I usually love David Sedaris' work,and so I was was surprised how much I disliked this book. There were a number of stories that I feel were condescending to working-class people, immigrants, and southerners. Rather than having stories that make use of his usual funny,insightful observations, these works go to to some very nasty places. I don't consider myself easily offended and I definitely was excited to hear these stories. However, too many of them rely on skewering easy targets. I expected more than this lazy stereotyping from a talented writer like Sedaris.
I have heard so many good things about this particular book but I was disappointed. I didn't even get to finish the first download. There were parts that were funny but quite a few of them are quite crass. I'm not a politically correct person either but poking fun at others really turns me off - gay, black, white or whatever. I guess he can get off of it but I don't think anybody can get past making fun of anybody who's gay or lesbian the way he has poked fun at other groups of people in this book. I don't want to generalize so I don't want to state that this author writes in that type of manner all the time. I hope his other books are different.
I've been a fan of David Sedaris's work for some time, and this is definitely his strongest work. While not all the stories are winners, the ones that are turn out to be slam-dunks. His voice has developed over time, and now his way of taking a story around its meandering course and ending up with a surprising return to the central theme is delightful.
The Smoking Section is particularly well-done, with the arc of a smoker's life looked at from the perspective of one who does not leave the smoking world without missing quite a bit of it.
Not for the easily offended - but this is Sedaris, after all.
I'm a big David Sedaris fan but this one missed the mark. It seemed like he was really reaching to be funny, but much of it came off as dark and depressing. As I was listening I kept thinking, "not that funny." If you're new to David Sedaris, start with his book 'Naked'. Skip this one.
Listened and re-listened to this. Very enjoyable. Sometimes you have to wonder if these things actually happened to him or not -- I assume they are based on fact -- however, they are so perfect you can't help believing some of this is made up. The story about quitting smoking is great and the one about his baby sitter is unforgettable.
This is the ONLY audiobook I have ever downloaded that I simply couldn't finish, and I completed part1 so I gave it plenty of chance.
I have like Sedaris in the past ("Me Talk Pretty One Day") but this one has essays about the most boring and obnoxious characters that you wonder why you're wasting your time. And the whiny, whiny voice never lets up. The very worst, however, is occasionally when he appears to be speaking to an audience. It takes only seconds to realize the audience laughter is canned, with people laughing at anything he says, funny or not, and the intensity rising or falling as the controller turns the knob. A dead giveaway is that there is never a cough or sneeze or any other "normal" audience noise. This was so offputting that I just couldn't even focus on what he was even saying anymore. A definite non-recommendation.
I cried from laughter when reading and listening to Sedaris' earlier books. Many parts of Engulfed are humorous in only the way Sedaris can tell a story. The second half was somewhat morose and sometimes downright depressing. But that's not totally bad because it shows the author continues to evolve by showing his inner self. Don't skip this one but don't expect to LOL.