Sunday, November 8, 2009

CBR Book #4: When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.

I know I already reviewed a Sedaris book, but I promise this will be the last one for this Cannonball Read cycle. Probably.

This series of essays deals mostly with smoking, learning to speak Japanese, and worms peeking out of the legs of people. Sedaris, as always, may begin an essay that makes you feel he's moving you in one direction only to end with something you didn't see coming. "Keeping Up" is a perfect example of this. Sedaris opens by telling us about tourists regularly arguing outside of his office window. This leads to the argument that David and Hugh usually have while vacationing. That leads to a desire to see a real live dingo in the Australia zoo. This leads to Sedaris, out of breath and contemplating how he will leave Hugh. In the end, Sedaris realizes that he would be lost without his loving boyfriend and all of the things that he does for him

Another favorite essay is "That's Amore". Hugh and David move into a new apartment and meet Helen, an old broad with a mouth nastier than a Pajiban's. Helen and David become what you might call friends. It's a story that is at times heart-breaking and hilarious. You've also probably never wanted to smack an old lady in the face so badly, followed by hugging her evil ass.

In conclusion, READ DAVID SEDARIS. Thank you and goodnight.


  1. sweet review! i was just telling AvB i needed to read a sedaris, any sedaris available.

  2. I think it may be impossible to choose a bad David Sedaris book. Since the holidays are nigh, you may want to start with Holidays On Ice. I did!

  3. he is my favorite author and personal hero and that was also my favorite story out of the bunch

    btw i also love jim of the office fame. he reminds me of my ex-husband, except for the assholey part