Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dress Your Family in Corduroy...

Title: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Author: David Sedaris
Abacus, 2005 (2004)

In this novel, Sedaris tells us stories from his childhood (they are the best) and onwards. The stories are loosely tied together by chronology but could easily be read as individual short stories as well. My first impression when reading Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day) was annoyance and mild amusement. After hearing him being lauded as a genious and hilarious, I thought I had to try again. It's good that I did, because he is actually a lot of fun!

The humor is all in the language which is low-key, but he manages to evoke instant recognition in the reader with just a perfect turn of phrase. Naturally, he seems to have an abundance of stories from his family to draw on and I find myself thinking what luck it is for him to have been brought up in such a freaky, weirdo family. Until it hits me: don't I have "fun" stories based on the characters in my family which I frequently tell to amuse others, and which could easily be considered just as freaky as Sedaris'? Don't we all? And maybe this is the greatest thing about reading this novel: I realise that, really, we are all freaky weirdos; all the rest is just pretending.

Tomorrow: the Sedaris story is not over. Find out how a serious printing error in the novel above prevented me from finishing it, and how it will make me supremely rich some day soon!

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