This guy comes highly recommended by a lot of random people...but maybe I picked the wrong title or something 'cause I'm not impressed.Sedaris, David. Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays. 1994. New York: Back Bay Books, 1995.Summary
: Includes twelve fictional short stories and four essays.Comments
: Well, if you're a fan of insufferable, self-obsessed drama queens (both female and male...the male ones are almost all homosexual), then you've come to the right place because Sedaris' fiction is chock-full of them. I wasn't even halfway through "Parade," the first story, wherein the (male) narrator is sleeping with every (male) superstar on the face of the planet Earth and giving you his tell-all, before I decided that the writer of the stories himself was a supreme asshole. And, indeed, my opinion seemed confirmed by subsequent offerings such as "My Manuscript," about a mean-spirited boy busy putting his homosexual orgy fantasies to paper, "Glen's Homophobia Newsletter," about a self-righteous gay bigot who sees homophobia everywhere but can't see his own prejudices, and "Season's Greetings," about a suburban housewife who kills her own grandchild (by throwing him into the washing machine) in order to frame the murder on her husband's newly-discovered half-Vietnamese daughter. Incidentally, the title story is about an alcoholic whose deceased mother is a vindictive white supremacist. I think you get the point. Sure, it's supposed to be satire, but Sedaris has apparently forgotten to zip up his id's fly. Thankfully, the essays, which are about Sedaris' own life, are a bit more humble and a hell of a lot more humane. Of the four, "Diary of a Smoker" doesn't deserve the paper it is printed on (pretty much any smoker these days would say the exact same thing) and only "SantaLand Diaries" is worth the time--but, hell, any account of working as an elf at the NYC Macys during the holiday season has GOT to be fascinating, right?Notes
: trade paperback, 20th printingRating
- Sedaris apparently sticks solely to essays in subsequent books. Thank God. Anyway, the thirty pages (of some 200) of "SantaLand Diaries" isn't worth the price of the entire book, so save your money.