Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Book: WHEN YOU ARE IN ENGULFED IN FLAMES by David Sedaris


Now, this is another kind of unusual book for me, because:

a)it was left at my house randomly, I didn't choose it
b)for some reason, it is in large print. Which is odd, as the person who left it at my house has normal eyesight
c)this is a re-reading. And I almost never re-read

I re-read it because I hadn't got to the Library and I was feeling a bit blah and I happened to see it and it looked cheering. It looks more sort of mangled, now, as it fell into the bath several times during this reading. Oh dear.

WHEN YOU ARE IN ENGULFED IN FLAMES is a series of comic short stories. The longest one is very long, and is about his attempt to give up smoking by moving to Tokoyo. David Sedaris actually really reminds me of Proust. Now, don't be hating, and thinking I'm pretentious. I totally get to say that because a) it's true and b) I've actually read IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME, which, let's face it all you Tolstoy loving bunch of bitches, is probably the best novel ever written. And I'm just saying 'probably' so as not to appear too dogmatic.

But please, let's not even deny it's the best novel of the twentieth century, because that's just blatantly true, whether you like it or not (all you James Joyce loving bitches out there).

What I find similar in them is the kind of unassuming honesty they possess. It's a book that makes you feel like you are less alone in the world; that other people are experiencing the day-to-day as you are. JANE EYRE is a fabulous novel, but it doesn't deal at all with 95% percent of our lives - the pedestrian part.

The character that is David Sedaris in these stories is sort of sweetly imperfect. It's interesting also that he seems to have blown large sections of his life on being kind of drugged up. I sometimes feel that . . . oh no, go to go. More on this tomorrow.

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