Sadly, I have just finished reading the latest adventures of David Sedaris, author of When You Are Engulfed In Flames. I say sadly because I laugh harder than I usually do when I read about the misadventures of he and his partner, Hugh, as they traverse the world. Actually, Hugh has few misadventures. It is Mr. Sedaris that finds himself doing banal, daily things like smoking cigarettes or visiting a doctor’s office, as we all must once in awhile, however, all hell breaks loose for this author and the mundane becomes hilarious.
These events would not be half as funny if it weren’t for the author’s quirky, twisted, sometimes dark sense of humor. A few years ago, I attended a “reading” that he was doing at the American Library in Paris, and his ability to humble himself and expose his humanness, warts and all, makes him so endearing. We all have moments similar to what he experiences—well, maybe not exactly like he has—so the beauty in his essays lets us know that at our weirdest, most embarrassing or uncomfortable moments, it’s nothing compared to what would happen to Mr. Sedaris and we can take comfort in that.
Paris is home base for him so much of what happens to him are cultural mishaps or language faux pas–he stubbornly refuses to become fluent in French. You will find yourself among the French as he goes through his daily life, stumbling on verbal land mines where the only thing that saves him is his sense of humor.
If you are in need of a pick me up, while at Mr. Sedaris’ expense, this is it!!
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