Several years ago, my introduction to David Sedaris was reading Holidays on Ice in a six-hour binge. While I found the first few essays hilarious, I was tired of the whole thing by the time I finished. I went on what I thought would be a life-time David Sedaris sabbatical.
Luckily for me and my reading resolutions, two years ago I picked up a copy of the audio version of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim when there were otherwise slim pickings at my library. Listening to Sedaris read his own stories made all the difference. There were several that I found to be laugh-out-loud funny, and I was disappointed to come to the last one. Hearing the inflections and the voices the way Sedaris intended them to sound was the key.
I have since listened to every audio version of Sedaris's books that I can find, including his latest, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and my overall favorite, Me Talk Pretty One Day. I eat them up like candy, and while some pieces are better than others, I pretty much enjoy them all.
By far, my very favorite Sedaris essay is one in Dress Your Family called "Six to Eight Black Men" about (unlikely as it might seem from the title) Christmas traditions in Holland. We have made it a Christmas tradition in my house to listen to this piece while lounging around the tree on Christmas Eve. It's enough to make us laugh until we snort hot buttered rum out our noses. Hmmmm . . . maybe it is time for me to revisit Holidays on Ice.