“When You are Engulfed in Flames”

July 21, 2008 at 12:17 am | Posted in Humor, Memoir | Leave a comment

David Sedaris has done it again.  When You are Engulfed in Flames offers that familiar blend of humor, pity, and horror that only he can produce.  You’ll be reading along and suddenly think, “How did he get into this situation, again?”  Sedaris is one of the few authors who has made me snort out loud while reading.  In fact, I read one of his essays aloud once, and became so paralyzed with laughter at one point that it took me a full 15 minutes to be able to go back and finish the sentence.  Even looking at the book was enough to set me off again, so finally I had to cover it up until I could regain my composure.

When You are Engulfed in Flames ranks right there with Sedaris’s earlier efforts.  Even the book jacket is funny, as it pretends to describe two alternate books before getting to the actual book.  This is probably the only thing you’ll ever read involving an attempt to get revenge on a lying limo driver, making the acquaintance of a pedophile, schizophrenic housemates, and lancing boils.  My mom would probably think that’s a good thing.  But if you haven’t read Sedaris yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.

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