Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris


Sedaris talks about things we all do as we age: first jobs, family vacations, sibling’s weddings, handles pest control. Yet? Everything he says is hysterical.

Sedaris has the kind of humor that pushes just far enough into bizarre and tiptoes on the boarder of inappropriate, but never crosses over. I never laugh as hard with a book in my hand as I do when I’m reading one of David Sedaris’s essay collections. He has such a talent for taking something objectively dull, like giving directions, and turning it into a ridiculous, hysterical journey. (In this case, an internal audit of himself, his home, and his life through this stranger’s eyes.) He talks about a family vacation and makes me laugh out loud as he chronicles the act of naming the house with his siblings.

Another notable piece of this book is just how talented Sedaris is at crafting an ending to an essay. Frequently his last line is a mike drop, a laugh-out-loud call back, or a surprisingly wise piece of advice encased in his own personal experiences. Reading this essay collection is like becoming friends with the author because he so often shares details that many (sane) people would leave out. For example, he never shies away from the fact that his family doesn’t love having their lives discussed in lurid detail. He discusses his own short-comings with abandon and he doesn’t shy away from telling us about the disaster that was coming out to his father.

Having read his latest collection, Calypso, I’d have to say that I prefer it to this one. But, the Sedaris charm and humor is all over Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and if you like this author, you’ll like this book.

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Product Details: Back Bay Books; 257 pp; May 31, 2005; 978-0316010795. Essay Collection -> Humor