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When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David…
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When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008)

by David Sedaris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,551214580 (3.89)205
  1. 00
    Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: These two nonfiction books deal with giving up a vice (alcohol and, to a lesser extent, drugs for Burroughs; cigarettes for Sedaris) and both do so with dark humor scattered throughout their memoirs. That being said, Sedaris's work is more funny than serious while the opposite is true for Burroughs's. Also, Sedaris's book is largely short stories/vignettes while Burroughs's follows a more traditional narrative. Both men are homosexual and that plays some factor in their books, although it's not the overarching story and/or theme.… (more)
  2. 00
    Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever by Joel Derfner (echo2)
  3. 00
    Fraud: Essays by David Rakoff (Cynara)
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» See also 205 mentions

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Sedaris, David
When You Are Engulfed In Flames

Nonfiction
Where else can you read about an assault with a cough drop, an abduction by a spider, and the boy scout motto, which isn't be prepared to ask people for stuff? David Sedaris does it again, globally.
Recommended July 2008
  dawsong | Jun 15, 2015 |
After living in Korea for over a year, I have seen many a Konglish phrase. I'll upload a photo album of what I've seen one of these days. And maybe then, I'll be able to come up with a list of book and/or chapter titles that I would like to use someday.

I can't say that I was overly enthralled by this collection of essays by Sedaris. There were definitely some laugh out loud moments, usually when his humor matched my own, or just when there was a paticularly absurd situation that would happen. But then there were also some situations that seemed almost...planned out. Maybe I should start writing about the random things that happen in my life, and then right about them. I'm pretty damn sure that I would plump up my life stories with exaggerations and dramatics galore. But that's just me.

It's an entertaining read. Not too heavy; pretty good to read during a flight. You'll most likely read about one of his many adventures on a plane while you're on a plane too. When you are engulfed in economy class. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
This was my first David Sedaris book I've ever read, and I liked it. He was funny, he was definitely witty, and his comedic timing was impeccable. The topics that he touched upon were death, mortality, love of his partner Hugh, quitting smoking, and humanity itself.

My favorite passages were when he talked about Hugh. I couldn't quite figure Hugh out, even after he was mentioned in one way or another in almost all of the essays. He seems like a great guy, though, somebody that you just want to be around. I can see why Sedaris writes with such love whenever he's brought up.

The essays flowed nicely to me, and I didn't get tired of reading it. I could see how people say that when you read one Sedaris book, you've read them all; I really should read a second book, though, before affirming that claim.

Final judgment: if I ever see another Sedaris book at Goodwill or a garage sale, I'm DEFINITELY going to snatch it up! ( )
  Proustitutes | Jun 11, 2015 |
I only read this because it came so highly recommended. After taking a great dislike to his Owls book, I considered not reading this but I saw it still on my list and gave it a try. This was much more enjoyable. At times, some of his writing problems which were ran through Owls reared their heads but then were quickly banished by a decent flow and some rather amusing stories. ( )
  dirac | May 6, 2015 |
this book was my first full exposure to Sedaris’s writing and it immediately reminded me of Jean Shepherd of In God we trust: All others pay cash fame ...but a mean-spirited and snide Jean Shepherd. As Morgoth in Tolkien’s universe created the orcs from the elves through untold millennia of forced evolution and dark breeding practices, so someone created David Sedaris from Jean Shepherd.

Sedaris is the orc version of Jean Shepherd.

Sedaris’s wit is evident in many places but about halfway through i realized that i did not like the man himself and i was beginning to see that much of his humor stemmed from a kind of muted disdain and whining sometimes fully blooming into outright contempt and assholishness.

i have to agree with other reviewers that maybe Mr. Sedaris has lost his orginal impetus for sharing life through writing and become Great and Powerful DAVID SEDARIS, Best-Selling Writer and Overlord of Snark instead of just plain old David Sedaris from New York. in other words, maybe he’s like the sitcoms that change after they become wildly popular, coasting on their laurels, phoning in storylines instead of producing something truly artful. in fact, one reviewer pointed to interviews in which Mr. Sedaris has said that he will now act out in certain situations purposefully to create something he can write about later.

the stories are interesting, mostly, but, in the end, i did not leave the book feeling nice or uplifted or as if i’d learned something. or that i was even satisfied and entertained. i felt snarky and bitter. whereas Mr. Shepherd can turn heartache, melancholy, and middleclass ennui into pure tongue-in-cheek joy, Sedaris just belittles it and snickers as he walks away. just like an orc. ( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Sedarisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colombo, MatteoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deggerich, GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richard, NicolasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sedaris, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316143472, Hardcover)

"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art," (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.
Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times).

Praise for When You Are Engulfed in Flames:

"Older, wiser, smarter and meaner, Sedaris...defies the odds once again by delivering an intelligent take on the banalities of an absurd life." --Kirkus Reviews

This latest collection proves that not only does Sedaris still have it, but he's also getting better....Sedaris's best stuff will still--after all this time--move, surprise, and entertain." --Booklist

Table of Contents:

It's Catching
Keeping Up
The Understudy
This Old House
Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie?
Road Trips
What I Learned
That's Amore
The Monster Mash
In the Waiting Room
Solutions to Saturday's Puzzle
Adult Figures Charging Toward a Concrete Toadstool
Memento Mori
All the Beauty You Will Ever Need
Town and Country
Aerial
The Man in the Hut
Of Mice and Men
April in Paris
Crybaby
Old Faithful
The Smoking Section

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collection of essays celebrates the foibles of the author's everyday life in France and America, from an attempt to make coffee with water from a flower vase to a drug purchase in a North Carolina mobile home.

» see all 8 descriptions

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