If there's one thing that David Sedaris never fails at doing, it's making you laugh at even the most tragic family memory. Naked, Sedaris's second boo...moreIf there's one thing that David Sedaris never fails at doing, it's making you laugh at even the most tragic family memory. Naked, Sedaris's second book, is as heartwarming as it is side-splitting, giving you a vivid look at the American humorist growing up. Even though some of the essays drag on longer than they have to, you're never bored. The worst thing that can come from reading a David Sedaris book as good as this one is realizing how boring your life is in comparison.
I've liked David Sedaris for a while, now. I've caught his essays in various magazines, I've heard him speak, and I've seen interviews with him. I've...moreI've liked David Sedaris for a while, now. I've caught his essays in various magazines, I've heard him speak, and I've seen interviews with him. I've always found him very funny and quick-witted, but I've never sat down and read one of his books.
When You Are Engulfed In Flames is not as side-splittingly funny as Mr. Sedaris's previous works, but that in no way detracts from its incredible genius. For such a neurotic, self-depracating man as himself, he is just so inherently likable. From the first to the last page, you find yourself completely enthralled by all of his hilariously ordinary adventures across the world.
This particular collection of essays revolves around the theme of death and dying. Growing into middle-age finds Mr. Sedaris reflecting on his life: the events that formed him into the man he is today, and the events that continue to unfold around him. Topics include (but are definitely not limited to) bi-curious truck drivers, modern art, living across the street from a supposed pedophile, rude passengers on airplanes, the continued absurd adventures between Mr. Sedaris and his long-time boyfriend Hugh, and the pains of quitting smoking.
The sardonic tone and deadpan delivery that made Mr. Sedaris famous still feel just as fresh and funny as they always have. Though it's not as laugh-out-loud-funny as a lot of his previous work, When You Are Engulfed In Flames is funny in a quieter, more personally identifiable way.
As I'm sure my friends and family are well-aware of, Stephen King is among my all-time favorite authors, and this boo...moreWhat a beautiful, inspiring book!
As I'm sure my friends and family are well-aware of, Stephen King is among my all-time favorite authors, and this book just helps to reinforce why he became a favorite in the first place. In On Writing, King speaks like a good friend, beckoning you to the next page to listen to the sometimes hilarious, sometimes frightening, and sometimes heart-wrenching stories of his life.
And if the autobiographical material wasn't enough, King also includes a long section about how to improve your writing: useful tips and suggestions that really make a good deal of sense.
There's something for everyone in this book: whether you love King, hate King, or are completely indifferent, you will find yourself completely absorbed by his anecdotes and his writing tips. One of the best, most useful books I've ever read.