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When You Are Engulfed in Flames

David Sedaris, Author . Little, Brown $25.99 (323p) ISBN 978-0-316-14347-9

Sedaris, king of the poignantly absurd, triumphs in this sixth essay collection (after 2004's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim ). There is less focus here on the Sedaris clan as a whole, though the various members make memorable and often hilarious appearances. In “The Understudy,” the Sedaris siblings band together to battle the odious babysitter Mrs. Peacock, while in “Town and Country,” Sedaris and sister Amy discuss what their father would be most offended to find on his daughter's coffee-table (hint: The Joy of Sex comes in a distant second). Leaving America behind, Sedaris also regales readers with his experiences around the globe, from sitting in a Parisian doctor's office wearing only his underwear in “In the Waiting Room” to warding off birds in the French countryside with record albums in “Aerial.” In the collection's longest essay, “The Smoking Section,” Sedaris recounts his three-month stay in Tokyo, where he successfully quits smoking and unsuccessfully attempts to learn Japanese. Sedaris records in “Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie?” his more glaring mistakes in life, but he should be satisfied with the knowledge that this latest endeavor is anything but. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/28/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
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Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-60024-231-1
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-1-60024-182-6
Paperback - 502 pages - 978-0-316-02459-4
Hardcover - 310 pages - 978-1-4087-0092-1
Hardcover - 150 pages - 978-0-316-14296-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60788-870-3
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-03251-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60514-805-2
Paperback - 323 pages
Hardcover - 978-1-4055-0130-9
Paperback - 310 pages - 978-0-349-11647-1
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