Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
David Sedaris plays in the snow with his sisters. He goes on vacation with his family. He gets a job selling drinks. He attends his brother's wedding. He mops his sister's floor. He gives directions to a lost traveler. He eats a hamburger. He has his blood sugar tested. It all sounds so normal, doesn't it? In this collection of essays, Sedaris lifts the corner of ordinary life, revealing the absurdity teeming below its surface. His world is alive with obscure desires and hidden motives--a world where forgiveness is automatic and an argument can be the highest form of love. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is another unforgettable collection from one of the wittiest and most original writers at work today.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim Details

TitleDress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 2004
PublisherLittle Brown & Co.
ISBN-139780965904834
Rating
GenreHumor, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Writing, Essays, Short Stories

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim Review

  • Jason Koivu
    January 1, 1970
    The Sedaris family is certifiably crazy and I love them. 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 David 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-feede The Sedaris family is certifiably crazy and I love them. 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 David 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 personalities and occasional bargain basement morals herein, but some people will wring their hands and cry, "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 sitcom 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 autobiographical essays. These short form pieces about his life read 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...
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/I think by this point it’s pretty much common knowledge that I love David Sedaris like a fat kid I love cake and, well . . . . . Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim might be my favorite collection yet. I could seriously kick myself for not only not trying audiobooks before this Fall, but also for not thinking of collections like these as something that would fit into my short commute time perfectly. We’re talking true . . . . Eve Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/I think by this point it’s pretty much common knowledge that I love David Sedaris like a fat kid I love cake and, well . . . . . Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim might be my favorite collection yet. I could seriously kick myself for not only not trying audiobooks before this Fall, but also for not thinking of collections like these as something that would fit into my short commute time perfectly. We’re talking true . . . . Even while in a stupid ass Fiat rather than a Volkswagen since mine decided to die like a whore on the corner a few months back. And when work got like WAAAAAAY too worky the other day and I was afraid I was going to full out pull a Milton . . . . Or a Leslie Knope . . . . I opted to schedule a mental health vacay day instead and went home to immerse myself in my favorite type of therapy this time of year – decorating Christmas trees (with an added bonus of listening to the soothing sounds of David’s dysfunction this go ‘round). Dress Your Family was a great blend of stories of the Sedaris children and parents (words cannot express how much I adore Sharon, their mother), the Sedaris children as adults, David and Hugh and everything in between. Thanks to the combo of some sort of sinus condition/basement dust I lugged upstairs along with the decorations, I laughed until I was overtaken by an emphysema-ish coughing fit/wheeze that may or may not have concluded with me urinating a bit on myself - and if THAT isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is. I’ve put a hold on every other available Sedaris audio in order to get myself through the end of the year without (hopefully) causing bodily harm to anyone at work. Now I just have to deal with a cat who is terrified of Santa’s impending visit after hearing the story of “6 to 8 Black Men”. . . . . No it isn’t. Read the story. Anyway, I keep telling him we don’t live in Amsterdam so he doesn’t have anything to worry about, but I think it’s pretty obvious by the look on his face that he doesn’t believe me . . . .
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  • Fabian
    January 1, 1970
    Okay so the Chip Kidd covers usually ruins authors like this for me. These covers almost ooze a Wes Anderson-type Americana... I'll let prejudices slip past.So this writer has a following and it is understandable. This guy CAN WRITE. And topping that: he can write short stories. I am very ambivalent about short vignettes or even the lofty novella: why don't writers just extend the s**t out of whatever story they are writing to fit the perimeters of the novel? O so close.Sedaris observes, writes. Okay so the Chip Kidd covers usually ruins authors like this for me. These covers almost ooze a Wes Anderson-type Americana... I'll let prejudices slip past.So this writer has a following and it is understandable. This guy CAN WRITE. And topping that: he can write short stories. I am very ambivalent about short vignettes or even the lofty novella: why don't writers just extend the s**t out of whatever story they are writing to fit the perimeters of the novel? O so close.Sedaris observes, writes. He's underwhelmingly unextraordinary, but his voice sures gots sass.I have known someone the exact prototype of this Woody Allenesque guy: all style no substance. Yes-- keen, keen like a knife. But what ties it all? Why are these so damn popular? Sometimes, the collective I.Q. ...I want to read more of this self-centered pedant. He ain't all that, though. This must be mentioned.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    this is a book by david sedaris.shrug.i mean, what else am i supposed to say? it's not like he went out on a limb here and wrote a space opera or a bodice ripper. it's david sedaris. if you like him, you will probably like this one. if you don't, you probably won't.this is not my favorite of his collections, but i laughed out loud three times, which i think is pretty good. i like laughter.**one time, connor made david sedaris laugh. he has yet to write a story about this incident, but we are all this is a book by david sedaris.shrug.i mean, what else am i supposed to say? it's not like he went out on a limb here and wrote a space opera or a bodice ripper. it's david sedaris. if you like him, you will probably like this one. if you don't, you probably won't.this is not my favorite of his collections, but i laughed out loud three times, which i think is pretty good. i like laughter.**one time, connor made david sedaris laugh. he has yet to write a story about this incident, but we are all holding our breaths and waiting.