Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Sedarises are crazy-ass muthafuckers! Loco gringos, hombre, loco.
Out of everything he's produced (I've read all of his major work and only missed a few short pieces) this is my favorite David Sedaris book. Yet, I don't recommend it...
...not always, not to everyone. The subject matter can be too much for some people, especially if they've been told that Sedaris is a humorist and then they encounter some the more depressing details of his real life experiences. I laugh my ass off at the bottom-feeder characters and occasional bargain basement morals herein, but some people will wring their hands and say, "Oh how awful."
Get over it and enjoy the ride, is my approach. The ride includes experiences of being gay and coming out (horrible and hilarious!), portraits of various family members that bring the people as vividly alive as any long-running tv show is capable, and living on his own for the first time, which includes apartment living in general and specifically the trials of low-income housing.
Sedaris is a master at what I call autobiographical short stories. They are short form pieces about his life and his life reads like carnival folklore, so seemingly unreal at times it feels surreal.
Some of his other books are not quite so warts-and-all. If you try Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim on for size, realize it may not suit you. Perhaps try on another first and ease your way into this strange fashion.
Audiobook Note: Listening to Sedaris read the audiobook is a must. He wrote the stories, hell, he lived the stories, so he knows how they're to be read. I've listened to him enough now that I can not only read his work in his voice, but also accurately guess at the necessary inflection in new material. Yeah, it's a gift...