Sep 27, 2014

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

by David Sedaris

This was just what I was looking for. The book cracked me up on page 3 and I was laughing intermittently through the whole thing. Why have I never read any Sedaris before? His descriptions of everyday incidents and inner musings on them are simply hilarious. Yes, sometimes they made me cringe, and after reading his description of cadavers I am not at all sure I want to dive into Mary Roach's Stiff (been on my list for ages) but I certainly got my giggles again. This book doesn't have a plot, it's just a collection of little snippets from his life. Sometimes the segues surprised me, but they always wrap around again at the end of each chapter in a satisfying way. He goes into things like emnities with neighbors, awkward seating situations on airline flights, feeding a spider on his windowsill, buying a skeleton for his boyfriend, watching nature documentaries, the reactions people have when they learn he's gay, visiting Japan, taking language classes, attempts to quit smoking and so much more.

I don't really know what to say other than: do you need something amusing? Read Sedaris.
And: I'm going to pick up another book by this author whenever I see it.

Rating: 3/5       310 pages, 2008

more opinions:
Raging Bibliomania
Both Eyes Book Blog
Musing for Amusement
Blue Ridge Bookworm
Attack of the 50 Foot Book


bermudaonion said...

I love Sedaris, especially on audio!

Jeane said...

A lot of other reviews I looked at said the same thing- the delivery is great in audio. I have never really tried audio books but am tempted with this!

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

I really like David Sedaris in small doses -- like many essayists! Sometimes I get very anxious about the way he writes about his family and whether it is hurting their feelings, but usually I just skip those essays.

Jeane said...

Jenny- how do you know ahead of time if he is going to discuss his family? he jumps around so much between topics throughout each chapter, I'd never know if it was going to come up...

Trish said...

I LOVED this one on audio. I've read a few others since and haven't found them as funny. Glad you enjoyed it!