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Barrel Fever

Posted on

Barrel Fever

Current Status:
In Season
David Sedaris
Fiction, Short Stories

We gave it an A-

It’s a shame that J.D. Salinger has been so overinvoked as a touchstone for impish young male writers, because when a truly lacerating curmudgeon like David Sedaris comes along, the comparison, for once fitting, is bankrupt. A playwright and a commentator on National Public Radio, Sedaris is a crackpot in the best sense of the word. His first collection of stories and essays, Barrel Fever, consists of tall tales about deluded characters who imagine they are Academy Award winners, friends of the famous, or home surgeons. In ”SantaLand Diaries,” a 33-year-old who works as a Macy’s elf delivers a devastating taxonomy of consumer America. Not all of Sedaris’ stories are so convincing, but most are uniquely affecting; they infest the mind as if they were your own dark memories. A-