When You Are Engulfed in Flames

David Sedaris


The usual collection of humorous essays, except toward the end where he turns to his attempt to stop smoking. Anyone who has gone though this can sympathize with his struggles. Only somehow Sedaris makes it seem funny.

When he is writing about his family or his life in foreign countries, Sedaris brings his own skewed take on life.

IMHO he’s a lot funnier than Bill Bryson.


Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

David Sedaris


Sedaris’ offbeat humor married to Ian Falconer’s brilliant illustrations makes for a book of rare beauty. The childlike humor of the illustrations contrasts with the dark, dark humor of the stories in a grotesque marriage of pictures and text that causes the mind to reel.

Unlike Sedaris’ usual collection of personal essays, these are stories of animals with human characteristics. They include some of my favorites¬† such as the title story, that I have heard him read on the radio. Others are new to me. They all carry echoes of his voice: darkly sardonic, bitingly satirical, and very, very funny.