Home > None Yet > Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Saturday, 17 April 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Non-fiction: Humor. Abridged audio from Hachette Audio. Recorded in 2000. 5 hours and 51 minutes. Narrated by the author. Purchased from Audible.com. Read for book club.

This is a book of short stories. I found some of them to be humorous but many of them just did not resonate with me. I suppose for any humorist to be funny the audience must be able to relate to what is being said; to have a common point of reference. When he talks about living in Europe, he has me laughing out loud. When he shares that his artistic talent only existed when he was doped up on drugs, not so much.

David Sedaris’ new collection of essays – including live recordings! – 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’ career leads him to New York City and eventually, of all places, France. His 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 or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other to every unforgettable encounter.

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