When You Are Engulfed in Flames

By: David Sedaris

This was not my first go-round with David Sedaris. I read his “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” a few years ago and thought it was hysterical. Therefore, when my mom passed along this book, I took it more than willingly and moved it high up on my reading list. Although the front cover threw me a bit, I quickly reminded myself that it was simply Sedaris’s quirky style.

This book is a set of short stories that are taken from many different points of Sedaris’s life – both younger and older. I really can’t go much into plot, since each chapter is a brand new story with a new theme or focus. The common thread between them all is that they are laugh-out-loud funny. No seriously, the people next to me on the train (I was reading it during 3 train rides) must have thought I was a nut to be laughing so much at a book. Instead of thinking I was crazy, I told myself they were simply looking at my book jacket so they could jot down the title and buy the hysterical book for themselves.

Sedaris’s style and voice is so unique, quick and witty, that you can’t help but feel like you are good friends with him and he is confiding in you about these ridiculous stories. I also decided that I must meet him and am hoping he’ll release a new book and have a book signing in NYC soon. I want him to be my friend.

Simply put – read this book. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably end up wanting to buy or borrow all of his other books too. My only word of warning: this book is not for the modest or timid person. Sedaris lays it all out there, so expect the unexpected. And laugh it up!


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