The Ultimate David Sedaris Audio Collection by David Sedaris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a collection of abridged David Sedaris books on audio, read mostly by the author with some contributions from his sister, Amy Sedaris. The collection includes Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Live at Carnegie Hall, Naked, Holidays on Ice, and Barrel Fever and Other Stories. The only one I haven't reviewed separately is Live at Carnegie Hall, because there were so many repeats, it didn't seem fair to rate it separately.
Taken as a whole, it's sort of overwhelming for someone with no exposure to David Sedaris before, save random mentions on internet comments. This was the only form I could take out Me Talk Pretty One Day from my local library, though, so I figured I'd listen to the rest, while I was at it. I'm not sure I'd recommend it for a beginner, because it is a bit much. But, there's plenty of context within the stories to introduce one to David Sedaris's sense of humor.
The live tracks helped a lot. As I noted in my first review, I realized I was supposed to be laughing at these wry, dark observations, and that I wasn't the only one mean enough to laugh at his pain. Sedaris's sense of humor is both dark and self-deprecating, and his delivery is quite dry.
Having listened to this audio set, I can't believe I made it this far in my life without having read anything by David Sedaris before. This is very much the kind of humor I appreciate.
If you're a fan of David Sedaris, or you're looking for a gift for someone who is, I think you could do a lot worse than keeping this set around for a gloomy day. I don't recommend you dive right in as I did, unless you're prepared for dark humor, delivered dryly. My immersion served me well, but it was a gamble.
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