Barrel Fever


I am proud to say that I have read all the books that David Sedaris has published.  He and Augusten Burroughs are amongst my literary heroes who have an excellent track record for taking any subject and making it engaging and laugh out loud funny.  They are New Yorks Times best selling authors, but that doesn’t mean anything.  Lauren Conrad is a New York Times best selling author.  This only proves how idiotic most of the population is.  What is the point of reading a book if that is the chosen work?  They’d be better off saving their time and cut right to the chase of brain cell reduction by flipping on “The Hills.”

I digress.  I’m sorry.  A majority of reality television just  makes me so mad.  It is the epitome of a culture in its great decline.

Back to my point.

I have no doubt Sedaris is popular due to his intelligence and hilarity… so why then was his book of collective stories and essays “Barrel Fever” so bad?  Okay, “bad” is a crude choice of words.  Sedaris’ worst work is still better than a lot of people’s best efforts.  I have to say though, I’m disappointed.  It has just left me feeling flat.  I’ll credit part of this to the fact that it is one of his earlier works (he’s also published in magazines and speaks on NPR).  In fact, it’s the first of his books.  This guy grows better with age.  I looked into it, and the book in question came out in 1995.  Next came “Naked” and “Me Talk Pretty One Day” …both good books, but it doesn’t get really good until “Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim.”  If you have not read that, just cut to the chase and read this book before all others.  Some would argue with me, but his newest release “When You Are Engulfed In Flames” is excellent as well.  It has a few stale areas, but you don’t get better than when he starts describing the difficulty of male accessorizing and his use of a padded ass to fill his pants in nicely and the “stadium buddy.”  I won’t give it away for you.

I’ve been trying to spend my time (when not fake farming, of course) reading as much as I can.  I thought “Barrell Fever” would be an easy delight.  The best he had to offer was a tongue and cheek holiday newsletter, but I had already ready it in his collection of holiday stories “Holidays On Ice.”  Nothing new here.  I have made it half way through the book.  Each chapter is a completely different story or essay, so I keep waiting to see if something will stand out.  I’m about ready to give up and move on to either “Popism” which is a book Andy Warhol wrote or Wally Lamb’s “The Hour I First Believed.”  Wally Lamb has written the likes of “She’s Come Undone” and “I Know This Much Is True.”  Both excellent reads.  I love Sedaris’ ability to document his life in such an articulate biting fashion.  On the other hand, Lamb writes wonder intricate works of fiction.  Something for everyone!  If anyone has any good suggestions for me, please, feel free to throw them out there.  Mom, you suggested those works from the gal of Newport Beach.  I’m going to get there.  As of right now though, I am the gal of Newport Beach.  I don’t want to hear anything more of this place other than what I already deal with daily.

So my point is this: go pick up some David Sedaris and enjoy, but don’t pick up “Barrel Fever” because it is the dullest of the bunch.  I have suffered on your behalf.  Hey, patience can be considered a form of suffering …or a virtue, whatever.

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