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david disappoints

While I’m not a David Sedaris devotee, I’ve heard the roars of his readership, so I picked up his latest book When You Are Engulfed in Flames – and I got burnt. It’s not that the book is bad, it’s just that it isn’t as good as the hype and I guess I set my sights too high for Sedaris.

He is funny and quirky and poignant at points, but most of the book dragged. Sedaris’ essays jump around in time and place from child molesters in Normandy to skeletons in bedrooms, and most of the good parts are too politically incorrect to post here.

The book culminates with “The Smoking Section,” a chapter that follows Sedaris on his cigarette-quitting journey to Tokyo.

“I didn’t stop throwing my cigarette butts down until at the age of forty-eight, I was arrested for it … in Thailand.”

This is Sedaris’ sixth book of essays, so he must be doing something right, but some essays just left me wondering why they were written. Read it if you want, but I’d suggest sticking to some of his older works.

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“david disappoints”