I had never read or listened to anything by David Sedaris before this book and now I am hooked! I read the book before I listened to the audiobook. I actually enjoyed doing it this way because I had one idea in my mind of what David Sedaris was like after reading the book but then after I listened to the book, and heard his voice (he narrates it), I had a totally different impression. The audiobook brought him and his book completely to life. I never realized how preferable it is to have the actual author narrate the book. He really brought these short stories/chapters to life and provided an incredibly enteratining experience.
This book was outstanding. I mean classic Sedaris. If you are a fan of humor or just love having a story read to you Sedaris is the way to go. Observational humor at it best.
I've loved Sedaris for years, but find that I've grown out of the "Naked" era lunatic-kinder stories. "Fun with meth" isn't meaning much to me as I get older. These new stories show Sedaris changing also -- and I love it. His "boring" romance with Hugh (who I find charming) is not boring at all. The story in the zoo, chokes me up every time (I've listened to it three times). At fifty, it's completely right that Sedaris should be facing death and doing it not in a LOL way, but a LQtM way. Even in the more outrageous stories, I find myself chuckling, thinking, "Yeah, buddy, you got that right."
As a longtime fan of David Sedaris, and as an American with a dear friend who is an ex-pat in France, this book is not something I would have missed. But DS is not at the top of his game here. Anyone unfamiliar with his previous works would probably be turned off by this less-scintillating performance. I mean to say, it was very funny, but only for fans who are familiar with David's style, family and personal history, as this collection all presume at least that level of knowledge. The best essays are the readings recorded before live audiences, of which there are only a few. Worth a credit, but not one I'll be recommending to many other people.
I couldn't get more than 25% through this one. I've been a huge fan of his in the past but this one doesn't deliver. The stories are really boring and his passion in the reading was non-existent and just put me to sleep.
Maybe I love David Sedaris so much because I can see pieces of my family in his stories. This is life delivered with a brilliant satirical wit. If you are "PC", it's not for you but if you have an appreciation for witty storytelling, go for it!
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
Hysterical in many parts . . . great of course to hear Sedaris reading it himself.
...When You Are Engulfed in Flames
Whether or not you're a Sedaris fan you will surely enjoy this book. This was quintessential David S. with an added bonus. FUNNIER and MORE FULFILLING than any other! Real life experiences with real life reactions are the cornerstone of this witty dry comedy!
Love reading David Sedaris' stories, but listening is even better! But this is not the book to start with if you haven't read or listened to his earlier work yet. The earlier work is better, but this was still definitely good and had me laughing out loud while stuck in traffic.
His comedic timing and the parts that are recorded with live audiences. I've had the privilege of seeing Mr. Sedaris live twice and there's such energy and he changes up his delivery in response to the audience.
All of the ridiculous ones.
David Sedaris and I hold completely different values, but you can't help being charmed by his self-denigrating, wonderfully brutal honesty that makes his readers fall into a semi-infatuated state. He is the uppity underdog that we would all like to know. Great voice, only adds to the charm of being in the personal "in-club" of his own life. The cab-driver, porn-magazine chapter was a little too vulgar for my taste, but what a terrific summation of it all at the end. The bit about the baby-sitter is worth listening to REPEATEDLY. Thank you for adding some much needed light-hearted mess to my repertoire of reading.