When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

It's early autumn 1964. Two straight-A students head off to school, and when only one of them returns home Chesney Yelverton is coaxed from retirement and assigned to what proves to be the most difficult and deadly - case of his career. From the shining notorious East Side, When You Are Engulfed in Flames confirms once again that David Sedaris is a master of mystery and suspense.Or how about...when set on fire, most of us either fumble for our wa...


Details When You Are Engulfed in Flames

TitleWhen You Are Engulfed in Flames
ISBN9780316143479
Author
Release DateJun 3rd, 2008
PublisherLittle Brown and Company
LanguageEnglish
GenreHumor, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Writing, Essays, Short Stories, Comedy, Audiobook, Funny, Biography, Biography Memoir
Rating

Reviews When You Are Engulfed in Flames

  • Dusty Myers
    2008-07-11
    Here's my take on Sedaris, or maybe my take on Sedaris before I listened to this book: Naked is easily his best work because it's his most thorough, his most unencumbered by his own fame. If we were to compare his oeuvre to MTV's The Real World, Naked is the original New York season (despite not being Sedaris's first book). In New York, the cast members were people already living in the city (with the Alabama exception) and trying to make a livi...
  • Lyn
    2011-08-01
    In our present culture, we sometimes write "LOL" meaning laugh out loud to recognize something is funny, but this is usually just a smile or an acknowledgment of a humorous situation. I can sincerely type LOL, or even ROFL, or LSHIS (laughed so hard I snorted). This is funny. Sedaris has a rare gift of relating a hilarious story or by simply telling a commonplace occurrence in a funny way. So why just three stars? In between the laughs is the not...
  • James
    2008-06-23
    Eh.That’s my review: eh.With maybe a shoulder shrug.Someone better read than I recently remarked something to the effect of, “Once you’ve read one David Sedaris book, haven’t you read them all?”Yes.And Kurt Vonnegut.And several others. But that’s neither here nor there.Sedaris’s recent book makes such a dismissive comment truer than ever. For readers familiar with Holidays on Ice, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and Me Talk...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2014-02-06
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/The funniest collection by David Sedaris that I’ve read so far. There just aren’t words to express how happy these books make me. Sedaris is by far my favorite humorist/essayist/columnist/whatever-ist you want to call him. His writing can turn my frown upside down and always leaves me laughing like a lunatic. My infatuation actually began with another Sedaris – David’s sister Am...
  • Jason Koivu
    2009-04-07
    When You Are Engulfed in Flames continues David Sedaris' cataloguing of the awkward moments of his life in humorous, memoir-like essays. Herein are more of his usual daily-life topics: getting to know the neighbors (I.E. the local child molester), his fascination with creepy shit, the annoying people that enter his life, relationship issues (poor Hugh comes in for it in this one!), his pet spider and a mish-mash of other stuff.Sedaris is very ope...
  • RandomAnthony
    2008-10-24
    You know, Montambo is right, this is Sedaris' best book. While earlier in his career the author seemed to go for easy laughs (Look at my brother! What an ass!) or convenient self-loathing something seems to have clicked this time around that transforms the work from magazine article quality to literature. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Sedaris sounds like a real writer in this book; the essays flow unforced and genuine insight accompanies the pun...
  • Brian
    2008-05-31
    After reading Sedaris' previous collection, I began to suspect that he had mined all of the material he could from his family and the earlier hard times he experienced. It appeared he was now left with the task of finding hilarity and poignancy in the life of a rich, celebrated author. "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" confirms that his days of dressing as an elf, picking apples, and hitch-hiking cross country with an incomplete quadriplegic are ...
  • Matthew
    2013-01-08
    3.5 or maybe 4 - rounding up because I was entertained. Not my favorite Sedaris. This one seemed to be darker and more serious than the others of his I have read (includes some artsy filler stories). There were some of the usual amusing tales - most of which in this book took place in France or on an airplane. The last 1/3 of the book (or so) was a cross between what it is like to live in Japan and being a smoker from start to finish. I don't thi...
  • V. Briceland
    2011-01-04
