Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Me Talk Pretty One Day Paperback – June 5, 2001
|New from||Used from|
Find Rare and Collectible Books
Discover rare, signed and first edition books on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
David Sedaris became a star autobiographer on public radio, onstage in New York, and on bestseller lists, mostly on the strength of "SantaLand Diaries," a scathing, hilarious account of his stint as a Christmas elf at Macy's. (It's in two separate collections, both worth owning, Barrel Fever and the Christmas-themed Holidays on Ice.) Sedaris's caustic gift has not deserted him in his fourth book, which mines poignant comedy from his peculiar childhood in North Carolina, his bizarre career path, and his move with his lover to France. Though his anarchic inclination to digress is his glory, Sedaris does have a theme in these reminiscences: the inability of humans to communicate. The title is his rendition in transliterated English of how he and his fellow students of French in Paris mangle the Gallic language. In the essay "Jesus Shaves," he and his classmates from many nations try to convey the concept of Easter to a Moroccan Muslim. "It is a party for the little boy of God," says one. "Then he be die one day on two... morsels of... lumber," says another. Sedaris muses on the disputes between his Protestant mother and his father, a Greek Orthodox guy whose Easter fell on a different day. Other essays explicate his deep kinship with his eccentric mom and absurd alienation from his IBM-exec dad: "To me, the greatest mystery of science continues to be that a man could father six children who shared absolutely none of his interests."
Every glimpse we get of Sedaris's family and acquaintances delivers laughs and insights. He thwarts his North Carolina speech therapist ("for whom the word pen had two syllables") by cleverly avoiding all words with s sounds, which reveal the lisp she sought to correct. His midget guitar teacher, Mister Mancini, is unaware that Sedaris doesn't share his obsession with breasts, and sings "Light My Fire" all wrong--"as if he were a Webelo scout demanding a match." As a remarkably unqualified teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago, Sedaris had his class watch soap operas and assign "guessays" on what would happen in the next day's episode.
It all adds up to the most distinctively skewed autobiography since Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia. The only possible reason not to read this book is if you'd rather hear the author's intrinsically funny speaking voice narrating his story. In that case, get Me Talk Pretty One Day on audio. --Tim Appelo --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.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!!!
This is typical David Sedaris. The book has two parts, the first one is anecdotes of Mr. Sadaris growing up - the eccentricity of his father and all family members. Basically it contains his life growing up in North Carolina, then his move to Chicago, and finally to New York City.
The second part of the book is mostly his life with Hugh, his lover and living in France.
Narrated from the first person point of view, the book has no start, middle or finish - but rather a series of anecdotes. Each one could possibly stand out as a short story.
Mr. Sedaris comedy is better heard than read, but I can picture his voice when I read. There are some moments that I thought stood out. On "Jesus shaves" I liked his commentary that the Easter bunny was as real as the story of Jesus.
On "I pledge allegiance to the flag," Sedaris makes fun of our American stupidity and its rewards from malpractice lawsuits. And there is a commentary of Americans traveling in the Metro in Paris and how they pick on Sedaris confusing him for a pickpocket thief - however, to my disillusion he never revealed to the Americans that he spoke English.
The book is an easy fun read. i read it on my trip from Chicago to Puerto Vallarta (4 hours) and still have time left.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Except there are word minimums on this review, like a school book report. He's the writer, not me.Read more