Book Review: When You Are Engulfed In Flames


David Sedaris Has Much To Say…


I needed a no-challenge, no-ARC, no book tour… just for fun read, just to break up the monotony of my reading pattern of late.  Thank God for Hachette!

I picked David Sedaris because I’ve heard so much about him through the grapevine.  His books are funny… I’m told.  Good, I can use a laugh.  What I didn’t expect was to be laughing, out loud, in public… how embarrassing! 

The Review:flames

Title:  When You Are Engulfed In Flames

Author:  David Sedaris

Author’s Website:

Publisher:  Little Brown, a Division of Hachette Book Group USA, Inc.

Publisher’s Website:

Type:  Short Stories, Non-Fiction

Number of Pages:  323 hardback

ISBN 13#: 978-0-316-14347-9

This is a very funny book filled with David’s short stories based on his personal life.  At the point that he writes about in his life in this book, he is living in Paris with his boyfriend, Hugh.  My biggest regret is not reading Me Talk Pretty One Day prior to reading this book.  I just have a feeling that there is a lot more behind the characters of his sisters and parents that would have further engaged me into the short stories about them in this book.

I do have some favorite stories in this book:  “It’s Catching,” “In the Waiting Room,” “Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle,” and “Of Mice and Men.”  The story in the U-Tube video above is from “Buddy, Can you Spare a Tie.”  David is the first to make fun of himself in every situation and provides a witty and clever view of human nature that most of us, by now, are immune to.  But, when you think about things… he’s right.  Believe me, there are a few things that I will think twice about before doing after reading this book.

Mr. Sedaris keeps the readers engaged, however not tied to the book.  I prefer this because it’s the perfect book to set aside when you need to get things done… and, you can slide right back into it without too many brain calisthenics. 

David’s writing is funny, smart, and a joy to read.  I admit, however, that I didn’t expect the looks that I’d get at the twins’ basketball practice… I must laugh really loud!

Sher’s “Out of Ten” Scale:

There is not really a book that I’ve read that I can compare this one to, for the purposes of a rating this book.  This is more than a book filled with short stories, it is a book based on the humor of human nature. As such, I can only really judge it based on my personal opinion… therefore, I am giving it an 8 out of 10.  

On the Library Thing & Amazon.Com Rating:  ♥♥♥♥

Where To Buy The Book:

Click here to purchase this book for $15.59 at Amazon.Com

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4 Responses

  1. Wrighty

    December 11th, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Good for you! I had to do that recently too. I needed to read something that was just for fun – no deadlines, reviews or contests. I don’t want reading to turn into a chore. I haven’t read Dave Sedaris’ book yet but I’ve heard it’s really good. He’s a funny guy. You have a great blog. Happy holidays!

  2. Kathy

    December 12th, 2008 at 6:17 am

    I just started listening to the audio of this last night and I’m finding it hilarious. Thanks for your review.

  3. Dawn

    December 12th, 2008 at 7:50 am

    I posted my review of *Holidays on Ice* earlier this week. It was the first Sedaris I’ve read.

    I enjoyed it, and I think that an audiobook format or seeing him perform live would be hysterical.

    I’ll add *When You Are Engulfed in Flames* to my list for when I need a good laugh.

  4. Shana @ Literarily

    December 13th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I actually checked this out from the library a few months ago but had to return it without reading because of lack of time. I’m really looking forward to reading it though. I’m glad you got some good laughs from it, Sher!

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