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Schöner Wird's Nicht
 
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David Sedaris
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Schöner Wird's Nicht

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  163,646 Ratings  ·  9,192 Reviews
"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art," (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.
Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from
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Published 2008 by Blessing
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Lyn
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 altogether likable persona of Sedaris. He may imp
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Dusty Myers
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 living; the whole "be on TV" part of it was something ...more
Majenta
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars.

"The houses looked like something a child might draw, a row of shaky squares with triangles on top. Add a door, add two windows. Think of putting a tree in the front yard, and then decide against it because branches aren't worth the trouble." (Page 27)

"...I referred to him as Sir Lance-a-Lot. 'Once is not a lot,' he said. This was true, but Sir Lance Occasionally lacks a certain ring." (Page 238)

Thanks for reading!
James
Jun 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Pretty One Day, there is little Funny and Original to enjoy fro
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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 Amy. Anyone who looks like this:

But prefers to get paid for
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Jason Koivu
Apr 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, humor
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 open about his personal issues. He has some OCDs and
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RandomAnthony
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 punch lines. Sedaris doesn't seem to be writing for p ...more
Brian
May 31, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
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 long gone. In their place we are left with essays ...more
Matthew
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 think I would recommend that someone start here if th
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V. Briceland
Jan 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 an army of NPR-head fans to squirm with delight at
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Shannon
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lulz
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-liners. He really is a very observant, intelligent, hil ...more
Maxwell
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 to work almost in tears from laughter. What I exp
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brian tanabe
Jun 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 particular (“That's Amore”) -- or rather a character in
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Ivonne Rovira
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 — always in pretty funny ways. While not as hilarious as
...more
Imogen
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 stuff, but I absolutely never think of him as an au
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Rae
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another exceptional work by Mr. Sedaris. Kept me laughing from beginning to end.
Alana
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Much more focus on his boyfriend Hugh or stories ti
...more
The Red Panda
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of humorous essays, a lot of which are extrapolated from Sedaris' diary entries, is mostly absolutely hilarious with the occasional poignant moment here and there.

I enjoyed this one a lot more than 'Me Talk Pretty One Day' and I think it's possibly because I read MTPOD on my Kindle and listened to WYAEIF as an audiobook read by the author. Hearing Sedaris deliver his material is a whole different beast from reading it yourself.

The only reason I haven't given this 5 stars is becau
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Niloo
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«لولهی گل» به جای رول اشاره کنم. و اینکه چقدر نتونستهبود اصطلاحات رو درست ترجمه کنه و متن ناخوانا شدهبود یه جاهایی حتی!

فضای خود کتاب هم کمتر دوستداشتنی بود برام. این بار بیشتر درباره زندگیش با هیو بوده تا پدر و مادر و خواهراش و نمیدونم واقعا همینقدر کمرنگ
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Erin
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 maturation I see happening in his work, but I won't. N
...more
Valerie
Apr 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
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 one felt a little recycled, and I was ready to be do ...more
britt_brooke
“The things I've bought from strangers in the dark would curl your hair.”

Continuing my audio David Sedaris rereads. I’m not sure what’s more fantastic, Sedaris reading his dark and often hilarious stories, or this van Gogh on the cover.
Shelly
Aug 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
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 noteworthy. One chapter is about a boil he had that his pa ...more
Selena
Jul 31, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like shitty jokes
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 and from there someone will ask you to compile it
...more
Sam Quixote
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 I gave up frustrated. The solution to completing i ...more
Rob
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you thought "Dress Your Family..." was a misstep for Mr. Sedaris (or his publisher)
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 the feeling that it was a more personal werk for him, that he's a bit more exp
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David
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 spiders is merely grotesque).

True fans may enjoy th
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Eva
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oké, dit is vast vloeken in de kerk, maar ik vind hier echt niets aan. David Sedaris is een enorme zeur. Meer niet. Niets grappigs aan. Voor mij is het onbegrijpelijk dat hij zo de hemel in wordt geprezen. Maar ja, humor is zeer persoonlijk. Bovendien, als Sedaris een beetje lijkt op de persoon die hij beschrijft, dan is hij echt een bijzonder onaangenaam iemand. Dat maakt het lezen van dit boek echt een tergend langzame bezigheid....

-English-
Okay, this is probably frowned upon, but I really do
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Jessi
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.
Photobucket
(Other then the recommendation to not wear shorts apparently the skys the li
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N W James
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sedarians
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 Sedaris brood - Gretchen, Lisa, the Chicken and, of cou
...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #114 When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris 1 2 Sep 14, 2015 08:52PM  
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13,424 followers
David Sedaris is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist and radio contributor.

Sedaris came to prominence in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries." He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. Each of his four subsequent essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Fa
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“Sometimes the sins you haven't committed are all you have left to hold onto.” 1578 likes
“It's just a penis, right? Probably no worse for you than smoking.” 183 likes
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