Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life - the etiquette of having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger or how to soundproof your windows with LP covers against neurotic songbirds - to the most deeply resonant human truths.
Taking in the parasitic worm that once lived in his mother-in-law's leg, an encounter with a dingo and the purchase of a human skeleton, and culminating in a brilliant account of his attempt to quit smoking - in Tokyo - David Sedaris' sixth story collection is a fresh masterpiece of comic writing.
©2008 David Sedaris; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.
David Sedaris is a name that will not be familiar to UK readers - even though he has lived for some time in London, having moved from a previous stay in Normandy. His target audience is American, through the medium of East Coast, cutting edge but with a soft heart liberalism as opposed to the more homely Garrison Keillor and his more geographically middle, mid of last century perspective.
If British, David Sedaris would be the natural successor to a more left of centre Keith Waterhouse, before he migrated to the Daily Mail (- or was it the Express?) since the wise-guy East Coaster seems to have a very deep heart which is often pricked and touched by the everyday people and situations that he encounters - to his and our cost. Not that the reader loses anything in terms of the quality of the writing or the empathy that we feel for a man trapped on the aisle seat of a cross continental flight between a never satisfied mid-American couple.....It is just that at times, I couldn’t help wondering “should he be writing about this, should I be interested..”
This compensated by some really funny one-liners, a turn of phrase that is invariably sharp and inventive and an overall reassurance that ‘the Essay‘ as opposed to the short story, the eulogy or the extended magazine article is alive and well as a medium in the new century. A great read in bite size chunks - I found that once I’d found David Sedaris’ voice I really enjoyed meeting this new to me writer and am not surprised at the huge success he has found in the USA.
I stumbled accidentally across David Sedaris about 6 months ago, and as I type this I experience a frisson of horror at the idea that I could so easily have missed him altogether!
This book is typical of his work: by turns hilarious, heart-rending and cringe-making (but in the best sort of way). Never boring, and at the end leaving me feeling bereft and wondering whether to just fast-forward back to the start and listen to it all over again.
If you've never tried David Sedaris then do yourself a big favour and download this. If you already know him then rest assured that this is more of the brilliant same :)
I am a new convert to the work of David Sedaris and I am very pleased that he still narrates his own audiobooks, as a key part of the nuance of his wonderfully meandering stories is his soft, languid delivery. And this title does not disappoint in any way; every story is a stand-alone and yet part of the whole that is the author's life. By turns funny, poignant, angry, confused or just plain mad Sedaris weaves a world that is fascinating and unusual and yet instantly recognisable. A must-have title for your collection
This is my first expedition into the world of David Sedaris, and it was a very enjoyable, funny one! Great book. I'll definitely be getting some some more from this author.
David's sardonic honesty & generous sharing of his "inner voice" is 5 star listening.Always engrossing, Sedariss rare talent will have you snorting with laughter or marvelling at how well he describes "real life". Always a pleasure to listen to, & I regularly revisit all his recordings!
I came across David Sedaris on R4. The short story - both written and read by him - was delightful and hysterically funny. On the strength of that reading I downloaded this collection, which is simply brilliant. My only problem is that every time I listen, I know I'm nearer to finishing. He's definitely the funniest writer I have come across in years
DS manages to be both incredibly profound and witty at the same time. Without any faux sentimentality (some achievement for an american) he comments about life, love and existence.
Some audio books will let you quietly get on with things whilst listening - not always possible with this one I found. The delivery is so deadpan, the anecdotes so funny that I could do nothing but surrender to it: settle down and relish the outrageous misfortunes of one of America's greatest mild misanthropes!
I am a fan of David Sedaris, and so I expect I would enjoy any of his books. When You Are Engulfed in Flames is a strong collection with clever repeated themes and a good spread of stories. I have been able to let my parents-in-law listen to a few stories without fear of offending them, however you must be warned that Sedaris delights in saying things which most people simply will not. Still, it would be worth the cost for 'In the Waiting Room' alone.
This book is very vitty, and very sharply observed .The way Sedaris reads it is vivid and animated, and hilarious. Its not all haha -hihi, the book is also full darkness, pain, and compassion and love.
I have never heard of David Sedaris before but bought the book anyway. I am so glad I did. Was well worth paying for as I had no credits left. I have listened over and over to this and loved every second of it. My partner has even request that I stop listening to it before I go to sleep as I have been keeping him awake with my chuckling! Sorry Darl....lol
His wit makes any subject entertaining, some sections are almost straight out stand-up comedy, and not only is he a great writer but fantastic narrator - brilliant at accents and impersonations. Lot's of laugh out loud bits, only thing I didn't like was when he went a little bit too far up the gross-out scale in the bits about the morgue and boil-lancing, but if you know him I guess you're going to expect that.
An extra star for self-narration alone, huge bonus.
"The book to read when trapped in German airport"
uplifting 'funnyashell' stunning
pure honesty and impeccable delivery.
cried laughing, also eased relationship travel tension when listening to it as a couple.
Best thing to share with significant others.
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