    Dear Mr. Sedaris,First off, I understand that you live in France. With your boyfriend. In France. Where they speak French, because it's France. Thank you for reminding me you live in France, with your boyfriend, where they speak French, with funny French accents, and funny funny French words, with their French ways, every ten to twelve pages. Else I might have forgotten you live in . . . wait, where was it again?No, seriously, I'm glad you have a...
  • Shannon
    2008-04-26
    I don't quite get the people who say this isn't as funny as his other books- I thought it was plenty funny. The comment about having a 400 dollar sweater that looked like it had been thrown to a tiger and thus was already ruined and incapable of being further ruined.. that made me laugh. And saying a cracker tasted like penis. And lots of little one-liners. But what's really awesome about his stuff is that it's MORE than just a bunch of one-liner...
  • Maxwell
    2016-01-26
    The reasons that this didn't get a 1 star from me are because 1.) I didn't actively dislike anything about it, I just found it boring and 2.) David Sedaris' narration is great. Actually, his narrating is probably one of the only things I did like about this book.As an avid listener of NPR's This American Life, I have, from time to time, heard stories from David Sedaris and found them highly enjoyable. So enjoyable, in fact, that I've been driving...
  • brian tanabe
    2008-06-11
    When I first saw this in a bookstore I thought to myself, can he do it again? Is there more scrapable hilarity clinging to the walls of his interesting life, fit to amuse and entertain his many fans? Sedaris does in fact do it again and apparently there's an endless well of funny stuffy, a font of hilarity, within this man.This is another great collection, on par with his other works for all the Sedaris fans out there. There is one story in parti...
  • Ivonne Rovira
    2015-07-23
    I have adored the hilarious David Sedaris from his very first readings on NPR. And nothing in When You Are Engulfed in Flames makes me adore him less — not even his ultra-competitiveness with children and his cavalier attitude towards cancer. When You Are Engulfed in Flames explores the give-and-take of long-term relationships, some objectionable neighbors, the struggles of quitting smoking or learning a new language, and Japanese society — a...
  • Imogen
    2008-06-10
    When I am not reading David Sedaris, I am thinking: David Sedaris, man, there is a popular guy whose books are kind of just always around and not very interesting. But when I *am* reading him, I'm always like, there are five or six absolutely brilliant punchlines in every one of this guy's books, and the other parts are, y'know, enjoyable enough. I think it's a testament to my always forgetting how much I like him that I guess I've read all his s...
  • Rae
    2017-10-01
    Another exceptional work by Mr. Sedaris. Kept me laughing from beginning to end.
  • Alana
    2008-06-12
    While I certainly won't call this the best David Sedaris collection that you can purchase for yourself, I will say that any David Sedaris is worth reading -- and thus, my star rating. It would probably be more like three and a half if Goodreads did half stars the way LibraryThing does, but ah well.The observation I have for this collection is that with Mr. Sedaris giving up drinking, drugs, and smoking... his stories seem to be a bit more tame. M...
  • Niloo
    2017-06-30
    برای منی که اینقدر طرفدار دیوید سداریسم اصلا خوب نبود.تو کتابفروشی یهو دیدم دیوید سداریس! اسم کتابی که ندیدهبودمش ولی ترجمه پیمان خاکسار هم نبود. و چقدر بد ترجمه شدهبود. برای مثال باید به «تجاریِ ممتاز» به جای بیزینس کلس یا «دههی هفتاد سالگی» یا«لول...
  • Erin
    2008-08-12
    Some people find that after reading one or two of Sedaris's books, he becomes less ha-ha funny. Maybe they get used to his style of humour. Maybe there's a golden order in which to read them (personally, I find chronologically by publishing date works well). Maybe there is a slight advantage to hearing him speak in person. I tend to read him while imagining how he'd say it, and immediately a dry sentence comes to life.I could go on about the matu...
  • Valerie
    2008-04-26
    When I first started reading this book, I found myself disappointedly thinking that it was just more of the same from David Sedaris - stories that either make you laugh out loud or make you cringe (or more often both). Don't get me wrong - he's still funny - but I was expecting more from this one... some evolution in style or content. I liked his earlier books because they were more raw, the stories a bit more unexpected. The beginning of this on...
  • Shelly
    2008-08-30
    I think the honeymoon is over. Or, maybe I'm just too hard to please. Wait, I don't think those are mutually exclusive. In any event, I was let down. This collection of stories/anecdotes seemed more blog-worthy than book-worthy to me. It gave me the sense that he was under pressure to put another book out. To say something. So he follows the formula that's worked for him so well only this time the content's not nearly as entertaining, or notewort...