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/I think I may have broken free of the endless Sedaris loop which I have had playing in my car, but I’m sure I’ll return to it eventually. If for no other reason than to hear about . . . . . I will tell you, audio is the ONLY way to go when it comes to stories about the youngest Sedaris – be it David or Amy’s impersonation, you’ll be hard-pressed not to look like a hysterical maniac if driving while listening. When my sisters and I even Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/I think I may have broken free of the endless Sedaris loop which I have had playing in my car, but I’m sure I’ll return to it eventually. If for no other reason than to hear about . . . . . I will tell you, audio is the ONLY way to go when it comes to stories about the youngest Sedaris – be it David or Amy’s impersonation, you’ll be hard-pressed not to look like a hysterical maniac if driving while listening. When my sisters and I eventually left home, it seemed like a natural progression–young adults shifting from one environment to another. While our departures had been relatively painless, Paul’s was like releasing a domestic animal into the wild. He knew how to plan a meal but displayed a remarkable lack of patience when it came time for the actual cooking. Frozen dinners were often eaten exactly as sold, the Salisbury steak amounting to a stickless meat Popsicle. I phoned one night just as he was leaning a family pack of frozen chicken wings against the back door. He’d forgotten to defrost them and was now attempting to stomp the solid mass into three six-inch portions, which he’d force into his toaster oven.I heard the singular sound of boot against crystallized meat and listened as my brother panted for breath. “Goddamned … fucking … chicken … wings.”I called again the following evening and was told that after all that work, the chicken had been spoiled. It tasted like fish, so he threw it away and called it a night. A few hours later, having decided that spoiled chicken was better than no chicken at all, he got out of bed, stepped outside in his underpants, and proceeded to eat the leftovers directly from the garbage can.I was mortified. “In your underpants?”“Damned straight,” he said. “Rooster ain’t getting dressed up to eat no fish-assed-tasting chicken.” All the Stars.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I thought I was over David Sedaris. I don't mean that I don't like him. I do. His essays are funny, but after a while they all seem to run together. He mines the same territory again and again -- stories of growing up with his dysfunctional, quirky, yet lovable family. Stories of himself as the odd and awkward kid growing up and trying to figure out how to live in this world.I wasn’t going to buy Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim in print, but I saw the audio version, read by Sedaris himse I thought I was over David Sedaris. I don't mean that I don't like him. I do. His essays are funny, but after a while they all seem to run together. He mines the same territory again and again -- stories of growing up with his dysfunctional, quirky, yet lovable family. Stories of himself as the odd and awkward kid growing up and trying to figure out how to live in this world.I wasn’t going to buy Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim in print, but I saw the audio version, read by Sedaris himself, on sale at CompUSA when they were going out of business and selling their entire inventory for cheap. I couldn’t resist even though I much prefer to read books rather than to listen to them. I did nothing with it for more than a year until I decided I should listen to it while going for walks around my neighborhood.I found myself rolling my eyes, not laughing, and quickly becoming bored. Finally I had the idea to take the book with me when I drove places. I felt I would get through it much quicker that way and could finally move on to something else.It turned out that that was the way to listen to David Sedaris. Walking around the neighborhood while thinking about the pain in my hip and how at 38 years old I’m afraid I’m going to have to have a fucking hip replacement is no way to appreciate him. I just wanted to slap the shit out of him and his idiosyncratic family/neighbors/and everyone else he was talking about. Relaxed and driving on the freeway with his pleasant voice in my ear was the way to go. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that it made me want to listen to his books rather than read them, which was kind of a first for me.That being said, it’s not going to come as a big surprise that this collection is more of the same types of stories we’ve heard in the past, but I have to say that Sedaris really shines when he talks about his sister, Tiffany, and his brother, Paul (a.k.a. The Rooster). Those were my favorites in the collection. I was also sad to learn that Sedaris’s mother, Sharon, has passed away. I’ll never forget his Ya-Ya refusing to call Sharon by her name and stubbornly referring to her as “The Girl” because she was pissed she wasn’t Greek. And if you already know and love The Rooster, man are you in for a treat when Sedaris reads in Paul’s voice. Something about this charming, well-spoken man saying the words “She had tubes coming out of her pussy” in a thick southern accent cracked me up more than reading it on the page ever could.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    So. David Sedaris. Well, let's be clear. Nobody with a funnybone can hate David Sedaris. And neither do I. But it has to be said - that last book ("Dress your family in corduroy and denim") was quite a disappointment. Judging by the number of people showing up for his readings here in San Francisco, and its lengthy sojourn on The New York Times bestseller list, it obviously did pretty well commercially. And, based on the enormous amount of accumulated goodwill from his earlier books, I don't beg So. David Sedaris. Well, let's be clear. Nobody with a funnybone can hate David Sedaris. And neither do I. But it has to be said - that last book ("Dress your family in corduroy and denim") was quite a disappointment. Judging by the number of people showing up for his readings here in San Francisco, and its lengthy sojourn on The New York Times bestseller list, it obviously did pretty well commercially. And, based on the enormous amount of accumulated goodwill from his earlier books, I don't begrudge DS his commercial success. Not one bit. Well, OK. Maybe just a little bit. Because, for the first time, in this collection, we see clear indications that Sedaris is bumping up against his limitations. How so? I think (and make no claim for the originality of this analysis) it's because Sedaris is at his best when he writes from the point of view of slightly marginalized outsider. In his earlier stuff, he was poor, he's gay and he managed to achieve a tone of