Posted in Book Reviews

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

David Sedaris

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My first encounter with David Sedaris was his most recent book, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. I listened to the audiobook version, which was him reading each the essays in a variety of settings which had me laughing in stitches for hours. So, naturally, when I discover an earlier book by Mr. Sedaris for $3 at Books-A-Million, of course I picked it up. It took me a little while to get through the book, as it is one of many I was reading at the same time, but even just reading the essays myself I was in stitches. I would advise not to read in public unless you don’t mind being that crazy person who sits alone laughing loudly to themselves in public. I happened to be on an airplane. I didn’t mind. The way I see it, enjoying a book that much in a public setting is good publicity…and somewhat free publicity for the author.

There were some essays that really had me struggling to get through them, but for the most part, they were all enjoyable. I do not read a lot of non-fiction, but I find Sedaris’ slapstick, comical essays to be pretty entertaining. Each essay going into an example of his life that makes you feel like you are watching it happen.

If you are offended by anything, this might not be a good book for you. Part of me wants to attempt to contact Mr. Sedaris and ask him how much of these essays are real, and what is that added extra to pack an extra punch. Some of these essays really started out like the opening scene of an episode of Law and Order. Some essays left me wanting to find out what happened AFTER they ended. He talks about all areas of his life, from the drugs, drinking, smoking, his multiple relationships, plus his long term relationship with his current partner. I also wonder what his partner thinks about some of the details included about their relationship (no worries, none of them are inappropriate).

If you are looking for an entertaining read, then I suggest this book. And though I have only read two of Sedaris’ books, I feel pretty comfortable recommending any of them.


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