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I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames: My Insane Life Raising Two Boys with Autism Hardcover – January 17, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616084855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616084851
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,653,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brash, sarcastic, irreverent, heartfelt, and touching, Decker’s memoir is all this and more. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal)

“This is not your mother’s autism book! Raw, honest with ‘she said what?!’ laughs on every page.” (Kim Stagliano, author of All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa)

About the Author

Jeni Decker lives on a farm in rural Michigan with her husband, two autistic sons, an Australian shepherd, and an albino frog named Humbert Humbert. In between kid-wrangling and writing, she is also an independent filmmaker. You can find her at her website: closetspacemusings.blogspot.com or on Twitter @Jeni_Decker.

More About the Author


Jeni Decker lives on a farm in rural Michigan with a bunch of animals (human and canine), and her albino frog, Humbert Humbert. She is the author of:

I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames

The Peacock Mirror

The Wisdom of Repugnance

Far From Happy

and the Dex Morneau series:

Rigor Mortis
Absente Reo
Gravoria Manent

~with Kat Nove:

Waiting for Karl Rove
Waiting for Karl Rove, the sequel... sort of

http://jenidecker.com
http://closetspacemusings.blogspot.com





Customer Reviews

Jeni Decker is an amazing writer and an even more amazing mother.
jeanne bannon
Sometimes a story seems to begin in one direction, then goes in another direction, and I'm not quite sure if the author properly ends all of the paths she starts on.
Jill Marie Cattrysse
I see them thru this book and most of them have really related to the feelings that are expressed.
Scarpio1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is VERY funny! Jeni Decker has a WICKED sense of humor and, as she herself says in this book, she is good with words. In fact, she is damn good!

Jeni, the mother of Jake, (born 1996) and Jaxson (born 2000) tells the travails of raising 2 boys with autism. Jake is not as severely affected; is quite bright and a number of his writings are included in the book. The inclusion of Jake's work makes the story even more effective.

Jake, the older son has meltdowns; cannot stand the touch and feel of paper and like most people on the autism spectrum detests surprises and loud noises. I felt Jake's pain in re his aversion for topics fecal; I hate feces and find fecal talk stomach turning. In fact, the only thing I DIDN'T like about this book were the graphic fecal tales. Jake's fecal issues included his asking Jeni to inspect him after he used the bathroom to make sure he had completely cleaned himself. Jake's related sensory issues included only using wet wipes instead of toilet paper. His social skills, while never his forte included asking for a cleanliness "inspection" even at age 12!

Jaxson, on the other has severe autism. He has severe meltdowns, sometimes resulting in injury to his brother. He is marginally verbal; partially toilet trained (there is a section devoted to how Jax would change his own Pull-Ups after each trip to the bathroom and a funny part about how he stashed the discarded soiled ones in a neighbor's yard until the irate neighbor demanded to know what was going on. Even though I hate fecal tales, that story about the stash and the neighbor was funny). He also is quite computer savvy and even films his own stools. I didn't like the part about the stool show or any of the graphic fecal tales.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Marigold Blue on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Only Jeni Decker can tell the trials and tribulations of raising two autistic sons and make you laugh out loud on almost every page. This book has such an uplifting spirit, and I applaud Jeni for telling her story and for her outlook on life. This is not just a story about autism. It's a story about parenting and about embracing life and playing the hand you're dealt with style and grace. And a lot of laughs. Jeni's memoir will make you laugh and cry, and it will make you a better parent. Loved it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jeanne bannon on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I Wish I were Engulfed in Flames is a heart warming, hilarious and real look at one woman's life raising two autistic sons. Jeni Decker is an amazing writer and an even more amazing mother. She deals with the trials of her life with humor and honesty. I was hooked after reading the first chapter 'Tickling the Weiner' and couldn't put the book down until I'd finished.

This book is a raw, unbelievably honest memoir, but most of all it is entertaining and very well written. My hat's off to you Jeni Decker.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jill Marie Cattrysse on April 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a compilation of some funny stories in the life of a mother with two autistic sons. It's very touching and a wonderful view into her and her sons' lives and their thoughts and feelings. Jeni's love for her kids is ever present and her teetering sanity is so relatable.

The book doesn't have a beginning, middle, or end, but rather is a rambling compilation of incidents. Sometimes a story seems to begin in one direction, then goes in another direction, and I'm not quite sure if the author properly ends all of the paths she starts on. I wanted so much more backstory, and even a chronological order of events would have helped with the flow.

In addition, I did not appreciate all of the forays into political opinions of the author. She goes as far as implicating that those who disagree with her views are stupid. The book shouldn't have gone there.

So, did I enjoy the book? Yes. Was I also disappointed? Yes. I feel it could have easily been so much better.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. M. M. on May 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I really thought I would like this book, from the sample that Amazon is nice enough to offer. But I ended up not liking it at all. (Thank goodness I only "borrowed" it from Amazon instead of buying.) This book was not good, mostly because I really ended up not liking the author very much. I could not relate to her nor would I like her if she were my neighbor or something.

While some parts of the book are OK, this book is less about autism and more about the author herself. She acts abhorrently to her husband (and acts surprised that he'd cheat on her after she gave him permission to because she was "done with him"), is beyond vulgar, and just isn't all that likable. Why is there an entire chapter about her film-making, which frankly, sounds stupid? How is filming your mom and a dildo in the shower interesting, artistic, or anything resembling what normal people would do? And then act all put out because a public school then fires you for it? Really? That's surprising? And I'm supposed to feel sorry or sad that kids are deprived of the project you were trying to do?

I honestly spent the majority of the book just saying "WTF?" and just being weirded out. The stories about her kids were interesting, but I wish it were more about them, autism, and raising them. This book really wasn't about that at all.
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