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It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It Mass Market Paperback – March 2, 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This nationally bestselling collection of essays points out the joys of lightheartedness and describes ways to deal with absurd situations. "The selections beguile and educate, whatever the subject, but most moving is Fulghum's short biography of John Pierpont the writer of "Jingle Bells", PW saidpk . Author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

In his first phenomenal best-seller, EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN, Robert Fulghum reminded readers everywhere of some plain and still-true truths. Now, picking up where he left off, Fulghum turns our eyes to show-and-tell, weddings, his own ten commandments, and more insightful and unique observations on what our world is and was....
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ivy Books; Reprint edition (March 2, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804105820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804105828
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
With great wit and gentle grace, Robert Fulgham holds up a mirror so that we may see ourselves and our foiables more clearly. He has a unique ability to point out the treasure of the little things, the common things in life. After reading one of his books, I feel more serene, more appreciative of my blessings, and smile at the memories he has helped me recall. If you have not been "stopping to smell the roses" this book will help you start. Enjoy!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is simliar to ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN in consisting of several dozen short, easily readable, reflective essays. I liked his first book a little better - I thought the overall quality a little higher. There are, however, many fine pieces in this collection (including one commenting on the theme of his first book that is brutally honest). The mood is a bit darker in this second volume, but that is not meant as a perjorative description, it merely means that Fulghum shows a different side to his ponderings. If you liked his first book, you will like this one. If you didn't, then you won't like this one either.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you've read my other reviews, you know I am a HUGE Robert Fulghum fan. He is my mentor - the reason I began writing my first book that got its first contract. This book is almost funnier and better than the one before, if that's even possible, but only almost. This book inspired me and made me think, made me cry, and made me laugh. You can't ask for a better read than that!

The title piece of the book talks about a man who was interviewed by the news for a house fire. The question posed to the man was how the fire, which was in the bedroom, from the mattress, had started. The man had answered that he didn't know how the fire had started, since the bed was in fire when he lay down on it. Mr. Fulghum talks about how we do that, sometimes: lay down on burning beds. This is, of course, a metaphor for us making poor decisions, decisions not in our best interests, when we know this is the case when we're making them.

And that is the best example of what Mr. Fulghum's writing in all his essays and books I've read have been, including this book. It Was on Fire When I lay Down on It is a series of poignant memoir-style essays, each with their own metaphorical 'lesson' or moral to them... some are touching and moving while others are giggle and snort funny, but all of them speak to a bigger picture or a deeper meaning if you're willing to look beyond the implied. Well worth the read.

I agree with some about his attitude about dogs. I am a dog lover. My Jake is my son, my furry fur-legged brat dog and I love him dearly, but I can't see discrediting an entire man and his entire library or work and contributions to literature, reading, faith and humor just because his opinions differ from mine on one point.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I started reading this book on an airplane...and in some ways I wish I hadn't. I was laughing and laughing at the sheer unexpectedness of this book, shaking the entire row with my convulsions. I think some were trying to figure out if I were laughing or crying, as I had tears running down my cheeks. The stories were a total surprise to me, for I didn't buy this book for the humor. I actually bought it because a friend had told me one extremely meaningful story out of the book, regarding the meaning of life. In essence, this story-ette is about a priest and his meaning of life, and a small mirror...he believes the meaning of life is to bring light to dark places, a game he used to play when he was a kid with sunlight and a mirror. That game has become a metaphor for his life. So I bought the book for that reason, for a few little pages. But now 1/2 way through the book, it has entertained me way more than expected.

The book is written in article form, with each story-ette lasting 3 to 7 pages, so it makes for excellent bedtime reading. FYI, this book and the writing remind me of Bill Bryson, and his writing style.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read anything by Robert Fulghum, a master storyteller who can make you belly laugh with insightful humor devoid of negativity, yet without being naïve or syrupy. Folksy yet philosophical, Fulghum offers unique insight into human foibles and redemption. As with most of his works I've read, each chapter is a self-contained vignette ... read it anywhere, any time, yet this format lends itself to very satisfying bedtime reading, the kind to invoke a happy mood and restful slumber. Timeless.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent in every way! The vendor and the item exceeded expectations in terms of value, fitness of purpose, and more. Very cool! THEREFORE: The item and the vendor receive the HIGHEST RATING. Highly recommended -- will order again, and again.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be extremely enjoyable to read. The writer does not cover one issue and analyzes it, but he writes about interesting people and events in life. I would classify this book as an "upper" after reading about wars, murders, politicians, etc.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must confess that, when I heard that this was a bestselling collection of inspirational anecdotes and essays by a minister, I was prepared to be skeptical. I was expecting oversimplifications, sentimentality and proselytizing.
In fact I found myself moved to laughter and sadness.
It is indeed written in simple language, but it is the simplicity of the clever writer. Fulghum quotes from Horace in Latin and from the Septuagint in Greek, and describes attending a talk on chaos theory at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, but makes it all sound plain and easy.
He mentions "Apocalypse Now" but not the Book of Revelations. He is a long way from original sin and Calvinism. I think the central message is that there is much good in people and you can bring it out by being patient and being nice to them. I was almost convinced.
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