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Me Talk Pretty One Day Paperback – June 5, 2001
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"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Sedaris is Garrison Keillor's evil twin: like the Minnesota humorist, Sedaris (Naked) focuses on the icy patches that mar life's sidewalk, though the ice in his work is much more slippery and the falls much more spectacularly funny than in Keillor's. Many of the 27 short essays collected here (which appeared originally in the New Yorker, Esquire and elsewhere) deal with his father, Lou, to whom the book is dedicated. Lou is a micromanager who tries to get his uninterested children to form a jazz combo and, when that fails, insists on boosting David's career as a performance artist by heckling him from the audience. Sedaris suggests that his father's punishment for being overly involved in his kids' artistic lives is David's brother Paul, otherwise known as "The Rooster," a half-literate miscreant whose language is outrageously profane. Sedaris also writes here about the time he spent in France and the difficulty of learning another language. After several extended stays in a little Norman village and in Paris, Sedaris had progressed, he observes, "from speaking like an evil baby to speaking like a hillbilly. 'Is thems the thoughts of cows?' I'd ask the butcher, pointing to the calves' brains displayed in the front window." But in English, Sedaris is nothing if not nimble: in one essay he goes from his cat's cremation to his mother's in a way that somehow manages to remain reverent to both of the departed. "Reliable sources" have told Sedaris that he has "tended to exhaust people," and true to form, he will exhaust readers of this new book, tooDwith helpless laughter. 16-city author tour. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As I read, laughing out loud at many bits of Sedaris' biographical humor, my European partner asked what was so funny. Try explaining the U.S. slang used for typical, American family situations! It doesn't translate well to "outsiders" but I was thoroughly entertained. David's descriptions of living in Paris, as well as having to learn a new language, was also hilarious, since I had been in the same cultural-linguistic shoes, here in Europe. Finally, I found someone to relate to, in one's mad quest to bridge national divides, in a foreign place. But David could have been in boonies of a farflung, American county too. His rendition of the experience is his writing gift.
Sedaris' take on the wonderful, wry humor to be found in life's situations is refreshing, as his skilled authorship qualities. Need a down-to-earth belly laugh about anything that life can throw at you, take up with David Sedaris for an hour or so. Bet you can't read just one of his tales!!!
Anyway, I filed that away and came across it on a discounted book list. I might be out of college but I am still college poor lol. I really enjoyed it! Sometimes I thought me and David were kindred spirits and I could relate to the feelings in his essays(?). Sometimes the guy felt like reading memoirs of an alien, it was so different and unrelateable. The entire book was written in a way to be short, memorable chapters that were all interesting and flavorful. I really enjoyed the writing style. Thank you man at the bus stop, you were right, I did enjoy the book! Someday me talk pretty too :)
This man's narrative voice is so genuine and unapologetic, I fell in love with him immediately. As a person who has always been tied up within herself, I adore how free and self-aware and candid David' Sedaris is in this humorous "memoir."
Sedaris is truly funny. I most enjoy his sequencing of stories--the way he starts from really far away and then brings us back around to the point, making sense of the story. As I read him, in my mind I could hear him saying, "you'll see the point of this, I promise." While I was confused at times, and I believe he meant me to be, I giggled while I was. This man is funny. At the same time, "Me Talk Pretty One Day" stages Sedaris's vulnerability, the soft spots around which his comedy was first built. I could empathize with him and I enjoyed it.
This book is not only funny, but insightful and a bit delicate, in the subtle observations it makes about family, love, and the nature of the individual. It's more than worth the couple hours it will take you to read it.
Take a look, if you want to laugh and learn a little something about life!
His books are not the kind that will appeal to everyone. But if you like his books, you will really like them. Sedaris writes about ordinary, everyday things. He seems to be of the opinion that nothing is too small to write about.
Now about Me Talk Pretty One Day, there is a lot here that I liked and some that I couldn't bring myself to read all the way through. But on the whole, I enjoyed it.
There are stories here about growing up gay in the 1970's and trying desperately to fit in, dreaming of being an artist, becoming a drug addict, living in New York, the weirdness of modern, experimental cuisine, living in France and struggling to learn the language and so on.
Some of the stories are warm and engaging, some are funny, some of them made my heart ache...and then there are others that I wish he'd never written. They seemed a bit pointless, to be honest.
But on the whole, I liked it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Except there are word minimums on this review, like a school book report. He's the writer, not me.