Reading this new collection of memoir-essay-stories by the master US humourist David Sedaris is like being tickled on the ribs by someone you love: you laugh hysterically, feel a mixture of excitement and irritation, and instinctively wriggle away as exhaustion sets in. Sedaris writes about his everyday life, the co-stars being his family, partner Hugh, friends and neighbours. Every one of these 22 essays has something unique and extraordinary to offer: what we have come to expect from a writer a previous reviewer said "can make Woody Allen appear ham-tongued, Oscar Wilde a drag". In this collection, the black comedy that has always been a vital part of his writing comes fully to the fore. These are dark, visceral essays that look unflinchingly at the vulnerable ageing body and at death.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. It's early autumn Two straight-A students head off to school, and when only one of them returns home Chesney Yelverton is coaxed from retirement and assigned to what proves to be the most difficult and deadly - case of his career.
Or how about David Sedaris has studied this phenomenon, and his resulting insights may very well save your life. Oh, all right David Sedaris has written yet another book of essays his sixth. Subjects include a parasitic worm that once lived in his mother-in-law's leg, an encounter with a dingo, and the recreational use of an external catheter.
Also recounted is the buying of a human skeleton and the author's attempt to quit smoking In Tokyo. Master of nothing, at the dead center of his game, Sedaris proves that when you play with matches, you sometimes light the whole pack on fire.
Get A Copy. More Details Original Title. David Sedaris. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Can anyone recommend a similar style of writing - humorous- but written by a woman? Salinger, or even David Niven. Ashley Jenny Lawson! She is hilarious. Can I just ask why he has Van Gogh's painting as the cover art? Katy Because the last essay is about his efforts to quit smoking and the Van Gogh picture shows a skeleton with a cigarette in its mouth, probably how Seda …more Because the last essay is about his efforts to quit smoking and the Van Gogh picture shows a skeleton with a cigarette in its mouth, probably how Sedaris pictured himself ending up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 01, Lyn rated it liked it. 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.
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 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.
He may impart self deprecating humor, or maybe he is personifying a satire on our culture, or both, but many times in the narrative, organized into short essays or vignettes, I had to admit that I did not like my narrator.
Other times, to be fair, he repented or showed a generous, open mindedness; but I could not shake the image of an unapologetically selfish person who, sadly, may reflect modern Western culture all too well. That said, really funny book. View all 19 comments. Jul 11, Dusty Myers rated it liked it. 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.
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 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.
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 they dealt with in the name of free housing. Now, of course, teens run at the chance to go live in some other city just to "have their lives taped," just for the fame it might bring, and what they actually do on the show is dull as a result.
Naked is the masterpiece because the essays therein are longer and more satisfying; the whole thing is memoir in its finest form of sifting through the past to let someone understand how life or maybe just a life gets lived. Then he got wildly famous and was able to publish any old essay in any old magazine. This, I recognize, is a factor of his talent both as a writer and a humorist, not a factor of his name.
Why wasn't this narrator doing anything? It wasn't enough just to stand there and report, I felt. A lot of WYAEiF is about how wealthy and glamorous Sedaris's life is, and how wealthy he was growing up, which is something I'd never really sensed before.
He talks about the cork-lined dining room at his parents' house with the at the time contemporary Danish modern furniture. He mentions a lot of airplane rides; I think at least three of the essays have their roots in something that happened to D. This smacks to me of a writer who's run out of things to write about; and yet there are essays about old neighbors "That's Amore", one of the collection's best , so it seems Sedaris still has enough memories to last a few more books.
I heard that in some interview somewhere, Sedaris confessed that he was getting to the point in his life where he'd act in a scene explicitly for the purposes of creating something to write about.
Maybe Sedaris has a history of this I can't imagine he just wanted to up and go to a nudist colony on his own; clearly, he saw great material in the exercise but something about the heft of those earlier essays "Santaland Diaries", too makes them seem more honest. In the interview, Sedaris was talking specifically about the decision to cough so hard on a plane that his throat lozenge would be expelled from his mouth.
He thought, Let's see what happens , and coughed. This action begins one of the essays in this book, and it's never revealed as constructed.
My complaint isn't that Sedaris makes things up. It's that at one time, behind the essays, was this guy David Sedaris, or as close to the guy as we could get, and now it seems that behind all these essays lies "The Writer David Sedaris". I'm not making myself clear. Which, incidentally, is one thing I can't fault Sedaris for.
His timing in writing is impeccable and his descriptions apt and lovely in places. Oh and funny. The book in just incredibly, unendingly funny. In short: get the audiobook. View all 4 comments.
Apr 28, Debbie rated it it was amazing Shelves: all-time-favorites , funny , favorite-authors , favorite-memoirs. Yep, pogo-stick time! Leave it to Sedaris to send me bouncing! Or, how about if you coughed so hard a lozenge flew from your mouth onto the lap of a nasty passenger sitting next to you on a plane? Seriously, these things happened to Sedaris, and man can he make every little detail hilarious.
Sedaris is m Yep, pogo-stick time! Sedaris is my new hero. And he is tuned into the absurd in a big way. My favorite kind of funny is when someone describes an absurd moment and runs with it. Sedaris gallops. He puts himself front and center and becomes all tangled up in the absurdity. His stories remind me that truth is often stranger than fiction. It also stirs up memories of absurd things that happened to me, and I love going down memory lane. I was late to the party. But I read Calypso when it came out a couple of years ago, and I was a goner.
How did this happen that I went from bored to ecstatic? Anyway, this book is right up there with Calypso, and both live on my All-Time Favorites list. In most collections, there are some dud essays. The only flaw—and again, Sedaris can do no wrong, so this is a baby flaw—is that occasionally he wanders off the subject to tell another story. But then, who knows if you have the same funny bone as I do.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames
He was in his 30s when he was discovered by Ira Glass of NPR, and ever since he has presented himself as a childish genius perpetually late to the literary scene and forever mini-crisis prone. As usual, Sedaris has lots of answers to the first question but not many to the second in this delightful compilation of essays circling the theme of death and dying, with nods to the French countryside, art collecting and feces. The main stage is occupied by a mix of highly pixelated memories, chance meetings with freaks and scenes of Sedaris fretting over his eventual demise. A punk-rock attitude toward death used to be a staple of Sedariana, one of many taboo subjects he enjoyed throwing in the face of the squares, like his crystal meth addiction.
Up in Smoke
When You Are Engulfed In Flames
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