"Barrel Fever" by David Sedaris

I fell in love with David Sedaris a few years ago, when I read Me Talk Pretty One Day.  I have read other collections by him, and have reviewed Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim here on this blog.   So it was an automatic thing, picking up this book and adding it to my collection.  After all, this is his very first collection of stories and essays.  It is a given that I was going to read it.

So, I let the anticipation build and build, and I finally got the chance to read it.  And here’s the thing – I was terribly disappointed.  I could see glimpses of the Sedaris that I love in there, but it is clear that he hadn’t worked himself up to that point yet.  Or maybe I just found him in his prime.  But either way, this just wasn’t what I was expecting at all.  It kills me to admit this, but since I could never allow myself to not finish a David Sedaris book…..  I started skimming.  I skipped ahead to the next story.  That is a big deal to me; I do not do it often.  The essay section was better – I liked “Diary of a Smoker” and “SantaLand Diaries”.  They made me laugh a little.  It just took me a very long time to get there.

So with a heavy heart, I must say that I would skip this book and just move ahead to his later works.  Either of the other two books I’ve already mentioned are great, as is Naked.  There are others, later works, that I haven’t gotten to yet – but don’t worry.  This bump in the road hasn’t turned me off to Sedaris permanently!

Barrel Fever
by David Sedaris
Back Bay Books, 1994
196 pages
Source:  Purchased Used

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