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Book Review: Barrel Fever (David Sedaris)

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A book of two halves.

Or, perhaps more accurately, 3/4 and 1/4.

I’ve heard David Sedaris reading his essays and have always found his stories honest, entertaining and sometimes quite raw, so I was looking forward to this book.

The first part of the book is a collection of short stories. I will admit I didn’t read all these. In fact I ploughed my way through one and a half before heading to the essays and the end of the book.

The short stories I read seemed ridiculous and pointless. Not funny; not entertaining; not believable. Yes, I know it’s fiction, so obviously not true, but fiction – no matter how outrageous – needs to be believable.

The essays, on the other hand, were everything I’d hoped for. I thoroughly enjoyed his amusing take on these personal stories.

I’ll definitely read more of his work but will be a bit more discerning about which book I buy next.

3 stars out of 5.

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