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.
I'm a big fan of Sederis and this book lives up to expectations although it's not as good as previous ones. That said, the last section, which is about his quest to quit smoking, is full of humor and very entertaining.
I thought this book was very funny. Although I did not enjoy every story, overall, the book was great. I can't imagine anyone else doing the narration.