Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris

This was my second trip into the world of David Sedaris and it did not disappoint :) I listened to most of this on our mini vacation to Fort Lauderdale and even my husband enjoyed it.

When You Are Engulfed In Flames is another collection of essays/short stories from David Sedaris' life, all of which are not short on ironic humor. I really loved the story about an unfortunate plane ride when he accidentally coughed his lozenge into the lap of his already perturbed seat neighbor (luckily she was sleeping). And I never knew that French birds would attack your house unless you put pictures of human faces in the windows (he used record jackets, lol). Valuable info if ever there was any. My favorite of all was the story of when he tried wearing a bow tie to see if it "fit him." The best description of this choice is a quote from a friend of his, "The bow tie is like the pierced eyebrow of the Republican Party." lol So true.

Almost the last half of the book is devoted to his story of when he quite smoking. He tells of his life while he smoked, then how horrible it became to travel as a smoker in the 1990s and beyond. He eventually quits not for the health reasons behind it, but so that he can stay at the Four Seasons again, lol. He read that it helps to quit if you change up your normal routine, but being a writer who doesn't have a set work place or time, he decides to live in Japan while he quits. I LOVED his account of Japan, and since my sister is living in Tokyo right now it was particularly meaningful. His description of Japan is really interesting. I would recommend reading this book if only for this final section. Even though it's humorous, it really gave me a new viewpoint to addiction in general and how the non-addicted world treats them.

I very much enjoyed this book and it solidified David Sedaris as a writer I would happily read again and again. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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