Shelly 's Reviews > When You Are Engulfed in Flames

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
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's review
Aug 30, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 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 partner, Hugh, ended up popping for him. While I like gross, there's not much else to it. Speaking of Hugh, there was way too much of him. He's not nearly as entertaining or interesting as any of David's family members, particularly Amy.
The book's ending chapters take place in Tokyo. Which I found refreshing, it's a much needed change of scenery. And there are some really funny scenes that take place here. But for the most part this section drags. It's like a SNL skit that starts off funny and you're hoping will just go ahead and end on a good joke but instead it just keeps going--unable to figure out how to wrap it up.
I hate that I was disappointed. I really do love David Sedaris. This book just under-whelmed me. I will forever enjoy his p.o.v., and sense of humor-- but I think all his good stories have been chronicled so far.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 30, 2008 – Shelved
August 30, 2008 – Shelved as: memoirs

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Fred (new)

Fred I have been back and forth whether to read this or not-your review has helped, I think I'll pass

TODD I agree with your review, but I think it is less your idea of forced to put a book out and more well, here are all the magazine features I've done since corduroy and denim, hmm why not throw them together?

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