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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sedaris in top form
One of the two funniest books I've ever read --- (the other was Jackson McCrae's "Katzenjammer"), DRESS YOUR FAMILY is a rollicking rollercoaster of a ride from cover to cover. The Sedaris family has center stage here. With mom, dad, four sisters, and a very masculine brother, each one is quirkier than the next. It's hard to tell how much is Sedaris' very keen powers of...
Published on Sept. 3 2005 by Sharon Islida Santos

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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but very random
This was the first Sedaris book I've ever read (actually, I listened to the CD), and I was impressed. I thought his word play and way of describing normal situations so abnormally really separtes him from most humorists. As a writer, I loved the way he could use the English language. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
That said, the structure of this...
Published on July 14 2004 by Jason Martin


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sedaris in top form, Sept. 3 2005
This review is from: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (Paperback)
One of the two funniest books I've ever read --- (the other was Jackson McCrae's "Katzenjammer"), DRESS YOUR FAMILY is a rollicking rollercoaster of a ride from cover to cover. The Sedaris family has center stage here. With mom, dad, four sisters, and a very masculine brother, each one is quirkier than the next. It's hard to tell how much is Sedaris' very keen powers of observation, and how much is exaggeration. I found myself cracking up at stories like "Six to Eight Black Men", "Baby Einstein" and "Monie Changes Everything." I often laughed so hard I received very curious stares from those around me. David Sedaris is not only hilarious and entertaining, but also a very talented writer who knows how to weave a story unlike any others. I highly, highly, as highly as anyone can, recommend this book for someone, anyone who needs a good laugh.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite authors, Oct. 24 2013
By 
R. C. Cooper (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (Paperback)
A funny, touching and totally engaging read, and a book I've given many times over as a gift to friends and family
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Enjoyment, July 12 2005
This review is from: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (Paperback)
"Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" is absolutely brilliant. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend: "Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules", "The Children's Corner", "Simon Lazarus", "Nightmares Echo" and "Running With Scissors".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bottom Line: Worth Buying!, May 5 2005
By 
Karla K (Kingwood, TX) - See all my reviews
Is this David Sedaris' BEST book? Maybe not. ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY must take that honor. However, after a rocky start I did enjoy this collection of witty essays from America's greatest (expatriate) humorist. In particular, "The Change in Me" struck that classic chord: it's an essay that can be read again and again, brilliant in only the way art can be (which is to say, magical). Two other books I'd like to recommend with DRESS YOUR FAMILY, is RUNNING WITH SCISSORS by Burroughs and THE LOSERS CLUB (Complete Restored Edition) by Richard Perez.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, Feb. 7 2005
I received DRESS YOUR FAMILY as a gift, and let me promise that you will not be at a loss if you read this book, it is light and helps very easily to bring you into his world of wonder and out of yours. This book is a great escape... it is hard for me to say that it is better than his previous books, however it stakes out its place and leaves its stamp... Full House was one of my favorite chapters in the book, so maybe read that chapter if you're unsure about the purchase...Other recommendations--------------------------Me Talk Pretty, Children's Corner by McCrae, The Daily Show
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dress Your Family is great fun, Dec 31 2004
Many of the pieces have to do with the author's family: either humorous childhood tales or present-day musings on the siblings's often tense and awkward relationships. There are, however, a few stories about Sedaris's exploits in rural France with his partner Hugh. Although the title, as far as I can tell, is never explained, it's probably along the lines of a similar horrors-of-childhood story from fellow memoirist Augusten Burroughs. Perhaps, by leaving it to our imaginations, Sedaris is implying that there are even worse stories about his family - stories so terrible that even he can't bring himself to tell them. So let's not try. It's enough to be glad that the author survived both his childhood and the 1970s, and lived to tell the laugh-out-loud funny tale. Bottom line: it's certainly worth picking up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Life, Humourous Look At It, Dec 14 2004
Thought the book tells of a difficult childhood, he does so with a bit of humor. Though you feel some of the pain in this autobiography, you don't have the chance to feel all of the pain. The reflections on himself are witty. A brilliant book to read!
Other memoirs to read include: Father Joe and Nightmares Echo
**Great season for great autobiographies!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yin and Yang, Oct. 19 2004
I've only wet myself on two occasions while reading something funny. The first time was with Sedaris's ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY (his best book to date, by the way) and the second time was with THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD. With this said, his DRESS YOUR FAMILY comes in pretty close to second place. I don't know much about Sedaris as a "performer" on radio or at Carnegie Hall, and I don't need to--he's funny enough for me in print. If you haven't discovered him, or, if you've only read one of his books, trust me, they're all great stuff. Just be sure you're not in public when you take one of them on or you might get embarassed.
