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One's man Chaos is another person's Entertainment

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris is a collection of amusing and sometimes disturbing tales from the author’s life. Sedaris is a well-known author who has explored much of our globe but always in an odd manner. This book holds about twenty such tales, and although I think he is attempting to focus on humor, many of his tales delve into the inner workings of trepidatious boy, and then later, man.

Genre:  Autobiographical

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Released:  2008

Stars:  4 Stars

Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths

Sedaris is the type of fellow who overanalyzes social encounters and lives in a state of hyperawareness with a strong dose or paranoia thrown in. He also has a strange mixture of apologetic entitlement. Sedaris is like a guy who just smoked three joints of indica by himself and then must talk to the cops twenty-four seven.

I found the stories entertaining and funny, although it was a dry type of humor, a bit unlike the standup I usually watch. One might call it a more classical, perhaps literary humor. A ‘can you believe the world is like this?’ ‘How could a person end up this way?’ Sedaris is insightful while being humorous and is a social anthropologist in his own way.

I enjoyed this book but it is not one hundred percent my thing. Its humor did not hit square on for me, although I could see it working for others. Sedaris wants to move through life without being bothered but is also annoyed by issues most of us might be happy to experience. He had a tired elitism which can be a bit annoying at times, but he deserves respect for being able to share his inner works with us. It takes a lot of courage to bear your Id to the world as he has.

If you like thought invoking humor and exploring an intelligent, if snippy, person’s view of the world, you should probably grab this one. If your aunt wore her MAGA hat to the last family picnic, do not buy this for her unless you really want to piss her off.

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