Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When you are engulfed in flames

On a whim I picked up David Sedaris's When you are engulfed in flames. I thought the cover was interesting and after reading the reviews on the back I thought I would be picking a page turner. However I was sourly disappointed. After about half way through the book I found myself looking forward to it being over. I even considered not finishing the book and starting with a new one.
The book begins with a collection of almost seemingly unrelated essay's then transforms into a journal of a guy quitting smoking. What drew me to this book originally was the fact that they were short stories. This made it easier to pick up read and put down for a while then pick up again without forgetting important details. The initial humor and interesting stories allowed me to make it till about half way before I started questioning the reviews of this book.

I know there are many themes and morals to the stories in this book that I completely missed. Im sure if I was actually trying to read a story for more than face value this would be perfect. If I were a professor trying to assign book that would analyze cultural differences, underlining motives, and day-to-day social miss-haps this would be perfect. However if your looking to pick up an interesting book that keeps you up late at night, you will be in for a rude awakening. Now Im not saying the book was not good, Im just saying its more educational than entertaining toward the half way mark. The entertaining part is the humor in the wording rather than plot. David Sedaris I has earned the title of, Written Comedian. Like any book though don't expect to be laughing on the floor. Think of one of your more average sitcoms.
Overall I don't regret reading it, but if I had known the author/main character was a homosexual I probably not picked up the book. I have no problems gays I just rather not be desensitize to the taboo of homosexuality. Learning about the cultural differences, in language and behavior was very eye opening which made reading it worth something. I would be careful who I recommended this book to.
Tell me what you thought about the book or my review leave a comment

1 comment:

  1. Well, I have never heard of this book, but I applaud your honesty. I find that most books do nothing for me anymore which is why I am working on my own stuff. I thought that your review was good, to the point, and made me laugh a bit (as most blunt honesty does). Also, I like your blog - it is refreshingly awkward! :o) Love it!


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