bemusement in reporting what went on around him that was completely hilarious. In the face of increasing commercial success, the edge that was conferred by his being poor became harder to maintain. But he and his boyfriend moved to France, thereby achieving automatic outsider status, and Sedaris was able to mine this for comedy gold (his accounts of misadventures while learning French are truly funny, and credit must be given for the way in which he makes the comedy seem so effortless). But that's his previous book Me Talk Pretty One Day. Problem is, the whole 'marginalized outsider' position seems less and less plausible for an author whose books spend months on the best seller list. Similarly, after a few years in France, the forces of assimilation are bound to cut down on the number of amusing misunderstandings funny enough to be worth writing about. This leaves one other area which Sedaris has mined fruitfully in previous books - anecdotes about his family. Indeed, the majority of the stories in this latest collection are family-based anecdotes. However, the stories in this collection do not come close to matching the wit and poignancy of those in earlier books, suggesting that this vein of inspiration may be close to being tapped out. Hardly surprising - any author would lead with the funniest material; this collection has occasional flashes of wit, but never reaches the 'laugh-out-loud' quality of the earlier books. Several pieces in this collection (describing his brother's wedding, his job one summer at the State Fair) are downright pedestrian, and a couple of pieces just fall flat - ruminations about apartment-hunting while visiting the Anne Frank house, accounts of visits with two of his sisters, whose feelings about being featured as bit-players in this, or subsequent collections are decidedly mixed. It's to Sedaris's credit that he too is ambivalent on this point, but his soul-searching on the issue doesn't make for interesting reading. One of Yeats's later poems is called "The Circus Animals' Desertion"; in it, he bemoans the fact that the themes which inspired him early in his career have lost their inspirational power. "Dress your family in corduroy and denim" supports the notion that David Sedaris may be experiencing similar difficulties. But don't count him out yet. His previous books estalished Sedaris as a hilarious, extremely talented writer. Anyone can have one bad book. Let's hope he will leave it at that.
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  • Calista
    January 1, 1970
    I read this again which was a happy accident. I didn't think I had. I have heard several of these stories in other works, so David does recycle a story here or there. This was a wonderful laugh and tension drainer for me. I really enjoyed some of these stories. I have to say that I think my favorite stories of his are when David uses his brother Paul. That man is crazy and so funny. He just had me laughing. He has a way of finding the funny in the mundane. I would love to be able to do that. A l I read this again which was a happy accident. I didn't think I had. I have heard several of these stories in other works, so David does recycle a story here or there. This was a wonderful laugh and tension drainer for me. I really enjoyed some of these stories. I have to say that I think my favorite stories of his are when David uses his brother Paul. That man is crazy and so funny. He just had me laughing. He has a way of finding the funny in the mundane. I would love to be able to do that. A list of the stories: (copied from Wikipedia)"Us and Them" - childhood memories of a family "who don't believe in TV""Let It Snow" - the day when Sedaris's mother locked her children out in the snow"The Ship Shape" - childhood memories of the second home that his father never bought"Full House" - a childhood game of strip poker gives the young Sedaris a touching moment"Consider the Stars" - reflecting on the cool kid at school"Monie Changes Everything" - Sedaris' rich aunt"The Change in Me" - the 13-year-old Sedaris wants to act like a hippie"Hejira" - Sedaris' father kicks him out of his house due to his homosexuality"Slumus Lordicus" - Sedaris' father's experiences as a landlord of a apartment complex in the early 80s."The Girl Next Door" - Sedaris' relationship with a girl from a troubled family"Blood Work" - a case of mistaken identity while cleaning houses"The End of the Affair" - Sedaris and Hugh's different reactions to a love story"Repeat After Me" - Sedaris' visit to his sister Lisa, and his family's feelings about being the subject of his essays"Six to Eight Black Men" - thoughts about the traditional Dutch Christmas story, among other cultural oddities"Rooster at the Hitchin' Post" - Sedaris' younger brother is born and gets married"Possession" - searching for a new apartment, and Anne Frank's house"Put a Lid on It" - a visit to Sedaris' sister Tiffany's home, and their relationship"A Can of Worms" - Sedaris's mind wanders as he, Hugh, and a friend eat at a diner"Chicken in the Henhouse" - prejudiced attitudes towards homosexuals in America"Who's the Chef?" - bickering between two people in a long-term relationship"Baby Einstein" - the arrival of his brother's first baby"Nuit of the Living Dead" - a late night encounter at home in rural France
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This book makes me laugh myself sick every time I read it. Blood Work and La Nuit of the Dead are put together so perfectly. Sedaris creates a series of misguided attempts at human connection that seem doomed to fail through selfishness or insecurity, but somehow don’t. Sedaris is so good at exposing the frailty of those emotional connections without ever doubting that they can still sustain our relationships. He makes me relate to even the most impossibly awkward and painful situations. Every t This book makes me laugh myself sick every time I read it. Blood Work and La Nuit of the Dead are put together so perfectly. Sedaris creates a series of misguided attempts at human connection that seem doomed to fail through selfishness or insecurity, but somehow don’t. Sedaris is so good at exposing the frailty of those emotional connections without ever doubting that they can still sustain our relationships. He makes me relate to even the most impossibly awkward and painful situations. Every time I read it I think, “That’s so ME!” And then realize that I’m not a gay man living in rural France, fearing zombies and drowning a mouse in a bucket at midnight. And yet somehow I can still not only relate to the situation, but feel the familiarity of it. The parts about his brother make me miss my brother horribly. Sedaris is so great at showing that most of our love for each other doesn’t lie in our similarities, but in the strength of our shared history and our sheer will to maintain the relationship. This can seem either damaged and pathetic or comforting and hopeful. I’m going with the latter.
