Me Talk Pretty One Day put David Sedaris on the map as one of the funniest writers of our time. So even though Holidays on Ice is not nearly as enjoyable, I still admire Sedaris.
Holidays on Ice, like Me Talk Pretty One Day, is a book of short stories. The theme of Holidays, as its title indicates, are the family conflicts and tensions that seem to intensify around Christmastime. The stories contain glimpses of Sedaris satire but not to a level that draw laughter or even smiles of delight.
I am all for satires, which by definition are simultaneously biting and funny. Humor often draws from the disturbing aspects of life. The problem with this book, however, is that it feels more like a hostile and acerbic attack on Christmas — without levity and humor. The writing is still very witty but conspicuously absent is that playfulness that pervades Me Talk Pretty One Day.
I suppose it all boils down to expectations. I expected a sarcastic and funny book about the holidays. But actually, Holidays on Ice is dark and more serious than humorous.