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Review: Me Talk Pretty One Day

January 13, 2011

Me Talk Pretty One Day is a collection of autobiographical essays by David Sedaris.  True to his usual form, the stories include his friends and family and are often self-deprecating.  I’d heard one of the stories, Jesus Shaves, in another one of his books, but all the other stories were new to me.  I really enjoyed these stories because many of them take place in France.  Of course I enjoyed some more than others, but there wasn’t a stinker in the bunch.  I laughed out loud as I read many of them and even read one out loud to Carl.

I’ve been a fan of David Sedaris for a while, but had never actually read (I’d always listened) one of his books until I picked up Me Talk Pretty One Day.   I was a little nervous going in – I was worried that his stories wouldn’t hold the same appeal for me without hearing his voice reading them.  It turns out I worried for nothing.  I loved this book – in fact it might be my favorite of all of Sedaris’s books that I’ve read.  It probably sounds a little strange, but I could hear his voice in my head as I read some of the stories.

Sedaris’s humor’s not for everyone – it’s not politically correct, includes potty humor and some foul language – but for those who aren’t easily offended, this book is a real winner!

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47 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2011 5:03 am

    I enjoyed his Santaland book last year but I haven’t read any since. Will keep an eye out.

  2. January 13, 2011 6:40 am

    I’m listening to one of his audio books right now and thoroughly enjoying it. I’ll have to give this one a try. It’s interesting that you did enjoy reading his words rather than listening to him. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be the “same.”

  3. January 13, 2011 7:43 am

    He does take getting use to, but I have enjoyed his books in the past.

  4. January 13, 2011 8:17 am

    It’s only strange if you hear his voice in your head at other times when you are NOT reading his books, if he starts to narrate other parts of your life, tell Carl! I loved this one too although I think When You are Engulfed in Flames may still be my favorite.

  5. January 13, 2011 8:18 am

    This book has been on my Wishlist for a long time now. Good to know you liked it.

  6. January 13, 2011 8:54 am

    It always makes me happy to hear about someone enjoying Sedaris’ humor. This is the book that actually started me off reading everything he writes.

  7. January 13, 2011 9:24 am

    Of all the Sedaris books, this strikes me as the one I am most likely to try. I am very cautious about reading humor, but this sounds like a good one.

  8. Veens permalink
    January 13, 2011 9:35 am

    I typically do not read humor because most of it goes over my head. 🙂
    But everyone raves about him, maybe I will someday give it a try.

  9. bethhoffmanauthor permalink
    January 13, 2011 9:39 am

    You’ve convinced me to pick this up! Thanks, Kathy.

  10. January 13, 2011 9:45 am

    I think this was probably my favorite as well (running up against When You Are Engulfed In Flames!). And perhaps you are right…once you are familiar with Sedaris and his style of delivery, you probably can imagine him reading it. OMG that section where he is in his language class and trying to describe Easter to his instructor, in what little French they know, is literally my favorite bit in this whole library!!!

  11. January 13, 2011 10:08 am

    I love David Sedaris but I’ve only read him until I listened to The Santaland Diaries this past Christmas. I don’t know how I missed this but I’m going to have to listen to him all the time now.

  12. January 13, 2011 10:09 am

    I’ve been on the waiting list for the audio for this for a while! I’m glad there weren’t any “stinkers” in the bunch! :–)

  13. January 13, 2011 10:13 am

    This is my very favorite Sedaris book, and I am glad that you thought it was his best too. I think this is the first of his I ever read, and now I am thinking it’s time for a reread. I am glad to hear you loved it! Great review!

  14. January 13, 2011 10:20 am

    That’s interesting how audiobooks come off differently than reading it yourself. I’m reading Earth by Jon Stewart & the Daily Show, and while I’m laughing all the way through it, I think hearing it being read would be even better.

  15. January 13, 2011 10:21 am

    Now why do I know his name…yes must go google, lol

  16. January 13, 2011 11:13 am

    I really need to pick up something by Sedaris one of these days. I think I would really enjoy his stories.

  17. January 13, 2011 11:23 am

    I tried to read this one but it definitely wasn’t for me. I’ve got a book that has an essay by Sedaris, though, and I’m looking forward to reading it (the Algonquin book about Paris experiences — you’ve probably got a copy).

  18. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 13, 2011 11:45 am

    When I finally read Sedaris it looks like I should start with this one.

  19. January 13, 2011 12:11 pm

    I just saw a piece on him this Sunday at CBS Sunday morning. I’ve never read anything by him, but….now after two great reviews (yours and their’s) I will.