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  • . . . _ _ _ . . .
    January 1, 1970
    Ο Αμερικάνος Κορτώ μας λέει (ξανά) για τον γκόμενο του, τη μάνα του, τα αδέρφια του*φωνή Σταυρίδη στα Κίτρινα Γάντια*ΑΧΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΔΕ ΜΕ ΝΟΙΑΖΕΙΚάπου πιάνει μια μελαγχολία, και αυτό είναι που τον ξεχωρίζει κάπως, αλλά στην πραγματικότητα διαβάζεις ημερολόγια μιας οικογένειας που ούτε τους ξέρεις, ούτε σε πολυνοιάζει.Να μην πιάσω το γεγονός το ανατριχιαστικό ξεπούλημα ζωών της ίδιας του της οικογένειας (πχ τον τρόπο ζωής μιας αδερφής του που λίγα χρόνια μετά αυτοκτόνησε με συνθήκες ζωής ανατριχιαστικά Ο Αμερικάνος Κορτώ μας λέει (ξανά) για τον γκόμενο του, τη μάνα του, τα αδέρφια του*φωνή Σταυρίδη στα Κίτρινα Γάντια*ΑΧΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΔΕ ΜΕ ΝΟΙΑΖΕΙΚάπου πιάνει μια μελαγχολία, και αυτό είναι που τον ξεχωρίζει κάπως, αλλά στην πραγματικότητα διαβάζεις ημερολόγια μιας οικογένειας που ούτε τους ξέρεις, ούτε σε πολυνοιάζει.Να μην πιάσω το γεγονός το ανατριχιαστικό ξεπούλημα ζωών της ίδιας του της οικογένειας (πχ τον τρόπο ζωής μιας αδερφής του που λίγα χρόνια μετά αυτοκτόνησε με συνθήκες ζωής ανατριχιαστικά ίδιες με αυτά που περιγράφει στο διήγημα του)Επίσης, ξέρω είναι δύσκολο να βρεις ένα καλό σπίτι, αλλά να στήσεις ένα ολόκληρο διήγημα για το αν πωλείται το σπίτι της Άννας Φρανκ, και το πόσο γαμάτο είναι, να μην προλάβει να το αγοράσει κανένας άλλος, για μένα δεν είναι ακριβώς comedy material.
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  • Jessaka
    January 1, 1970
    Books to Sleep ByI wonder if you have to be weird to like Sedaris’ books, or maybe even weirder to use them to get to sleep at night like I do? I have listened to his books many times over, that is, what I remember of them, as I am lying in bed trying to not think so I can sleep. What is it with old people and insomnia? At least I am not alone. But that is not comforting. Maybe it is that old people think too much because they have a lot in their brains from all the years of accumulating knowled Books to Sleep ByI wonder if you have to be weird to like Sedaris’ books, or maybe even weirder to use them to get to sleep at night like I do? I have listened to his books many times over, that is, what I remember of them, as I am lying in bed trying to not think so I can sleep. What is it with old people and insomnia? At least I am not alone. But that is not comforting. Maybe it is that old people think too much because they have a lot in their brains from all the years of accumulating knowledge. Only I am not lying in bed going over and over the things that I have learned, instead, I think about how to go to sleep when I am not tired, or how to go to sleep when I am overtired. Well, this book by Sedaris has some moving in it. It seems like Sedaris can’t stand still, or maybe this was from another book; they all run together. Still, I can say that I didn’t really like this book, as the narrator, Sedaris, seemed really down, and his stories were blah. It wasn’t the kind of blahness that made me fall to sleep; it was irritating. It made me think about the news, such as, what is the man in the WH going to do next to screw up my life and everyone else’s? It was the kind that made me wonder if I could get to sleep at all. It made me wonder what I was going to do after I had listened to his books enough times. Is there sleep after Sedaris?I do think I found the right book for sleeping. It is The Underground Railroad by Whitehead. Every time I listen to it, and I tried hard to not allow my mind to wander, I went to sleep. One day I was reading that the main character was in a tunnel escaping, and when I woke up she was in a doctor’s office and he wanted to tie her tubes for population control. It never got any better. I thought of listening to Spalding Gray because he gives one man monologues, but the narrator of Monster in a Box had an irritating voice. Maybe one of his other books will have a better narrator.Now with Sedaris, I never know what is true, half true, or all made up. I don’t know if his father really threw him out of the house when he learned that he was gay or not. I don’t know if Sedaris really put a fly in a jar and shook it up, which knocked it out so he could put it on a spider web, at which point it woke up, wiggled around and be eaten. That was probably another book though. In one of his earlier books he was talking about people having dead animals in their freezer, and this was not steaks. I wondered if that were true, and if so, what kind of people do this besides taxidermists? And did Sedaris really lick light switch plates as a kid whenever he left a room? Was his dad really as weird as he portrays him to be? Did he really clean houses?I am so tired this morning because I only had about 4 hours sleep. So I got up and laid down on the couch and began listening to The Underground Railroad and fell back to sleep.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    David Sedaris makes me happy. This is my second (after Calypso) and I am thrilled about his lengthy backlist. There were many laugh out loud moments here and also some poignant ones.