Now, while he IS funny, there's also a dark side to his work. That's where humor comes from and Sedaris knows this, the way Buroughs and others know it (think RUNNING WITH SCISSORS). And this book has more darkness than his others, as if he's trying to purge some demon (aren't we all?) But this doesn't in any way detract from the humor. As a matter of fact, it compliments it.
If you're looking for a great book that will keep you warm by the fire this fall, you've just found it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll Enjoy It. Trust Me, July 22 2005
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The theme behind David Sedaris's latest collection is brilliantly simple: everybody's family is wacked-out...but only he is ruthless/unfeeling/blunt enough to drag his family into the limelight, revealing their private weirdness for anyone to see (even when they beg, plead, and command him not to - and he writes about that, too). "Oh, the stories I could tell," you say, rolling your eyes knowingly, in reference to a quirky family member - but you don't. David Sedaris does; that's why he's rich and famous, and you are not. It should be noted, however, that the author enjoys a hefty natural advantage: as it turns out, his family really is weirder than most.
In "The Ship Shape," Sedaris skewers his family's pretensions to summerhouse splendor - and how his father's legendary cheapness destroys their dream. After years of sun-worshiping vacations in rental houses, Sedaris's father proposes buying a beach house of their own. Though they should know better, the family believes him, and gets caught up in the whirlwind of beach house excitement. They practice nonchalantly dropping "my home - well, one of my homes" into conversation, and compile a list of whimsical, nautical beach house names. Ultimately, of course, they're crushed with disappointment, as their father rethinks the expense, and the imaginary summer home gets shaved down to a bar in the basement. (This is where my father would have said, "Don't get your hopes up, and you won't be disappointed.")
"Full House" follows a young David Sedaris forced into attending his first all-boys sleepover. Well aware that traditional male pastimes (cars, sports, girls) are of no interest to him, the author correctly predicts that he's in for a night of misery. For hours, the host's dorky parents dominate the party, trying with pathetic enthusiasm to be cool. But once they retire, the evening takes on an even darker aspect, as cards are brought out and strip poker proposed. Terrified of, ahem, exposure in a roomful of handsome, scantily-clad teens, Sedaris is forced to take desperate measures to avoid a lifetime of persecution. Can he successfully masquerade as a regular guy for the duration of the sleepover? Well, of course not. But it's funny to watch him fail.
"Six to Eight Black Men" starts off as a cursory examination of cultural differences, but quickly gets down to its real subject matter: the fact that in the Netherlands, Santa is accompanied, not by elves, but by a team of, yes, six to eight black men. This piece contains my favorite passage of the entire book: "The six to eight black men were characterized as personal slaves until the mid-1950s, when the political climate changed and it was decided that instead of being slaves they were just good friends. I think history has proved that something usually comes between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by cookies and quiet hours beside the fire but by bloodshed and mutual hostility." Ho, ho, ho!
"Blood Work" involves a situation we've all found ourselves in: unknowingly being summoned to perform erotic housecleaning in a stranger's apartment for money. As the homeowner's behavior becomes progressively weirder, Sedaris struggles to retain an air of normality (and finish cleaning the apartment); because the author is who he is, it doesn't even occur to him to either punch the guy in the face or simply walk out. Instead, he keeps his eyes on the countertop, and silently wishes for the inner strength of his family's stern-faced housekeeper. The explanation, when it comes, is one of those stranger-than-fiction things that defies probability - but also makes for one hell of a story.
Many of the pieces have to do with the author's family: either humorous childhood tales or present-day musings on the siblings's often tense and awkward relationships. There are, however, a few stories about Sedaris's exploits in rural France with his partner Hugh. Although the title, as far as I can tell, is never explained, it's probably along the lines of a similar horrors-of-childhood story from fellow memoirist Augusten Burroughs. Perhaps, by leaving it to our imaginations, Sedaris is implying that there are even worse stories about his family - stories so terrible that even he can't bring himself to tell them. So let's not try. It's enough to be glad that the author survived both his childhood and the 1970s, and lived to tell the laugh-out-loud funny tale. I loved this book, but try it for yourself. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an odd, compelling, funny novel I can't stop thinking about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just keep recommending this book!, Jan. 27 2007
By 
R. Hales (Toronto, ON) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (Paperback)
To describe this book as a series of autobiographical essays by David Sedaris is like describing a slice of decadent homemade cheesecake smothered in fresh macerated strawberries as "a chilled dessert" -- it's accurate, and yet it doesn't capture the experience.

David Sedaris seems to have an innate ability to seamlessly blur the line between fact and exaggeration as he takes the reader through a day (well, many days) in the life of himself, from childhood to adulthood. The stories in this collection strike a balance between pure entertainment and moral purpose as he openly acknowledges his own character flaws, limitations, and neuroses. Sedaris is a true storyteller, who I imagine is the type of fellow that calls up his good friends on a regular basis and opens the conversation with, "You'll never guess what happened to me today..."
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Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (Paperback - May 31 2005)
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