed to be funny, they just didn't make me laugh. Some of them made me chuckle slightly in places, but unfortunately not enough to sway my opinion of this book.

I think one of the main reasons I didn't have a good reaction to this was it was so dark in relation to family life. I just don't think I could relate to a family where their seemed to be no love and support, and everybody just seemed so angry and spent all their time hurting each other. But all credit to him to bring humour out of this, for those that find it funny anyway.

I did however find one of the essays funny. Six to Eight Black Men, about a very strange Christmas tradition in The Netherlands really did make me laugh. I can't remember much about it though, just that I found Sedaris' reactions to the strange events funny.

I've put off writing this for a couple of weeks because I really didn't want to write something so negative. I hoped something good might come to me if I let it stew for a while. But all that really achieved was that I forgot most of what I'd read, and am just left with the impression that I didn't like it. So I'm very sorry to Mr Sedaris, but this just wasn't for me!


Savidge Reads said...

I read his book Me Talk Pretty One Dat and have had the exact same opinion, it made me smile in places but it didnt make me go wow or laugh my head off. I didnt detest his writing I just felt a bit 'meh'.

Carl V. said...

I have to admit to loving this book. But, I didn't read it, I listened to Sedaris himself read it and it was laugh out loud funny experiencing it that way. Listening to him read his work you are able to pick up the poignancy and love in these stories despite their darkness. I highly recommend listening to him read his work. His latest, When You Are Engulfed in Flames is very good on audio as well.

Charley said...

I'm a fan of David Sedaris, particularly on audio. That's too bad you didn't enjoy this, but good that you gave him a try.