Friday, August 17, 2012

When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris (audio)

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art," (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.
Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times).

My thoughts:
I guess I have been converted, I really enjoy Sedaris now.  A few weeks ago when I started his audio books I did so skeptically as I recall having an uneven experience the first time I read one, but now I am really enjoying his essays.  I think the audio version is more fun for me than if I were reading them on the page as I can listen to his inflections for each essay.  I think it would be hard to be a member of his family.  I hope his essays are exaggerated and he isn't really sitting around watching his boyfriend's elderly mother clean his apartment.  In earlier books he told lots of stories about the French classes he enrolled in both in the US and in France and now he is in Tokyo taking Japanese language classes and quitting smoking.  He talks about how he gave up drugs and alcohol.  One funny story deals with how different cultures react when he says "No thanks" to a drink, in the US people get apologetic for even asking while in Europe they suggest he just have one glass as a compromise.  He has come to see it is easier to accept champagne at a wedding and pass it along to Hugh than to go through even trying to decline it.  I a m now wondering if I may have listened to condensed version of his earlier books when I borrowed the boxed set, so i may go back and try them again to see if I missed anything.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316154680
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Pages: 336

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