Winner of 2005 Audie Award for Humor
I hadn’t read anything by David Sedaris before, but had heard his name mentioned so many times that I thought I should give him a try. I had also heard that he is one of the few authors able to successfully read his own books and so I decided to try the audio version of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Unfortunately humor is a very personal thing and I don’t think David Sedaris and I find the same things funny.
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is a series of short stories about family life. They contain many perceptive observations about childhood relationships and the difficulties of growing up, but unfortunately I didn’t find them at all amusing. David Sedaris reads the book in such a dry, dead-pan voice that I actually found it difficult to concentrate on what he was saying. His monotonous tone bored me and I have a feeling I’d have enjoyed the book much more if I’d read it. This was emphasised when I went to look for quotes from the book (it is really hard to get quotes when listening to a book) and I actually found myself laughing at some of the quotes on Good Reads. In fact I laughed more times reading that page of quotes than I did in the 6.5 hours I spent listening to the book.
“He took a sip of my father’s weak coffee and spit it back into the mug. “This shit’s like making love in a canoe.”
“It’s fucking near water.”
The only time I actually laughed when listening to the audio was during disc 4. I had a double-take moment when I put this into my CD player as the tone changed completely. David Sedaris launched into a comedy routine which I found quite funny, but I was very confused. It seemed to have no connection to the story that went before it and I actually took the CD out to check that they hadn’t accidentally sent me the wrong disc. Unfortunately the CD returned to the same dull monologue after just a tantalising glimpse of his comedy skills and I ploughed on to the end of the book (disc 5) without being rewarded with any more comedy routines.
I might be tempted to try another of his books in the future, but next time I’ll stick to physical copies.
Most people seem to love this book:
Is there anything funnier than having David Sedaris read his own books to you? Not much, I’m thinking. Books N’ Border Collies
…it didn’t really have the ‘wow’ for me that it does for others. A Good Stopping Point
David Sedaris is hilarious and had me laughing out loud several times. She Treads Softly
Do you think I’d enjoy any of his other books?