  • Ginger
    January 1, 1970
    Another good collection of short stories by David Sedaris!3.5 stars! I decided to do the audiobook for Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim and I’m glad I did. At times, his voice bugged me a bit. It was more indifferent then I liked, and I know he was going for deadpan. But at the same time, David Sedaris is cynical, funny and does the best job of explaining his crazy family and all his neurotic thoughts. Boy does he have a lot of neurotic thoughts!! Ha! I think we all do at times.His humor Another good collection of short stories by David Sedaris!3.5 stars! I decided to do the audiobook for Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim and I’m glad I did. At times, his voice bugged me a bit. It was more indifferent then I liked, and I know he was going for deadpan. But at the same time, David Sedaris is cynical, funny and does the best job of explaining his crazy family and all his neurotic thoughts. Boy does he have a lot of neurotic thoughts!! Ha! I think we all do at times.His humor is not for everyone though. He is often dark and dry, and you often wonder if he’s being funny or truthful. I enjoy this type of humor for its subtlety and honesty.The short stories that I enjoyed the most were:1. The neighborhood family that didn’t watch television2. Christmas in the Netherlands (I laughed out loud at least 2 to 3 times!!!)3. The misunderstanding erotic house cleaning service4. His brother’s wedding.It seems that most of the family members are funny on their own but add them all together and it’s a great recipe for some good chuckles!
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  • Jennifer Good
    January 1, 1970
    oh so hilarious... "What the hell are you doing?" she whispered, but my mouth was too full to answer...as she closed the door and behind her and moved toward my bed, I began breaking the wax lips and candy necklaces pulled from pile no. 2. These were the second-best things I had received, and while it hurt to destroy them, it would have hurt evern more to give them away. I had just started to mutilate a miniature box of Red Hots when my mother pried them from my hands, accidentally finishing the oh so hilarious... "What the hell are you doing?" she whispered, but my mouth was too full to answer...as she closed the door and behind her and moved toward my bed, I began breaking the wax lips and candy necklaces pulled from pile no. 2. These were the second-best things I had received, and while it hurt to destroy them, it would have hurt evern more to give them away. I had just started to mutilate a miniature box of Red Hots when my mother pried them from my hands, accidentally finishing the job for me. BB-size pellets clattered onto the floor, and as I followed them with my eyes, she snatched up a roll of Necco wafers. "Not those," I pleaded, but rather than words, my mouth expelled chocolate, chewed chocolate, which fell onto the sleece of her sweater. "Not those. Not those." She shook her arm, and the mound of chocolate dropped like a horrible turd upon my bedspread. "You should look at yourself," she said. "I mean, really look at yourself."
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  • Adam
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly, I tried to like this book. Maybe it's one of those that, at page 100, kicks everything glorious into overdrive, making you gleeful and giddy and full of delight at reading it. Maybe I should have read further and waited longer. But, you see, I only really started to read this because it seemed hip at the time to do so. I'm not too sure that I care enough about maintaining some form of imagined quasi-hipness to make myself sit through the rest of it. There. I'm admitting I didn't read t Honestly, I tried to like this book. Maybe it's one of those that, at page 100, kicks everything glorious into overdrive, making you gleeful and giddy and full of delight at reading it. Maybe I should have read further and waited longer. But, you see, I only really started to read this because it seemed hip at the time to do so. I'm not too sure that I care enough about maintaining some form of imagined quasi-hipness to make myself sit through the rest of it. There. I'm admitting I didn't read the whole thing, but I am admitting (and openly so) that David Sedaris depresses me.The end.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    Just as reliably entertaining as his previous books!
