When You Are Engulfed in Flames

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

Book - 2008
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"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 toTokyo 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
The Man in the Hut
Of Mice and Men
April in Paris
Old Faithful
The Smoking Section
Publisher: New York, NY : Little, Brown : 2008
ISBN: 9780316143479
Branch Call Number: 817 Se27w
Characteristics: 323p


From the critics

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This is a series of very dry, funny anecdotes. Sedaris starts on one topic, but then blindsides you with something only marginally related to the original story. It feels fresh, with a touch of that Kurt Vonnegut charm on the side.

Jun 03, 2015

Best David Sedaris book. Love it!

Dec 15, 2014

Seriously funny! Brilliant comedy act.

Aug 17, 2014

The book began with a very graphic description of a woman who was full of worms. The author then described a time when his pubic hair was full of lice.
That was enough for me. What a horrible book.

Jul 26, 2014

If you're looking for an easy read that will make you cry laughing, check this out.

huntz1ba Sep 21, 2013

Sedaris has an off-the-cuff humor style. I found this book hilarious and liked the memoir style more than his essays.

Sep 12, 2013

David as usual, is far too funny not to be a real person. That he is willing to admit the not just some of things about himself that most of us would be ashamed to but all of them, makes his literature absolutely hilarious!

kelly9601 Aug 17, 2013

I had heard it was good and really wanted to like it, but I found it difficult to identify with Sedaris' privileged life. I put it down after two or three chapters.

gottschalk Jun 19, 2013


AKOCH501 Aug 27, 2012

Great book! Don't read if you're trying to quit smoking though. It's hard for me to read about how great a cigarette would taste :)

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Feb 10, 2011

Nutty thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Feb 10, 2011

"Sometimes the sins you haven't committed are all you have to hold on to. If you're really desperate, you might need to grope, saying, for example, 'I've never killed anyone with a hammer' or 'I've never stolen from anyone who didn't deserve it.'"


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