Barrel fever Stories and essays

David Sedaris

Book - 1994

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Subjects
Published
Boston : Little, Brown c1994.
Language
English
Physical Description
196 p.
ISBN
9780316779425
0316779423
0316779407
Main Author
David Sedaris (-)
  • Parade
  • Music for lovers
  • The last you'll hear from me
  • My manuscript
  • Firestone
  • We get along
  • Glen's homophobia newsletter vol. 3, no. 2
  • Don's story
  • Season's greetings to our friends and family!!!
  • Jamboree
  • After Malison
  • Barrel fever
  • Diary of a smoker
  • Giantess
  • The curly kind
  • Santaland diaries.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Ironic, detached, cool, with an eye for the perverse and weird, Sedaris seems to have all the tools of your basic postmodern humorist. There's only one problem: the guy ain't funny. In a dozen stories and four ``essays,'' Sedaris swings hard (not too hard; postmodern requires that you not sweat), but he rarely connects. The one hit in the collection is saved for last. ``The Santaland Diaries,'' which originally aired on NPR's ``Morning Edition,'' is a mordant account of Sedaris's experiences as a Christmas elf at Macy's. It could be compared with Waugh-mid-level Waugh, that is.-Thomas Wiener, formerly with ``American Film'' Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

NPR `Morning Edition' commentator Sedaris presents a satirical collection of stories about contemporary American society. (June) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

`Morning Edition' commentator Sedaris presents a satirical collection of stories about contemporary American society. (June) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this collection of short writings that both celebrate and skewer various odd elements of contemporary American culture, Sedaris, who's a regular commentator for National Public Radio, fashions a mordantly comic, outspoken and often delusional narrative, suggesting a caustic mix of J. D. Salinger and John Waters. Twelve imaginative stories and four equally colorful essays ruthlessly lampoon pet social and domestic dysfunctions, most notably the demise of the nuclear family, the epidemic of victim complexes and the apparent prevalence of stunted adolescence. ``The Last You'll Hear from Me'' is Trish Moody's suicide note, which she wants read at her funeral, excoriating an unfaithful boyfriend, a disloyal friend and an unfeeling mother. ``Glen's Homophobia Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 2'' chronicles its title character's perceived harassment after trying unsuccessfully to seduce a clerk at the local convenience store. ``Don's Story'' is the acceptance speech for the third Oscar that Hollywood neophyte Don wins for an autobiographical film in which his father and mother are played by, respectively, Charles Bronson and Don Rickles. Closing the collection, the essay ``Santaland Diaries'' recounts Sedaris's seamy experiences working as an elf in Macy's SantaLand. Other pieces take aim at recovering alcoholics, ardent nonsmokers and ``people who overuse the words `rage' and `empowerment.' '' Sedaris ekes humor from the blackest of scenarios, peppering his narrative with memorable turns of phrase and repeatedly surprising with his double-edged wit. Just as the reader is convinced by some sharp gem of vituperation, it will turn back and cut its speaker as deeply as its subject. (June) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Short stories and essays by an apartment cleaner and a popular commentator for National Public Radio highlight the absurd behavior of modern Americans, such as the suburban dad who saves money by performing surgery at home. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

With a skewed sense of wit uniquely his own, satirist and popular NPR storyteller David Sedaris presents a collection of short stories and essays, wherein home surgery and an elf-abusing Santa prevail

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In David Sedaris's world, no one is safe and no cow is sacred. Sedaris's collection of essays and stories is a rollicking tour through the national Zeitgeist: a do-it-yourself suburban dad saves money by performing home surgery; a man who is loved too much flees the heavyweight champion of the world; a teenage suicide tries to incite a lynch mob at her funeral; a bitter Santa abuses the elves. With a perfect eye and a voice infused with as much empathy as wit, Sedaris writes stories and essays that target the soulful ridiculousness of our behavior. Barrel Fever is like a blind date with modern life, and anything can happen.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In David Sedaris's world, no one is safe and no cow is sacred. Sedaris's collection of essays and stories is a rollicking tour through the national Zeitgeist: a do-it-yourself suburban dad saves money by performing home surgery; a man who is loved too much flees the heavyweight champion of the world; a teenage suicide tries to incite a lynch mob at her funeral; a bitter Santa abuses the elves. With a perfect eye and a voice infused with as much empathy as wit, Sedaris writes stories and essays that target the soulful ridiculousness of our behavior. Barrel Fever is like a blind date with modern life, and anything can happen.