  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first time I ever read anything by David Sedaris. It had its moments, but I was expecting it to be more laugh-out-loud funny. At times it was clever and occasionally amusing but mostly it was kind of depressing. At least when you're reading a book about some horrible crime you know you're dealing with the extremes of human behavior, but these stories reminded me of just how common pettiness, stupidity and flat out meanness are. If this is really anything close to an accurate portraya This is the first time I ever read anything by David Sedaris. It had its moments, but I was expecting it to be more laugh-out-loud funny. At times it was clever and occasionally amusing but mostly it was kind of depressing. At least when you're reading a book about some horrible crime you know you're dealing with the extremes of human behavior, but these stories reminded me of just how common pettiness, stupidity and flat out meanness are. If this is really anything close to an accurate portrayal of his family, I'd be amazed if any of them were still speaking to him. It's not a very flattering depiction.Anyway, this one was entertaining enough in its way, I suppose. That, in any case, is how I expect to feel about it after I've cheered up a bit.
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  • lit.erary.britt
    January 1, 1970
    "I might reinvent myself to strangers, but to this day, as far as my family is concerned, I’m still the one most likely to set your house on fire."Rereading David Sedaris (nonfiction) via audio has been so fun! I loved his books before, but he's now solidified a spot among my favorite authors. He is such an amazing story teller. His last lines are always perfect.
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  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't like this book. I got the audio book to listen to on one of my drives. I couldn't finish it. I heard good things about it...that it was hilarious and that David Sedaris is great...but I just couldn't get into it. I think I forced a laugh out once just to remember what it felt like to laugh. It didn't feel right so I stopped.
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  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    What if you could write about whatever you wanted? What if no topics were off limits, no person's feelings or privacy taken into consideration, no personal flaws purposely left unmentioned in order to be protected from ridicule?You would probably write exactly like David Sedaris.To actually write like David Sedaris, however, you'd also have to be intelligent, impeccably attentive to details and most importantly - uncommonly funny. With that winning combination, Sedaris's unencumbered writing cre What if you could write about whatever you wanted? What if no topics were off limits, no person's feelings or privacy taken into consideration, no personal flaws purposely left unmentioned in order to be protected from ridicule?You would probably write exactly like David Sedaris.To actually write like David Sedaris, however, you'd also have to be intelligent, impeccably attentive to details and most importantly - uncommonly funny. With that winning combination, Sedaris's unencumbered writing creates a truly fascinating look into his life and way of thinking.Take, for instance, a neighborhood family that supposedly doesn't watch any television. You've know them, or at least heard about them. But have you hidden yourself in bushes outside their house watching them at night? Sedaris spied on this family with fascination, watching them interact at the dinner table during the evenings and feeling sorry for the absence of television in their lives. After watching one of their children at school being left out of a joke that made reference to a TV show, Sedaris writes, "It occurred to me that they needed a guide, someone who could point out all the things they were unable to understand. I could have done it on weekends, but friendship would have taken away their mystery and interfered with the good feeling I got from pitying them. So I kept my distance."Then, when this same family showed up for Trick-Or-Treating the day after Halloween, Sedaris expresses what must be universally believed: "Asking for candy on Halloween was called trick-or-treating, but asking for candy on November first was called begging, and it made people uncomfortable. This was one of the things you were supposed to learn simply by being alive, and it angered me that the Tomkeys did not understand it."The subject matter varies wildly from chapter to chapter, but each contains Sedaris's hilarious spin on what would probably appear to most outsiders, nothing to write home about. Although there are several uncomfortable chapters that touch on situations involving his homosexuality, his willingness to expose himself, and, I suppose his willingness to expose his loved ones, give his writing an important and appreciated perspective. It's so enjoyably honest! I mean, he writes about going through the Anne Frank House while simultaneous apartment hunting and wanting to live there because it's "cute." Totally irreverent. But when he talks about ripping out the wood stove so that the fireplace would be the focal point and thinking the attic, with its charming dormer windows, could be his office...it ends up being really funny.The best chapter for me was called Six To Eight Black Men when he describes in laugh-out-loud detail the Christmas traditions in the Netherlands. Of course he begins the chapter by pointing out some of the more unusual local gun laws in various states of the USA, mentioning as an interesting fact that in Michigan - blind people are allowed to hunt...alone. As the chapter nears its end, and you wonder what the two stories have to do with each other, he finishes by sharing his thoughts while sitting in a Dutch train station. "I couldn't help but feel second-rate. Yes, the Netherlands was a small country, but it had six to eight black men and a really good bedtime story. Being a fairly competitive person, I felt jealous, then bitter. I was edging toward hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off alone into the Michigan forest. He may bag a deer, or he may happily shoot a camper in the stomach. He may find his way back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before stumbling through your back door. We don't know for sure, but in pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American."Funny, funny stuff.
