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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

4.2 (4028 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kelley CA, United States 06-18-08
    Kelley CA, United States 06-18-08 Member Since 2006

    Lover of ideas who feels no guilt at all about her pleasures.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Smokin'"

    A new book is always a little scary to the author's fans. You've so been looking forward to it and it would just be terribly sad if it stank.


    I'm happy to report that there is no stank on this book at all. If anything, I think his writing has gained in depth without losing a fraction of its wit.

    And those who believe authors should not read their own work are right about just about everyone except David Sedaris. There's a reason people line up to see him.

    I just wish there was more Paul in this book. The brother appears in a perfectly crystalized cameo that just makes you ache for more.

    It is otherwise wonderful. Add to cart immediatement.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas United States 10-01-09
    Thomas United States 10-01-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Exceptional!"

    This was my first exposure to David Sedaris... I've been looking at this book in the book store for several weeks and am very glad I made the choice to listen to it read by the author. I agree with many of the other reviewers, side splitting funny. But if you're homophobic, sexually squimish, don't understand or recognize irony or satire, can't read (listen) between the lines you may fall into the territory of the two or three reviewers who didn't like this book... I was sorry to see (hear) it end and believe that Mr. Sedaris has some of the most unique insight of my generation.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-17-08
    06-17-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Still Giggling"

    I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time. No other narrator could have pulled it off with such charm. David Sedaris made every word amazingly believable.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-24-12
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2006

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You Must Hear Him Read This!"

    Those who have encountered David Sedaris on Public Radio know that his voice is unique, and hearing it is a deciding factor in enjoying his work. So, when a book comes out, I immediately go for the audio version. It's one of the rare cases in which hearing the author read his own work is preferable to hearing another professional narrator.

    Some of his other books are better than this one - notably "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and "Holidays on Ice". But, there are laughs aplenty here and the usual quirky, cynical outlook on life. Cynical isn't always my cup of tea, but Sedaris definitely is!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holley Albuquerque, NM, USA 04-07-09
    Holley Albuquerque, NM, USA 04-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read with caution!"

    David Sedaris is hilarious; never read or listen while eating as choking hazards increase dramatically. Wonderful mind, great reading voice!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Golden, CO, USA 03-06-09
    Brian Golden, CO, USA 03-06-09 Member Since 2008
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    "outstanding"

    David Sedaris' best work yet. Could he be any funnier!? I loved this book so much that I ordered more of his work but this was by far my favorite.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Pittsburgh, PA, United States 09-15-09
    Lisa Pittsburgh, PA, United States 09-15-09
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    "A Brilliant Story Teller"

    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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 06-03-09
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 06-03-09 Member Since 2007

    notthe1

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    "Another great entry in the Sedaris ouvre"

    Hysterical in many parts . . . great of course to hear Sedaris reading it himself.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Long Beach, CA 12-18-08
    Cheryl Long Beach, CA 12-18-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Are you sarcastic?"

    You have to have that kind of sense of humor to fully appreciate this book, and I do. I actually found myself laughing uncontrollably while food shopping. I’m sure people thought I was pretty unstable, but I couldn’t help it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada 07-13-08
    Joseph Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada 07-13-08
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    "A more sombre Sedaris"

    I wished I liked this as much other reviewers but the fact is I didn't find this as funny as other Sedaris titles I've listened to. Don't get me wrong there were still plenty of bits that had me suppressing laughs on crowded buses and David Sedaris is a perfect narrator...That said there were lots of essays where I wasn't sure if he was going for humour or more serious writing and if it was supposed to be serious it didn't work for me.
    I don't see a lot of humour in his relationship with Hugh, his love of spiders or his friendship with the village pedophile. I would suggest listening to some of his earlier books before this one.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
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