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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
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Me Talk Pretty One Day (original 2000; edition 2001)

by David Sedaris

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16,653272106 (4.07)359
Member:BethArcher
Title:Me Talk Pretty One Day
Authors:David Sedaris
Info:Back Bay Books (2001), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Humor, Essays

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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (2000)

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» See also 359 mentions

English (267)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (269)
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
A couple of years ago, I won tickets to see David Sedaris which set me on the course of devouring his work. Winning those tickets was one of the best things I’ve ever done, because it introduced me to the awesome wittiness that is David Sedaris. I don’t laugh out loud very often with a book, but Me Talk Pretty One Day had me snorting with laughter. It’s self-depreciating, wry, bluntly honest humour in not only the ordinary mundane day to day things, but in family and unusual situations as well. I read this book in preparation of seeing David live again and it did not disappoint (both the show and the book).

The story is composed of essays on anything from David’s father’s approach to best before dates (ignore them) to working with a Communist removalist. Some are longer than others, but the 10-30 page length makes them just right to read before bed, on a commute or in between TV shows. The collection is divided into two parts, roughly David’s youth and time in Chicago and New York and then moving on to life in France with his partner Hugh. I simply adored it all.

David talks quite a lot about his family in this collection, namely his parents. I was also delighted to ‘meet’ his brother Paul (aka ‘The Rooster’) who talks like he’s in a Tarantino film (or, like that fishing trawler TV show). For someone who swears almost non-stop, his language is incredibly descriptive to the point where I was crying with laughter. David’s father also sounds like a hoot – and has some resemblances to my own family in that he never, ever buys anything that isn’t discounted/reduced to clear. He sounds so much like my grandma/father it made the essay even funnier because I don’t think he was exaggerating!

David’s experience of French classes and trying to learn French in a small village were equally as amusing. I loved that he remembered the random words (e.g. ashtray) much more easily than ‘left’ or ‘right’. His experience of an overseas couple in France telling him he was a ‘smelly little frog’ was also portrayed well, not meanly but clearly showing how narrow minded they were. (Plus he didn’t call them out. That took restraint).

I love how David talked honestly about his failures, drug use and setbacks in life in addition to the funny stuff. To use an American term, you can’t help but root for this guy. He’s an astute observer, witty conversationalist and scarily perceptive. Plus, he gave a young man a bottle of conditioner at the show I went to. What’s not to like? His works always pick me up!

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Jan 26, 2016 |
I liked some stories more than others. Overall enjoyable. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
I liked some stories more than others. Overall enjoyable. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Very easy read. Amusing. ( )
  Marion_B | Jan 19, 2016 |
I laughed out loud at David Sedaris' stories about his family and about learning French, and had to read and share quite a few aloud. However, some of the other chapters were rather lackluster. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
Whereas ''Naked'' reads like a series of overlapping autobiographical essays, this volume feels more like a collection of magazine pieces or columns on pressing matters like the care and feeding of family pets and the travails of dining in Manhattan. But if Mr. Sedaris sometimes sounds as though he were making do with leftover material, ''Talk Pretty'' still makes for diverting reading.
 
The gifted Sedaris has not been hard enough on himself. At the risk of sounding patronizing, I suspect there is a better writer in there than he is as yet willing to let out.
 
This collection is, in its way, damned by its own ambitious embrace of variety; with so many pieces assembled, the stronger ones always punish the weaker... But reading or listening to David Sedaris is well worth the lulls for the thrills.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Sedarisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aison, Cathryn S.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colombo, MatteoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayden, MelissaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaye, Michael IanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pardoen, IrvingTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316776963, Paperback)

"It's a pretty grim world when I can't even feel superior to a toddler." Welcome to the curious mind of David Sedaris, where dogs outrank children, guitars have breasts, and French toddlers unmask the inadequacies of the American male. Sedaris inhabits this world as a misanthrope chronicling all things petty and small. In Me Talk Pretty One Day Sedaris is as determined as ever to be nobody's hero--he never triumphs, he never conquers--and somehow, with each failure, he inadvertently becomes everybody's favorite underdog. The world's most eloquent malcontent, Sedaris has turned self-deprecation into a celebrated art form--one that is perhaps best experienced in audio. "Go Carolina," his account of "the first battle of my war against the letter s" is particularly poignant. Unable to disguise the lisp that has become his trademark, Sedaris highlights (to hilarious extent) the frustration of reading "childish s-laden texts recounting the adventures of seals or settlers named Sassy or Samuel." Including 23 of the book version's 28 stories, two live performances complete with involuntary laughter, and an uncannily accurate Billie Holiday impersonation, the audio is more than a companion to the text; it stands alone as a performance piece--only without the sock monkeys. (Running time: 5 hours, 4 cassettes) --Daphne Durham

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:13 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

David Sedaris moved from New York to Paris where he attempted to learn French. His teacher, a sadist, declared that every day spent with him was like giving birth the Caesarean way! These hilarious essays were inspired by that move.

(summary from another edition)

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