  • Rob
    2008-06-07
    A solid ★★★★ and damn near close to ★★★★★ that we'll settle for ★★★★. But then again, I'm a serious Sedaris fiend.When You Are Engulfed In Flames makes Sedaris' previous collection, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim , seem like a disaster, a complete train wreck. Which is unfair because I think that Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is a strong collection with some exemplary essays. And also because I get th...
  • Selena
    2008-07-31
    I'm one of the few people in this world who does not think that David Sedaris is funny or deserves the critical acclaim that he has received for his various endeavors.His stories are not particularly funny or clever. I feel like anyone could be a David Sedaris. Sit some asshole down and tell him to write something remotely funny in a memoir kind of way, and there you have it: David Sedaris. The New Yorker will publish it at first in short stories...
  • David
    2008-10-31
    This new collection of essays by David Sedaris is unobjectionable, but fails to come anywhere near the hilarity of his best effort, "Me Talk Pretty Some Day". Most of the pieces remind one of "Seinfeld", being about nothing but the author's particular neuroses. Which range from being moderately entertaining ("Memento Mori", buying a human skeleton and its aftermath) to weirdly offputting ("April in Paris", in which the author's fascination with s...
  • Sam Quixote
    2011-12-04
    Is there anyone better to read when you want to relax and laugh a bit, than David Sedaris? I still think "Santaland Diaries" is must-read material for this time of year and "Me Talk Pretty One Day" is one of the funniest books I've ever read, full stop. So it's a given that when he publishes a new book I have to buy it immediately. I know, "When You are Engulfed in Flames" came out in 2008, this is 2011, but I did try and read it 3 years ago but ...
  • Jessi
    2011-09-12
    The first time I had ever heard David Sedaris was when he once appeared on Letterman and read an essay about a "Stadium Pal" the perfect accessory for a sports fan or full time trucker. Basically a catheter like situation that flows into a bag that is "conveniently" taped to your calf. It is for when you just don't want to get up and go to the washroom, you can pee into this sac and deal with the urine at a later time. (Other then the recommenda...
  • N W James
    2008-05-12
    I didn't care much for Sedaris' last book, Dress your family in corduroy and denim. It felt forced, his embellishments more absurd to the point where I felt it was obvious which events actually happened and which were invented to make the story more interesting. When You Are Engulfed in Flames was calmer in tone, more believable and felt less deadline inspired. Most of the stories revolve around the author and his partner, as opposed to the Sedar...
  • Lord Beardsley
    2013-01-18
    I was pretty disappointed with "Dress Your Family...". After reading it, I was a little concerned that Sedaris was feeling a bit stuck as to how to proceed with his writing. So, I waited a while to read "When You Are Engulfed," and it was worth the wait! It felt like the author has grown in confidence and voice, also in allowing vulnerability in and seems to be extending himself beyond tales of his childhood (although those abound). It's not a hu...
  • elisabeth
    2017-09-27
    yep, another Sedaris books that gets a 5 star rating from me...what a surprise! the truth is, nothing right now makes me happier than getting to read one of his books, and this book was no exception to that rule. I know that his writing style and the thing he finds funny aren't for everyone, but damn it! I just find it all fascinating. why can't I go into a forensic pathologist's office, or have a slightly mental yet hilarious neighbour or have n...
  • Kim
    2013-09-01
    I flummox myself. Onomatopoeically, that totally fits. It happens often and the internal struggle is staggering. This happens out in the open, usually on a crowded sidewalk or bus or subway or stoplight. I find that I will mouth the argument much to the annoyance of people who need to walk around me or stand next to me or wait behind me. Sometimes I think I'm deep...this Denny's bottomless cup of coffee of enlightenment, sometimes I think I'm jus...
  • Madeline
    2009-08-07
    My favorite Sedaris short story collection so far, mostly because it features more of his boyfriend Hugh, who I'm sort of in love with. "...I headed straight for the vase of wildflowers sitting by the phone on one of the living room tables.Hugh had picked them the previous day, and it broke my heart to think of him marching across a muddy field with a bouquet in his hand. He does these things that are somehow beyond faggy and seem better suited t...