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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

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

by David Sedaris

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18,124319136 (4.06)402
Title:Me Talk Pretty One Day
Authors:David Sedaris
Info:Back Bay Books (2001), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (2000)

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English (315)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (317)
Showing 1-5 of 315 (next | show all)
Sedaris is a writer with few equals and "Me Talk Pretty One Day" is his best work. The quality of Sedaris's stories may vary but when he is on song he is extremely entertaining.

Whether writing about the idiosyncrasies of his large family, including his miser father, late mother, four sisters and one brother, his own issues growing up, life before and since writing fame (his array of particularly dodgy pre-fame jobs are well covered), his boyfriend Hugh (the most memorable moment in the book surrounds Hugh's childhood in Africa and his memory of having to stand near a man who hanged himself from a streetlight) as well as everyday stories like the time he was at a party and tried to flush an enormous turd left by a previous visitor so the next person wouldn't think it was him, are regularly smile inducing.

The title "Me Talk Pretty One Day" derives from a story around a French language class he attends when living in Paris. It's not one of the best stories in the book but I'm sure Sedaris knew it was a book title the moment he heard it from one of his fellow students. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Dec 2, 2018 |
I love his books. great sense of humor ( )
  Starla_Aurora | Oct 29, 2018 |
Boring and sad.

Sedaris is observant - but only in negative ways. He hates many things, most of all himself. He wisecracks to bitch about people. But worst of all, he is boring. His stories are about nothing, go on about nothing, then exaggarate it. There is not a worthy thought in this book. His sleepy and resigned delivery of the audiobook does not help matters.

I got to 60% so I am marking it read. I wanted to finish because it was short - but realized it depressed and annoyed me. Done.

Tomorrow I am donating the copy of ‘Naked’ on my shelf to the library, unread. ( )
1 vote Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
After two serious books, I felt it was time for another installment of Sedaris. I read Calypso a few weeks ago and, not even a week later, I found myself on Better World Books loading my cart with several other of his works. (You know, to support world literacy and not just my insatiable book addiction!)

What I especially like about Sedaris' essays is his incredible way of looking at instances of, what normal people would define as, utter embarrassment and humiliation with a healthy dose of humor and self-deprecating enlightenment. His perspective is upbeat and sugary-sweet with a flare of ridiculous. (No boggart stands a chance against him.)

Even after having a rough week, it was nice to come home, pick this up and have a good chuckle.

I would go into more, but I suggest you just get a copy and see for yourself. ( )
  bleached | Jul 28, 2018 |
The first couple of stories had me laughing out loud but the rest were ordinary. Sedaris is an astute observer of people but more than 1 or 2 about his French experience would have been enough. ( )
  ghefferon | Jul 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 315 (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
Sedaris, Davidprimary 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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For my father, Lou
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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)

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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