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When You Are Engulfed in Flames | [David Sedaris]

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

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 all over again. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 all over again.

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 account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris' sixth essay collection has been avidly anticipated.

©2008 David Sedaris; (P)2008 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

2008 Grammy Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album

"Older, wiser, smarter and meaner, Sedaris...defies the odds once again by delivering an intelligent take on the banalities of an absurd life." (Kirkus Reviews)
"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." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Carrollton, GA, United States 11-26-12
    Amazon Customer Carrollton, GA, United States 11-26-12
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    "Laugh out loud funny!"
    What did you love best about When You Are Engulfed in Flames?

    Sedaris' wry and matter-of-fact way of sharing his reflections and observations about the mundane hits at just the right balance of dismay, poignant reflection, and hilarity. His performance is spot on too. Highly recommend it for mature audiences.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Floyd AURORA, CO, United States 11-19-12
    Floyd AURORA, CO, United States 11-19-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Sedaris will improve my relationship with my mom"

    My mom is a Japanese immigrant - she relocated to the US in 1970 after marrying my father. She became a US citizen in the late 1980s. She is quiet, fiercely proud, and mind-bogglingly annoying. The joke in the family has always been that "mom expects us to read her mind." My mother's method of communicating, I know understand, is very Japanese. It is not what she says that is important but what she doesn't say. She tends to attribute her circuitous style of communication to her lack of command when using English. This book provided a profound insight to me, "Japanese is a language of listening, rather than talking."

    Sedaris' insights into living in Japan brought back to wonderful memories of my own childhood, and my first trip to Japan in my late 20s. While the book does not solely focus on Sedaris' experiences in Japan, these segments were the most engaging for me.

    As per usual, his self deprecating humor made me laugh out loud on my commute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MSG Tucson, AZ 10-12-12
    MSG Tucson, AZ 10-12-12 Member Since 2015
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    "My first and last David Sedaris book"
    What would have made When You Are Engulfed in Flames better?

    I doubt it can get better. The narration and overall attitude was depressing.


    What was most disappointing about David Sedaris’s story?

    He comes across as a incredibly depressing, pathetic, negative, and condescending individual.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Sedaris?

    Anyone that does not have a nasally, whiny, and annoying voice, like David's.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None that I can remember. Oh wait, it ended. That was the best part!


    Any additional comments?

    If I did not make myself finish all the books I purchased I would have stopped listening to this one early on. I would probably give is 1/2 star if I could since it seemed to understand the basic English language, and I guess that should count for something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tebbe Asheville, NC, United States 08-20-12
    Tebbe Asheville, NC, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2012

    Tebbe

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    "This is a true inner vision to his the life of Dav"
    What made the experience of listening to When You Are Engulfed in Flames the most enjoyable?

    His unabashed reveal


    What was one of the most memorable moments of When You Are Engulfed in Flames?

    The neighborhood in France


    What about David Sedaris’s performance did you like?

    the ability to laugh at himself


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did not care for the level of detail in the quit smoking stories.


    Any additional comments?

    this was not one of David's best but as a whole I would buy more and continue to listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Dartmouth, NS, Canada 07-09-12
    Leslie Dartmouth, NS, Canada 07-09-12
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    "My First Audible Listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of When You Are Engulfed in Flames to be better than the print version?

    This was my first audible listen and took me some time to convert from an avid book reader to a listener.Once I got into the cadence of David Sedaris' telling of these stories, I really enjoyed them and laughed out loud on many occasions. I will listen to this again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hugh. The cab driver. The cranky lady on the airplane....the list goes on.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    As most of my favourite scenes weren't PG, I dare not write those here. Suffice it to say, if I ever meet Mr. Sedaris I will ask him if his sister still owns 'that' magazine.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Helen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren HERNDON, VA, United States 06-20-12
    Lauren HERNDON, VA, United States 06-20-12 Member Since 2013

    32 year old female in the DC area with a terribly long commute and high standards for my audiobooks... I like science fiction, science, instructional, and humorous novels.

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    "David Sedaris FTW."
    What did you love best about When You Are Engulfed in Flames?

    I really enjoyed how this book flowed. Sometimes his collections of stories have a tendency to be just that: a collection of stories. This book flowed incredibly well and more than once made me laugh aloud.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy United States 05-22-12
    Cindy United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A National Treasure"

    All of Sedaris is wonderful, especially when you can hear him read it. Thank God for Sedaris and for Audible.

    I saw and heard him at a reading. Waited for 2 hours for an autograph. Would have waited for 4. He is a curious guy who makes everyone he meets feel special. He is interested in everyone and in everything. I think that quality makes him such a pitch-perfect author. Wow. I am so often just amazed at his ability. When, of course, I am not doubled over in laughter.

    Get this title and then sit back and relax.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Long Valley, New Jersey, United States 05-11-12
    Robert Long Valley, New Jersey, United States 05-11-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Laugh Out Loud, Literally"

    David Sedaris is one of the funniest writers of our time. I laughed out loud many times during this book and revisit it often for a pick-me-up. If you don't like Sedaris, you won't like this. If you like Sedaris, you will love this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Grayslake, IL, United States 02-28-12
    Stephen Grayslake, IL, United States 02-28-12
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    "If you like "This American Life"...."
    Would you listen to When You Are Engulfed in Flames again? Why?

    I would not listen to this book a 2nd time because the charm of the story is the unique way in which Sedaris' outlook on life is communicated. Once that perspective is heard, the surprise is lost.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would not have changed a thing.


    What does David Sedaris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thouroughly enjoyed hearing the author;s tale in his own owrds and inflections.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Prince George, British Columbia, Canada 02-13-12
    Julie Prince George, British Columbia, Canada 02-13-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Laugh Out Loud Funny"
    Would you listen to When You Are Engulfed in Flames again? Why?

    No, I probably wouldn't listen to this again. I never listen to anything twice.


    What other book might you compare When You Are Engulfed in Flames to and why?

    I would compare Tina Fey's


    Which character – as performed by David Sedaris – was your favorite?

    How David portrays his father is the funniest ever.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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