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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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  •  
    Michael Fairfield, NJ, USA 12-02-08
    Michael Fairfield, NJ, USA 12-02-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "When you are engulfed in..."

    ...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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 06-15-08
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 06-15-08 Member Since 2004
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    "Good, but not his best"

    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.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Newark, DE, USA 04-07-10
    David Newark, DE, USA 04-07-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, though not what I expected"

    This was the first time I have listened to anything by the author. From reading the other reviews I figured that it would be a comedy or at least funny. It took me almost 3 chapters to figure out the authors sense of humor. Once I did, I did occasionally find myself laughing out loud. Overall a good book, but if you are looking for some easy humor/comedy this isn't the book for you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Plainfield, VT, United States 05-17-09
    Rebecca Plainfield, VT, United States 05-17-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Always interesting .........."

    I did not enjoy this quite as much as his other books, at times the balance between darkness and humour was slightly out wack to me. If this is your first Sedaris book try 'Naked', or 'Dress your family in courduroy'. If you are a confirmed Sedaris fan like me, you will still want to download this, and you will still get plenty of enjoyment from it, even though like me, you may not list it as your absolute favourite.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-27-09
    02-27-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Oh David!"

    I love this book. Witty and humorous. I am now going to download the super collection of David's work and give that a whirl!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith Newark, NJ, United States 11-12-08
    Meredith Newark, NJ, United States 11-12-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Loved this book!"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Poeller 08-10-08 Member Since 2002
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    "Classic Sedaris"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Chapin Maine 06-16-08
    Gary Chapin Maine 06-16-08 Listener Since 2008

    Accordeonaire

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He's mellowing, but so am I. Love it."

    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."

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Aurora, IL, United States 06-12-08
    Jason Aurora, IL, United States 06-12-08 Member Since 2002
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    "Not his best by a long shot"

    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.

    24 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea 06-23-14
    Andrea 06-23-14 Member Since 2013
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    "I love David Sedaris' narration, however..."
    Any additional comments?

    I loved listening to David Sedaris on an episode of This American Life so I looked him up and found his collection of books. I really enjoyed the book until half way through when they switched to a pre-recorded part where he spoke to a live audience. I feel it should be advertised that there was a live audience present in the background. I wanted to listen to a book- not a comedy show.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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