‘When You are Engulfed in Flames’ by David Sedaris


This is the sixth book in the author’s collection of personal stories and is the second of his that I’ve bought. Having heard a lot of his work on BBC radio, I got the audio version of this one, read by the author himself and which also includes a selection of live recordings from his lecture tours. Like everything Sedaris writes, this is a heady mix of funny, touching and thought-provoking tales. Covering such niceties as Japanese social habits, how to quit smoking and getting along with your neighbours, allowing him plenty of room to dig into the nature of relationships with friends and strangers. My particular favourites this time round would be the author’s friendship (or otherwise) with New York neighbour Helen (whose lack of political correctness had me in stitches) and the consequences of spitting a lozenge onto a fellow passenger’s lap during a plane flight. Also, his solutions to a certain crossword puzzle reminded me that sometimes it’s not good to drive while enjoying a David Sedaris audiobook.

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  2 comments for “‘When You are Engulfed in Flames’ by David Sedaris

  1. 03/03/2021 at 5:11 AM

    This sounds like an entertaining read/listen, Colin.


    • 03/03/2021 at 7:00 AM

      I think hearing him read is best as it adds another layer of humour to the books.


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