What happens if you want to buy a human skeleton? What if you happen to live next to a sex offender or a cranky old lady? Is it possible to pee in your pants without anyone noticing?
Those are few of the questions David Sedaris is trying to answer in his collection of humorous essays. The situations he is getting into are painfully hilarious and mostly self-inflicted. The author is not afraid to look compulsive, obsessive, or clingy; he enjoys himself in his endless explorations. I loved the story “Keeping Up” where Sedaris is contemplating a break-up, only to realize he cannot survive without the person he loves. Literary. I giggled at his constant fights with eccentric neighbour Helen, and I burst laughing out loud at “Town and Country”‘s cab driver.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames is not really a book you’d read over and over again for its intellectual weight, but rather you’d flip it open on rainy days, on an absolutely random page, just to get your good doze of good humour.