*A collection of personal essays - surprising, disarming, heartbreakingly funny - from the No. 1 bestselling writer Time named America's Favorite Humorist.
In David Sedaris's world, no one is safe and no cow is sacred. A manic cross between Mark Leyner, Fran Lebowitz and the National Enquirer, Sedaris's collection of stories and essays is a rollicking tour through the American Zeitgeist: a man who is loved too much flees the heavyweight champion of the world; a teenage suicide tried to incite a lynch mob at her funeral; and in his essays, David Sedaris considers the hazards of rewards of smoking, writing for Giantess magazine, and living with his scrappy brother Paul, aka 'The Rooster'.
With a perfect eye and a voice infused with as much empathy as wit, Sedaris writes and reads stories and essays that target the soulful ridiculousness of our behaviour. Barrel Fever is like a blind date with modern life - and anything can happen.
So often Sedaris's phrasing is beautiful in its piquancy and minimalism...His life is extraordinary in so many ways - the drug addiction, the eccentric family, the crazy jobs, the fame, the globetrotting - but one of the more unlikely achievements here is in making it all seem quite ordinary. Ultimately, his masterstroke is in acting as a bystander in his own story — Guardian
He makes me laugh so much. In an era when US satire is outpacing our own he's a sharp, humane and hilarious voice that never fails to make you smile - and sometimes weep. Apparently effortless humour is difficult, and precious. He's the real thing — James Naughtie, Radio Times
A deadpan, darkly comical portrait of the American underbelly . . . Sedaris shares something of [Alan] Bennett's detached curiosity, and they both have a thirst for amusement — Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
I don't very often find myself moved by a book to emit loud noises in public, but when I first read David Sedaris's essays and short stories, they made me laugh so hard I had to stop taking them on the tube. All his collections are good but 'Barrel Fever — is the best’
#NAME? — 'A satirical brazenness that holds up next to Twain and Nathaneal West’
New YORKER — 'David and Amy Sedaris have a deadpan delivery as ironic as the words they read. The two of them create a nuclear barrage of humour you could never replicate by reading this material on your own’