I’ve read pieces of Naked and Barrel Fever before, but never really been able to get through a whole book of his. Which is weird, because I really enjoy the whole crew from This American Life on NPR — just think they’re all smart, funny, and generally insightful — David Sedaris included.
Well, I made it through this one, and really enjoyed it. Like all of his work to date, it’s a collection of storied based on his life. None is longer than about 10 pages — just all little vignettes, about growing up. I found that a lot of times I recognized his emotions exactly, more often I found myself being thankful that the family I’ve got is, well, not like his, and I laughed out loud a lot.
I’m definitely going to go back and read his other stories now — I’ve been thinking some lately about family and relationships — and while a lot of his are dysfunctional, his writing holds some truths in it that I think apply to everyone.
The funniest story in the whole book is called "6 to 8 Black Men" and tells the story of the Swedish Santa Claus. When you read it, it’s really about different cultures and how they get along, but I thought his writing in this one was particularly sharp and funny — made me laugh out loud on the airplane, which is a very good thing.