Customer Reviews for

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

Average Rating 4
( 397 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(185)

4 Star

(118)

3 Star

(61)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Comedy at its finest

Now, while I have heard a number of good things about David Sedaris' books, I have never actually read one before. Despite this, I was pretty excited about reading 'When You Are Engulfed in Flames', and I was not disappointed. Sedaris' newest book is a very funny collec...
Now, while I have heard a number of good things about David Sedaris' books, I have never actually read one before. Despite this, I was pretty excited about reading 'When You Are Engulfed in Flames', and I was not disappointed. Sedaris' newest book is a very funny collection of essays about ordinary everyday events in his life, or at least ordinary for him. All the stories in his book feel almost intertwined, possibly because they all to build up to a realization, almost like lessons he learned over time. Whether it is his realization that country spiders don't survive well in the city, or Sedaris eventually learning what makes one of his neighbors tick, Sedaris is very good at building a story over time. He can look at a number of events at different times and places, and see how he came to a better understanding because of these seemingly unrelated events. He also tends to make the simplest things seem more fun and exciting, such as quitting smoking. Not many people would decide to temporarily move across the world just to quit smoking. I think, in the end, David Sedaris is just skilled at comedy and story-telling in general. After all, isn't comedy just making the mundane amusing?

posted by Caelicoli on October 28, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A little disappointing

Maybe because I've read all of his other books I found this one a little disappointing. I only laughed out loud until I cried while reading one of the stories, while in the past much more frequently. But I will still keep reading whatever he writes, as I do enjoy his ...
Maybe because I've read all of his other books I found this one a little disappointing. I only laughed out loud until I cried while reading one of the stories, while in the past much more frequently. But I will still keep reading whatever he writes, as I do enjoy his skewed way of looking at life.

posted by 1024097 on December 12, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Hot mess

    I love David Sedaris, but this book is a DISASTER. It's hard to believe that he's the author. There are few things worse than looking forward to a new book by a favorite author and instead being sold a pile of garbage. It's not funny, it's not insightful. This book reads like Sedaris gathered up all of the stories he'd thrown away over years of writing- the ones too awful for anyone else to see, and then had them published to see if any of us were dumb enough to read them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    I don't even want to rate this.

    Only reason why? I need to post this.

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  • Posted February 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It's unfortunate that one star is the lowest rating you can give

    It's unfortunate that one star is the lowest rating you can give a book. This book is nothing short of pornographic. Sedaris stoops as low as anyone can, covering topics ranging from drug use and homosexuality to epic levels of erotic and perverted sex - including but not limited to bestiality.It is a sad example of today's "literature" and sadder still that this book and its writer have been touted as best-selling. What this book is, is testamony to just how desensitized society has become to the appalling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2009

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted October 22, 2009

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    Posted June 6, 2013

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