David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestselling humorist Sedaris likes to test out new material on twice-a-year reading tours to get the rhythm and phrasing perfected before he puts them down on the page. This live recording of his October 22, 2002, reading at Manhattan's Carnegie Hall finds Sedaris performing seven hilarious new pieces and taking a few questions from his audience. As uproarious as Sedaris is on the page, he's even funnier reading his wickedly jaundiced reflections. With brilliant deadpan timing, Sedaris is a charm, whether being coaxed into purchasing his clothes in the women's department by his sister Amy ("I'm the guy in a crowded steak house removing a jacket with the label reading 'Sassy Sport'") or untangling the Dutch legend of St. Nicholas and his "six to eight black men" slaves/assistants or trying to explain to guests--in French--that his boss has a rubber hand. Sedaris reaches his pinnacle of hilarity describing his purchase of the "Stadium Pal," an exterior catheter marketed to "sports fans, truck drivers and anyone else who's tired of searching for a bathroom." He praises the "freedom leg bag" that conveniently attaches to the user's calf: "The bag can be emptied and reused up to 12 times, making it both disgusting and cost-effective."
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About the Author
David Sedaris lives in France and UK. Raised in North Carolina, he has worked as a housecleaner and most famously, as a part-time elf for Macy's. Several of his plays have been produced, and his essays are featured regularly on BBC radio and in THE NEW YORKER and ESQUIRE.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
David live is even more fun than David in print - he has a delivery style that is perfectly suited to his material, and has a way with a stutter, a pause and an emphasis that highlights his humorous material. This guy is a natural!
Primarily a look at family interactions (the bit with his sister Amy, which opens this reading, works on many levels - the interplay of siblings, the breaches of privacy, and that all too volatile mix of love and bickering), David knows how to play his subjects to the hilt, without forgetting that these are people worth caring about. Another tale involving sister Amy's pet parrot (who is a verbal copy of its owner) is both absurb and heart-warming, especially when the parrot goes on the attack.
The funniest tale (involving a device for bladder weary truckers) is gutter humor at its best. Raunchy to the extreme, this piece might be unlistenable if someone besides David delivered it. Instead, he fills the tale with a sense of awe and wonder, and his delight in the device is every infomercial watcher's sense of satisfaction when learning they haven't been ripped off this time.
Truly hysterical work from one of America's funniest writers.
As he proved with Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris is at his best when he's exposing cultural differences, as illustrated through language and tradition (especially religious customs, with all of the associated secular trimmings). From the questions he chooses to ask upon arriving in a new country (his first is always "what do your roosters say?") to his confusion with the languages that humans speak (the French use the same word for chef and boss), his unique perspective shines a different light on some very funny, if not always particularly significant, truths.
If you were moved to tears by his attempt, in French, to describe the basic tenets of Easter, you'll certainly feel the same about his description of the practice of Christmas in the Netherlands. Evidently, though the Dutch think the idea of Santa employing elves is freakish and disgusting, they see nothing wrong with a Santa who is assisted on his yearly journey by "six to eight black men" (according to tradition, they were once slaves, but now they're just Santa's close friends).
My only criticism is that two of the tracks are rereadings of excerpts from The David Sedaris Box Set (they're bonus tracks, originally taken from the Esquire article "Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie?," but they're on the Barrel Fever disc of the box set). Still, at least they're quite funny, so you don't mind hearing them again. You just might wish that the CD were longer and included only new material.
I LOVE this disc. Like many, I am very familiar with David Sedaris from his writings. Hearing him read it takes it to a whole new level.
I did want to mention one track which hasn't yet gained comment...the "Jewish Conspiracy" that is NPR. What could they have been thinking asking someone with David's sense of whimsy to write an introduction. I've no idea of the final version, but surely think they should have stuck with this! (I love Terry Gross, but she could use some lightening up).
Anyway, do get it. You assuredly won't regret it.
Most recent customer reviews
The only thing better than reading a David Sedaris book, such as Me Talk Pretty, Naked, or Barrel Fever, is listening to him. Read morePublished on July 3 2004 by Terry Terrance
Just hilarious! David pulls you right into the story with his delivery. He is an astute observer and flavors his writing with keen perceptions. Read morePublished on June 3 2004
It is taking me forever to get through this CD! I listen to audio books on my daily 2-hour commute, so I have plenty of time to finish this CD off in one day, but here's the... Read morePublished on March 13 2004 by Kurt R.
I have enjoyed Sedaris's writing for a number of years now, but I confess taht this is the first time I've listened to a recording of him reading them. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2003 by Javaman74
The Cd is awesome!!! I think it's great to hear one of my favorite author's voice when he reads his stuff!!! You really get the inflection of what he is saying!!! Read morePublished on Dec 9 2003 by Amazon Customer
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