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  • Takisx
    January 1, 1970
    Σ'αυτές τις ιστορίες ανακαλύπτεις και ησυχάζεις, το πόσο ίδιες μπορεί να μοιάζουν οι οικογένειες των ανθρωπων, σε σημεία ανατριχιαστικά. Βέβαια δεν σε πέταξε ο μπαμπάς σου απ'το σπίτι, επειδή η παραλίγο και ξώφαλτση ομοφυλοφυλία σου πολύ τον ενοχλούσε, ούτε σε πήγε η μαμά σου κλαίγοντας σε ενα καταλλημα για να σε σώσει. Από ποιόν; Ούτε κι αυτή ξέρει. Δεν ζει βέβαια η μαμά για να μάθει την συνέχεια, αλλά τι σημασία έχει; Ο Σεντάρις είναι τόσο καλά εκπαιδευμένος στο κύνισμό, που δεν θα επιτρέψει σ Σ'αυτές τις ιστορίες ανακαλύπτεις και ησυχάζεις, το πόσο ίδιες μπορεί να μοιάζουν οι οικογένειες των ανθρωπων, σε σημεία ανατριχιαστικά. Βέβαια δεν σε πέταξε ο μπαμπάς σου απ'το σπίτι, επειδή η παραλίγο και ξώφαλτση ομοφυλοφυλία σου πολύ τον ενοχλούσε, ούτε σε πήγε η μαμά σου κλαίγοντας σε ενα καταλλημα για να σε σώσει. Από ποιόν; Ούτε κι αυτή ξέρει. Δεν ζει βέβαια η μαμά για να μάθει την συνέχεια, αλλά τι σημασία έχει; Ο Σεντάρις είναι τόσο καλά εκπαιδευμένος στο κύνισμό, που δεν θα επιτρέψει σε κανέναν να βάλει το χέρι του στο ωμο του για να τον λυπηθεί. Μπορεί να μην ξέρει ακριβώς ποιός είναι, αλλά μου φαίνεται πως ούτε που τον νοιάζει και να μάθει.(εκρηκτικός)
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  • Pixelina
    January 1, 1970
    The last episode 'Nuit of the living dead' had me break down in tears from laughing so hard. A lot of the other chapters are funny, but I read it before in other Sedaris books. I just need to think 'Oh I see you have a little swimming mouse' to start laughing like mad though. Someone told me I should try and get one of his books on audio cause it is even funnier hearing him reading it. Will try that for sure.
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  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes cynical, sometimes neurotic, always entertaining. These stories are great for a few laughs and just might make you think.Often Sedaris says what we are thinking, but too afraid to say out loud.
  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    David Sedaris being David Sedaris. I would hate to be in his family. Every bit of dirty laundry ends up in a book!Review to come.Audiobook CommentsRead by the author! Woohoo!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    ***NO SPOILERS***(Full disclosure: book abandoned at page 211 [out of 257 pages].)I’d had this book on my to-read list for too long and finally decided to read it after Sedaris made me laugh in the documentary “Do I Sound Gay?” As of this writing, this book has an impressive average rating of 4.08 here on Goodreads, so I had high expectations; unfortunately, I can’t join the David Sedaris fan club. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim isn’t so much a memoir as it is a series of humorous anecd ***NO SPOILERS***(Full disclosure: book abandoned at page 211 [out of 257 pages].)I’d had this book on my to-read list for too long and finally decided to read it after Sedaris made me laugh in the documentary “Do I Sound Gay?” As of this writing, this book has an impressive average rating of 4.08 here on Goodreads, so I had high expectations; unfortunately, I can’t join the David Sedaris fan club. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim isn’t so much a memoir as it is a series of humorous anecdotes from Sedaris’s childhood that he randomly strung together, and by “randomly,” I mean he didn’t put these in any kind of order. It would make the most sense to order them chronologically--unless there’s some reason not to do this, such as a unifying theme (e.g., a Halloween anecdote from when he was eight and one from when he was eighteen), but this isn’t the case. The anecdotes jump all over the place and are various degrees of humorous, but, it should be noted, are never laugh-out-loud hilarious. Actually, some are flat-out strange, such as one I found disrespectful in which Sedaris visits the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and daydreams about redesigning it, knocking down a wall here and there, redecorating it in this way and that. Sedaris had--and continues to have--kooky life experiences and also is able to find humor in the everyday, but what’s interesting is that what’s funny isn’t about him; it’s about other people. It’s probably more accurate, then, to say he has kooky life encounters, not experiences. In the opening story, the humor comes almost entirely from his unconventional neighbors. In another story, in which Sedaris recounts working as a house cleaner, the humor comes from the man whose house he cleans. Sedaris himself does nothing funny; it’s the client who’s funny. Yet another story details just how wacky his sister is. Sedaris is like the sensible fly on the wall, observing everything, amused and aghast in almost equal measure. Ultimately, I just had to abandon this. To my great surprise I found I didn’t look forward to reading it and felt my brain turning to mush the more I read what I judge to be writing on about the fourth-grade level. Memoirists and humor writers aren’t expected to write in a sophisticated manner, but on the other hand, why not? It can’t hurt. Final verdict: An easy read but not as funny as it thinks it is. Skip.
