Monday, September 8, 2008

Books: When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

We have been reading David Sedaris for quite some time now, even before we knew about his contributions to NPR shows like This American Life. His caustic wit lends itself well to his short-essay format, perfect for a quick read or listen. We picked up the audiobook of his recent collection of essays, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, read by Sedaris himself, and settled in for a great listen.

We were not disappointed. Most of Sedaris' earlier works focus on his childhood and his ridiculous family. But it seems that he has exhausted his stories of alcoholism and fooling his father and has moved on to stories of his adult life, and especially living in France with his long-time boyfriend, Hugh. We enjoyed this different take on life, especially when they travel for Tokyo to help David kick his smoking habit.

Quick vote: If you like Sedaris' earlier work, you will enjoy When You Are Engulfed in Flames. If you did not enjoy Sedaris' earlier work, you will not enjoy this work. It's as simple as that. If you haven't ever read anything by him before, and you enjoy nonfiction essays that are funny and true, this is probably a good place to start. (Or with Me Talk Pretty One Day.)

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