Clark, June 20, 2008 (view all comments by Clark)
This was my first book by David Sedaris and it did not disappoint. This book is humorous, Sedaris has a great outlook on life. I especially enjoyed the piece called "That's Amore." The old lady in that story is quite a character, read it and find out what I am talking about. Wrapping my review up, I'll end it by saying that I will be reading more from David Sedaris and that "When You Are Engulfed In Flames" deserves two thumbs up.
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mom says, June 18, 2008 (view all comments by mom says)
This is the author's best story collection I have read in years. If you are a fan, you will love this and if you've never read any of his essays, this is the perfect opportunity to dive in.
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FRED, June 9, 2008 (view all comments by FRED)
Not as strong as his other books. I found these stories to be a little forced-- like he had to write them to meet the terms of a contract or something. I had a couple of good laughs and had to read sections out loud to my wife, but overall I felt a little let down.
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Little Brown and Company -
Always a delight, never a disappointment, David Sedaris has come out with his finest offering yet. He has a deft touch, moving between sarcasm and sadness or, in this collection, between redneck babysitters and quitting smoking.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Sedaris, king of the poignantly absurd, triumphs in this sixth essay collection (after 2004's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim). There is less focus here on the Sedaris clan as a whole, though the various members make memorable and often hilarious appearances. In "The Understudy," the Sedaris siblings band together to battle the odious babysitter Mrs. Peacock, while in "Town and Country," Sedaris and sister Amy discuss what their father would be most offended to find on his daughter's coffee-table (hint: The Joy of Sex comes in a distant second). Leaving America behind, Sedaris also regales readers with his experiences around the globe, from sitting in a Parisian doctor's office wearing only his underwear in "In the Waiting Room" to warding off birds in the French countryside with record albums in "Aerial." In the collection's longest essay, "The Smoking Section," Sedaris recounts his three-month stay in Tokyo, where he successfully quits smoking and unsuccessfully attempts to learn Japanese. Sedaris records in "Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie?" his more glaring mistakes in life, but he should be satisfied with the knowledge that this latest endeavor is anything but." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review),
"Older, wiser, smarter and meaner, Sedaris defies the odds once again by delivering an intelligent take on the banalities of an absurd life....Just when Sedaris seems to have disappeared down the rabbit hole of ironic introspection, he delivers a cracking blow of insight that leaves you reeling."
"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."
In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, his sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing.
Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him once more. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine. From armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds to the awkwardness of having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a sleeping fellow passenger on a plane, David Sedaris uses life's most bizarre moments to reach new heights in understanding love and fear, family and strangers. Culminating in a brilliantly funny (and never before published) account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection will be avidly anticipated.
"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.
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