Monday, September 12, 2011

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

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 the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. 

In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times).~~synopsis from Goodreads

Ok, I went into this book sure that I would not like it. It was a selection for my book group, definitely NOT selected by me. The cover really put me off, I had NO idea who David Sedaris was, AND it was a book of essays. What? We aren't supposed to read ESSAYS in our book group! How can we talk about a bunch of different stories?

I started plowing through the book. Okay, so this guy is a little funny, I'll give you that. So I kept reading - I always try to finish the books we select. Somehow I happened to find a video on YouTube of Sedaris reading the very essay I had just read. OMG, hearing him read his own work was hilarious. I guess I just wasn't reading them 'right'.

After that I was able to really get into the book and thoroughly enjoyed it! I was able to hear his 'voice'. And we had so much to talk (and laugh) about when we discussed the book. It helped that we had plenty of good food and good wine too. 

As an aside, my book group went out to dinner to discuss Sedaris' book. Well, a local gentleman who has his own vineyard (and who happens to be loaded, money-wise) came into the restaurant while we were enjoying our drinks, before ordering dinner and discussing the book. He started talking with us, maybe a little flirting was going on, and he ended up buying each of us a glass of his very own wine. What a nice guy!!  So you can imagine how hilarious we thought Sedaris' book was after 2 drinks. Most of us are light-weights when it comes to alcohol anyway. We had a great time laughing about with the book.


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