When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
(Little, Brown, and Co., 2998, 323 pages)
I picked up this audio book for a long trip. I read other books by David Sedaris before and loved most of them. I really enjoyed this one. The book was read by Sedaris himself, what a treat!
When You Are Engulfed in Flames is a collection of 22 essays. In each essay the author tells a story that may seem ordinary but is actually super hilarious through the author’s meticulous observations and insightful reflections. He’s also not afraid of portraying himself as self-interested, difficult, and lazy at times. Here’s what he says about his boyfriend’s mother’s visits in the essay “It’s Catching”:
When Maw Hamrick’s around, I don’t lift a finger. All my chores go automatically to her, and I just sit in a rocker, raising my feet every now and then so she can pass the vacuum. It’s incredibly relaxing, but it doesn’t make me look very good, especially if she’s doing something strenuous, carrying furniture to the basement, for instance, which again, was completely her idea. I just mentioned in passing that we rarely used the dresser, and that one of these days someone should take it downstairs. I didn’t mean her, exactly, though at age seventy-six she’s a lot stronger than Hugh gives her credit for.
I also love the story on moving to Japan, quitting smoking and learning a new language. If you like a good laugh, check it out!