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Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000)

by David Sedaris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19,380335161 (4.05)413
Me Talk Pretty One Day contains far more than just the funniest collection of autobiographical essays - it quite well registers as a manifesto about language itself. Wherever there's a straight line, you can be sure that Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter; and just where the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at the epicenter of it all. David Sedaris's new collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day, tells a most unconventional life story. It begins with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes ("There was the lisp, of course, but more troubling than that was my voice itself, with its excitable tone and high, girlish pitch") and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist ("The only crimp in my plan was that I seemed to have no talent whatsoever") to "clearly unqualified" writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris's career leads him to New York (the sky's-the-limit field of furniture moving) and eventually, of all places, France. Sedaris's move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a "spooky man-child" capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion. Whether describing the Easter bunny to puzzled classmates, savoring movies in translation (It is Necessary to save the Soldier Ryan), or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other--"Original, acid, and wild," said the Los Angeles Times--to every unforgettable encounter."--Jacket.… (more)
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    Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (rosylibrarian)
  2. 10
    My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy by Andrea Askowitz (lolo1978)
    lolo1978: Few books have made me laugh out loud. If Me Talk Pretty One Day made you laugh, give My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy at read.
  3. 00
    The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz (cransell)
  4. 13
    Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (Southernlit)
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» See also 413 mentions

English (332)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (334)
Showing 1-5 of 332 (next | show all)
A friend recommended this to me way back in high school, around when it first came out. It was then recommended to me again in college, with specific directions to listen to the audio version. I finally got around to it, almost a decade later, and I wish I'd listened to it a lot earlier! I understand why it was recommended to me now, too--I speak French about the same as Sedaris describes speaking it, despite many years of classes. ( )
  inkstained | Apr 6, 2021 |
This a collection of essays from the always delightful David Sedaris about his life. He begins with his speech impediment as a child to his attempt to master the French language after moving to France with his boyfriend. He talks about his drug problem, his efforts as a performance artist, and the shenanigans of his unique family. Great fun as always. 👍🏻 ( )
  varielle | Apr 1, 2021 |
In my opinion, this one is still his best. ( )
  irrelephant | Feb 21, 2021 |
I am enjoying David's books, this is my second. His wit is very unique and "smart" and he pokes fun at a lot of topics and mostly himself. But there is also a thread of truth to the fun that most people would agree with but may not want to admit publically. I will most likely read a few more of his books later on. ( )
  Rick686ID | Jan 27, 2021 |
They say laughter is the best medicine but it seems to me the wrong kind of humour is a combination of heroin and cocaine. This book sort of falls on the latter. Most of Sedaris' "hilarious" anecdotes, a combination of self-deprecation and irritating self-indulgence (plus other dichotomies) whilst making fun of others, though served with witticism and enthusiasm fail to amuse me save for the ones that focus on dogs and his homosexuality. An honourable mention would be his funny story about singing an advertisement jingle in Billie Holiday style. Honestly, David Sedaris can come across as an ass on some parts and this reads like a diary of complaints and meanness. The kind that leaves a bad taste on one's mouth. How is that not funny? Is this because I myself am gay but not American? I wonder. But good humour should be universal humour. So now I know, Me Talk Pretty One Day can't help me in a pretty bad day. ( )
  lethalmauve | Jan 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 332 (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 (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Sedarisprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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For my father, Lou
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Anyone who watches even the slightest amount of TV is familiar with the scene: An agent knocks on the door of some seemingly ordinary home or office.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Me Talk Pretty One Day contains far more than just the funniest collection of autobiographical essays - it quite well registers as a manifesto about language itself. Wherever there's a straight line, you can be sure that Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter; and just where the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at the epicenter of it all. David Sedaris's new collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day, tells a most unconventional life story. It begins with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes ("There was the lisp, of course, but more troubling than that was my voice itself, with its excitable tone and high, girlish pitch") and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist ("The only crimp in my plan was that I seemed to have no talent whatsoever") to "clearly unqualified" writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris's career leads him to New York (the sky's-the-limit field of furniture moving) and eventually, of all places, France. Sedaris's move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a "spooky man-child" capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion. Whether describing the Easter bunny to puzzled classmates, savoring movies in translation (It is Necessary to save the Soldier Ryan), or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other--"Original, acid, and wild," said the Los Angeles Times--to every unforgettable encounter."--Jacket.

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Book description
A recent transplant to Paris, humorist David Sedaris, bestselling author of "Naked", presents a collection of his strongest work yet, including the title story about his hilarious attempt to learn French.
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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316776963, 0316777722, 1570428654

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