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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 20 July 2005
This is not a novel as such, but more a series of short stories from various phases of the author's life... and being raised by Greek immigrant parents, before moving to France, via a series of odd jobs gives plenty of opportunity for some hysterical anecdotes.
This book has the same feel as an entertaining acquaintance recounting his experiences over a drink or the dinner table, and even the events that aren't that funny by nature are transformed by this natural storyteller.
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on 26 June 2011
David Sedaris' observational humour is genuinely funny. His upbringing as one of a large (and quirky) family in North Carolina and his later life in New York and France provide the context and rich material for his anecdotes. Highlights include his father's idiosyncrasies, his 12 year old sister Amy propositioning her father over the phone (posing as a neighbour), and the first visit to New York of his friend Alisha's travelling companion. Lots of clever witticisms which ring all too true.
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on 21 December 2013
I really enjoy David Sedaris's monologues on Radio 4, much to annoyance of my family. I had been praising him and trying to get people to listen to him - thinking his dry and witty delivery was one of the funniest things I had heard in years.

However, I think this is part of the problem - I feel that an awful lot of his funniness is down to his delivery... his accent, his infections, surprise and resigned voice. All of this means ultimately, that this book was not as funny as I was oping it was going to be.

Its OK, but you almost have to imagine him saying it. It's very flat. To put it another way, if I had never heard him talking, I would never have liked this book at all.
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on 4 June 2016
There are hints in one or two of the pieces that Sedaris was enjoying success as a writer, but that isn't the stuff of comedy. Instead, he writes about the dead-end jobs cleaning houses and moving furniture and the jobs he failed at, such as teaching. His family provides a lot of comic potential, particularly his father, who is the person I will remember most from this book.

During this time, he drank a lot of alcohol and took a lot of drugs (perhaps he still does) but they haven't dulled his mind. The writing is sharp and inventive and he knows how to extract the humour from any situation. As in all anthologies, the quality varies and one or two of the pieces didn't work for me, but most of them did and I really enjoyed his quirky and inventive l take on the world.
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Me Talk Pretty One Day is the 6th book of collected essays by David Sedaris. In part one, Sedaris touches on speech therapy for his lisp at school, guitar lessons from a midget, inherited traits, artistic talent, sibling swearing, family pets, working as a teacher, toilet legacies, odd jobs, eating out in NYC, visitors to NYC, outward appearances, and technophobia. Part two focuses mainly on his life with his partner Hugh in France and explores travelling to France, taking French language lessons, feast days, the sex of words, Hugh's childhood in Africa, word puzzles, movie subtitles, the behaviour of vacationing Americans, epic daydreams, food economy and IQ tests. My favourite chapter was Jesus Shaves. I tried to read this to friends but dissolved into laughter every time. Sedaris has the reader constantly smiling, chuckling, giggling and often laughing out loud. Sedaris is witty and clever and reading his work is an unalloyed pleasure.
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VINE VOICEon 6 January 2010
I have to agree with the blurb on the book jacket for once, this paperback did indeed make me laugh out loud. I loved David Sedaris's accounts of his dysfunctional childhood, including the trauma of being singled out for speech therapy lessons in class and his French lessons in France. From such slender material, he has a gift for creating humour.

Unfortunately, the quality of the stories is a little uneven. I didn't enjoy his descriptions of drug-taking and there is a tendency for authors (like Augusten Burroughs and Alan Bennett also) to keep up their show of hang-dog, slacker lifestyles long after they have become successful authors, presumably living in nice apartments and not doing crappy jobs. For instance, Sedaris says he returns to visit the USA, going round 13 cities in eight weeks but avoids mentioning that this is for a book tour. Such false modesty and disingenuity can begin to grate.

However, the good parts of the book are very good indeed and this is probably a good choice to start if you haven't read David Sedaris before.
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on 19 January 2011
Short chapters, really witty, had me laughing out loud -shaking with laughter - on the tube into work each day. David Sedaris is a genius.
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on 12 March 2014
A few mildly amusing situations (being mistaken for French pickpocket on the Paris metro) but even simple humour like this is bludgeoned to death with Sedaris's writing. Augustus Burroughs writes in a similar self-reflecting vein but much more amusingly.
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on 15 March 2014
A sort of autobiography but without any charm. I bought it because the reviews said it was so funny. I can see a sort of humour and there were parts that made me smile but I could not warm to the author and therefore didn't really care.
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It truly takes a lot to make me laugh, but I learned not to read anything by David Sedaris in public. His skewed inside viewpoints of life are hilariously offbeat and ring true. So true, that you will be laughing out loud. Whether describing his amphetamine induced college "performance art" shenanigans or his childhood abuse by a speech therapist bent on taking glee in his curiously high-pitched lisp, Sedaris knocks you over with a literary feather laced with lead. Commentaries on New Yorkers, southerners or any other ethnic or regional folk are side-splittingly accurate. Always self-depracating, Sedaris is kind enough to include everyone in his hit-list of ridiculous human behavior. As a reference, David Sedaris' wack-job of a sister is also highlighted. It is no surprise that she went on to be a major contributor to Comedy Central's "Strangers With Candy". Don't be surprised however, if everyone you tell this book about has already read it.
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