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Me Talk Pretty One Day Paperback – 3 Jan 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (3 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349113912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349113913
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

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 department store. 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 man whose Easter fell on a different day. Other essays explicate his deep kinship with his eccentric mother 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. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

Still keeps me company like a party guest who's been asked to spend the night...His essays about living in Paris are full of piss and vinegar and achingly funny. (Armistead Maupin)

Audaciously combining memoir, essay, and what has to be fiction, this fourth collection of short pieces offers pleasures normally to be found only in the best novels and the rare standup act that is actually funny. (THE NEW YORKER)

He is, simply, very funny... refusing to find anything an unfit subject for humour. (SUNDAY TIMES)

A sophisticatedly funny take on modern life. Treat yourself to this book. (IRISH TIMES)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a review of the 2013 edition of the fourth book of essays by American humorist David Sedaris, originally published in 2000.

It comprises a series of short, drily comic observations about his life and family, including his retired IBM engineer father, his foul-mouthed little brother, and his actress sister, Amy. The book is split into two sections, the first set largely in America, and the second focusing on a more settled life, following a move to France with his partner.

Though I was familiar with Sedaris' insouciantly camp tone of voice from his appearances on BBC radio, his past as a drug-addict, alcoholic and virtual down-and-out was unknown to me. He treats his self-degradation with as much waspish wit as he does his adventures on public transport, visiting the cinema, or, in a stand-out chapter, as a diner in fine restaurants (the kind whose menu includes "knuckle of flash-seared crappie served with a collar of chided ginger"). I could have done without the ruminations on the unflushable contents of a friend's toilet, however.

The writing is extremely witty, its focus on the inconsequential masking a deep passion for self-examination. There is a strange profundity in its very triviality.

There isn't a great deal of warmth or wisdom here, but it's an excellent read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh how I loved this book. David Sedaris and his adventures in learning to speak French made me cry with laughter, especially the terrifying teacher at the language classes. The way the other pupils rally round to help each other was particularly endearing. Read this if you have ever struggled to learn another language, or even if you haven't. It's classic Sedaris, enjoy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this because I've listened to David Sedaris reading/presenting his essays and while listening to him makes me laugh out loud, reading makes me smile broadly. Great stories, many of which are quite thought provoking as well as funny. If you enjoy reading short stories as opposed to a full length novel then these are a great modern take on the humorous short story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived in time and in great condition. Personally I didn't enjoy reading it at all...I guess I must have a very different sense of humour. The chapters were all about different experiences in one person's life, all a bit sad if you ask me. It was well written, just didn't appeal!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love David Sidaris, seen him live and have the albums.

Picked this up on a daily deal. Very funny and you can just dip into it whenever you like for a guaranteed laugh.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An engaging, easy, thought-provoking read. Yes, I'd recommend it, but I still prefer the radio talks, where the author's voice adds so much. A good one to take on holiday.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Sedaris is excellent and this book is brilliant ! He is very observant and brilliant at writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Laugh out loud, comical twist of everyday life, especially his family. A character.
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