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Sedaris non fa per me. Mi aspettavo storie esilaranti, non le ho trovate. Mi aspettavo almeno episodi divertenti, ma ho riso poco o niente. Sono raccolti in questo libro episodi dell’adolescenza dello scrittore ed altri dell’età adulta, incentrati soprattutto sui rapporti familiari con il padre, la madre e gli strampalati fratelli; storie che alla fine hanno una morale sottesa, ma che non hanno suscitato in me il benché minimo interesse.Dice Sedaris in un’intervista: "Molti grandi romanzi americ Sedaris non fa per me. Mi aspettavo storie esilaranti, non le ho trovate. Mi aspettavo almeno episodi divertenti, ma ho riso poco o niente. Sono raccolti in questo libro episodi dell’adolescenza dello scrittore ed altri dell’età adulta, incentrati soprattutto sui rapporti familiari con il padre, la madre e gli strampalati fratelli; storie che alla fine hanno una morale sottesa, ma che non hanno suscitato in me il benché minimo interesse.Dice Sedaris in un’intervista: "Molti grandi romanzi americani degli ultimi anni - libri che amo, come Le correzioni di Jonathan Franzen - ruotano intorno alla famiglia, possibilmente una pessima famiglia. Per descriverla è stato coniato un aggettivo, "disfunzionale". Una parola che fino a quindici anni fa neanche esisteva. Serve a indicare la quantità di sofferenza che ci si può procurare vivendo insieme. Ma la mia famiglia non è disfunzionale, la mia famiglia funziona ed è per questo che continuo a parlarne. È complicata ma piena di risorse".Sono contenta per lui, gli auguro di continuare ad avere successo con i libri che parlano della sua famiglia; dal canto mio penso proprio di aver chiuso con Sedaris.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is a hilarious book about David Sedaris's life and family. It starts off when he was a young boy and he has to give up his Halloween candy to the neighbors. He then stuffed as much candy in his face as possible so he wouldn't have to share it. I knew right after this chapter that I was going to like this book. As you read further in the book you learn all about his family like his brother, Paul, the rooster. Different events occur in this book that tell yo Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is a hilarious book about David Sedaris's life and family. It starts off when he was a young boy and he has to give up his Halloween candy to the neighbors. He then stuffed as much candy in his face as possible so he wouldn't have to share it. I knew right after this chapter that I was going to like this book. As you read further in the book you learn all about his family like his brother, Paul, the rooster. Different events occur in this book that tell you a lot about David and his family. Like in the chapter the Girl Next Door, David meets a young girl neighbor and begins spending time with her and discovers she doens't know what France is, so he helps her with maps and such. I personally liked the chapter "Rooster at the Hitchin' Post" because of all the humor in it and it shows the relationship David has between his brother and him.David Sedaris tells the story of his life very well, and in a funny way. I would recommend this book to everyone because it is a great book to read over and over, as I did with many of the chapters.
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  • J.K. Grice
    January 1, 1970
    I actually listened to the audio book version of this, and I found myself laughing my head off to Sedaris's stories. Now, I don't usually laugh out loud very easily, but this guy is absolutely HILARIOUS. When Sedaris voiced his down south family story, I just about drove my truck off the road I was laughing so hard. Also, if you've never heard his narration of the Christmas season where he worked as a Macy's elf....amazing. My wife (who had never heard of Sedaris before) and I were driving home I actually listened to the audio book version of this, and I found myself laughing my head off to Sedaris's stories. Now, I don't usually laugh out loud very easily, but this guy is absolutely HILARIOUS. When Sedaris voiced his down south family story, I just about drove my truck off the road I was laughing so hard. Also, if you've never heard his narration of the Christmas season where he worked as a Macy's elf....amazing. My wife (who had never heard of Sedaris before) and I were driving home last winter when the piece was played on NPR, and we were both nearly in tears. Fun stuff!!!
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  • E.
    January 1, 1970
    highly entertaining!!Edit: 5 Nov 18Reread Still like it
  • Sotiria
    January 1, 1970
    Αν και το όνομα του Sedaris το είχα συνδέσει με κωμικά, laugh-out-loud -που λέμε και στο χωριό μου- βιβλία (εξαιτίας κάποιων κριτικών που είχα διαβάσει), το συγκεκριμένο έργο του δεν μπορώ να πω οτι με έκανε να γελάσω. Παρολα αυτά απόλαυσα ιδιαίτερα την αβίαστη γραφή του, την παραστατικοτητα του λόγου του και τη σατιρα που κρυβόταν σε πολλές από τις ιστορίες του. Τα περιστατικά απο τη ζωή του που διάλεξε να μοιραστεί με τους αναγνώστες είναι παραδόξως ταυτόχρονα πρωτότυπα και ασυνήθιστα αλλά και Αν και το όνομα του Sedaris το είχα συνδέσει με κωμικά, laugh-out-loud -που λέμε και στο χωριό μου- βιβλία (εξαιτίας κάποιων κριτικών που είχα διαβάσει), το συγκεκριμένο έργο του δεν μπορώ να πω οτι με έκανε να γελάσω. Παρολα αυτά απόλαυσα ιδιαίτερα την αβίαστη γραφή του, την παραστατικοτητα του λόγου του και τη σατιρα που κρυβόταν σε πολλές από τις ιστορίες του. Τα περιστατικά απο τη ζωή του που διάλεξε να μοιραστεί με τους αναγνώστες είναι παραδόξως ταυτόχρονα πρωτότυπα και ασυνήθιστα αλλά και αρκετά γνώριμα και οικεια στον καθένα μας.Σίγουρα θα διαβάσω και άλλα βιβλία του στο μέλλον!
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