Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim

Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim by David Sedaris is hilarious and had me laughing out loud several times. My hardcover copy is 257 pages long and was published in 2004. I highly recommend Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim for adults. (Sedaris is openly gay so if this will offend you, please take note.) I continue to think that I might enjoy the audio books of Sedaris' work even more. His story telling ability is very evident when you listen to him on Public Radio International's "This American Life".

"On the fifth day of our vacation [snow days] my mother had a little breakdown. Our presence disrupted the secret life she led while we were at school, and when she could no longer take it she threw us out. It wasn't a gentle request, but something closer to an eviction..... Dusk approached, and as it grew colder it occurred to us that we could possibly die. It happened surely. Selfish mothers wanted the house to themselves, and their children were discovered years later, frozen like mastodons in blocks of ice."

"My parents were not the type of people who went to bed at a regular hour. Sleep overtook them, but neither the time nor the idea of a mattress seemed important.... The upside to being raised by what were essentially a pair of house cats was that we never had any enforced bedtime. At two A.M. on a school night, my mother would not say, 'Go to sleep,' but rather, 'Shouldn't you be tired?' It wasn't a command but a sincere question, the answer provoking little more than a shrug. 'Suit yourself,' she'd say, pouring what was likely to be her thirtieth or forty-second cup of coffee. 'I'm not sleepy, either. Don't know why, but I'm not.' "

"Now I'd have to put it [red vest] on my Christmas list, which definitely neutered the allure. What had seemed hip and dangerous would appear just the opposite when wrapped in a box marked 'from Santa.' "

"My sister's the type who religiously watches the fear segments of her local Eyewitness News broadcasts, retaining nothing but the headlines. She remembers that applesauce can kill you but forgets that in order to die, you have to inject it directly into your bloodstream."

"A Dutch parent has a decidedly hairier story to relate [explaining Saint Nicholas], telling his children, "Listen, you might want to pack a few of your things together before going to bed. The former bishop of Turkey will be coming tonight along with six to eight black men. They might stuff candy in your shoes, they might stuff you into a sack and take you to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don't know for sure, but we want you to be prepared."

"Growing up, she had a reputation for dishonesty, and her relentless, often inappropriate truth telling is, to her, a way of turning that around. ' I'm not going to lie to you,' she'll say, forgetting that another option is to simply say nothing."

From Amazon:
" In his latest collection, Sedaris has found his heart. This is not to suggest that the author of Me Talk Pretty One Day and other bestselling books has lost his edge. The 27 essays here (many previously published in Esquire, G.Q. or the New Yorker, or broadcast on PRI's This American Life) include his best and funniest writing yet. Here is Sedaris's family in all its odd glory. Here is his father dragging his mortified son over to the home of one of the most popular boys in school, a boy possessed of "an uncanny ability to please people," demanding that the boy's parents pay for the root canal that Sedaris underwent after the boy hit him in the mouth with a rock. Here is his oldest sister, Lisa, imploring him to keep her beloved Amazon parrot out of a proposed movie based on his writing. ("'Will I have to be fat in the movie?' she asked.") Here is his mother, his muse, locking the kids out of the house after one snow day too many, playing the wry, brilliant commentator on his life until her untimely death from cancer. His mother emerges as one of the most poignant and original female characters in contemporary literature. She balances bitter and sweet, tart and rich—and so does Sedaris, because this is what life is like. "You should look at yourself," his mother says in one piece, as young Sedaris crams Halloween candy into his mouth rather than share it. He does what she says and then some, and what emerges is the deepest kind of humor, the human comedy. Copyright © Reed Business Information"

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