  20. January 13, 2011 12:53 pm

    I loved this one as well! Glad you enjoyed it.

  21. January 13, 2011 1:36 pm

    I love listening to David Sedaris too. I don’t think I’ve ever read one of his books with my eyes. I should try that – maybe with this one.

  22. January 13, 2011 1:44 pm

    Sounds like you’re a fan no matter if you are reading or listening. I’m going to have to try one of his books out.

  23. January 13, 2011 1:49 pm

    I’m glad to hear this worked just as well for you in print! I need to read more of his books.

  24. January 13, 2011 2:55 pm

    Kathy, I’ve heard so much about this book. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Now I know I should read it. 🙂

  25. January 13, 2011 4:23 pm

    I can’t help myself– I loved this book!

  26. January 13, 2011 4:53 pm

    Looks like a fun one I need to pick up for some good laughs.

  27. January 13, 2011 5:29 pm

    This was the first Sedaris book that I read, and I have been a fan of his since. Like you, I typically listen to his books, but I find reading the printed form just as hilarious.

  28. January 13, 2011 5:29 pm

    Potty humor can sometimes make me laugh, but it depends on the story!

  29. January 13, 2011 7:32 pm

    I think this was my favorite Sedaris book. The story from when he is in French class and they are talking about Easter just slayed me. I was laughing so hard I cried!

  30. January 13, 2011 8:47 pm

    I have his Naked to read, so I’m eager to find out what all the hype over him is about. This is also on my wishlist!

  31. January 13, 2011 9:13 pm

    Kathy, I will have to check it out. Sounds like a fun book.

  32. January 13, 2011 10:04 pm

    I know he’s funny because my husband laughs while he reads Sedaris’ books. I haven’t read any yet though.

  33. January 14, 2011 6:49 am

    I really want to try more Sedaris–I’ve been hot and cold with him so far–loved Engulfed in Flames (listened) but wasn’t thrilled about Holidays on Ice (read). I tried listening to Holidays on Ice to see if that helped but maybe it was just not one of his great ones. Will definitely need to try Me Talk Pretty One Day, though.

  34. Caitie F permalink
    January 14, 2011 9:41 am

    He is so hit or miss for me. Some of his stuff I love and some of it irritates me to no end. I will read all of his stuff because I tend to find an essay or two in each collection that I really like, but there was a lot in this one I wasn’t crazy about

  35. January 14, 2011 10:43 am

    I’ve never tried any of his books -I may have to give this one a try.

  36. January 14, 2011 1:33 pm

    Not much offends me {to each there own!} and I’ve heard good things… thanks for the review, I’ll definitely look into getting myself a copy

  37. January 14, 2011 5:03 pm

    What a perfect suggestion! I am in Miami with a couple of heady business books and I need a little something to break it up. This is what I am going to read. Thank you.

  38. January 15, 2011 5:56 am

    I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages, and just recently found a very cheap copy ($5!), so it’s now sitting on my shelf (well, actually siting in a TBR pile) waiting for me to get to it. I have read a bit of Sedaris, but not a lot. I’m a sucker for Paris though, so am interested to read this one.

  39. January 15, 2011 6:50 am

    Oh I totally know what you mean when you say that you could hear his voice in your head. I’ve had that happen.

  40. January 15, 2011 9:23 am

    Now you’re hearing voices …

    (Many of us have done the same : ) )

    Especially fun with so many of the stories set in France.

  41. January 15, 2011 1:56 pm

    I enjoy Sedaris’s humor and yet I still haven’t picked this one up! Bad Trisha.

  42. January 16, 2011 10:39 am

    I still haven’t read any of his works but yes, I heard they’re good. I’m not sure how I’d like them but I won’t know if I don’t try…

  43. January 16, 2011 10:44 am

    Sedaris sounds like he has a scorpian bite and that is my wickedly morbid way.

    Going to add this one down and happy to hear you laughed enough to share with your husband too. You’re making me break the buying ban everytime I come back…

  44. January 16, 2011 12:42 pm

    None of those things bother me so I may enjoy this one.

  45. January 16, 2011 6:31 pm

    I usually listen to him on audio, too, but I did read the paper version of this one and LOVED IT. The stories of France were just stellar and wonderfully hilarious. In fact, I read this one when I still lived in NC, and my boyfriend-at-the-time’s mother was in the hospital. We would go visit her, and when I was reading this book I would cackle aloud in the hospital. Felt kinda weird, but it was just that funny. I ended up reading a few chunks to them aloud. Gave the whole group a laugh. 🙂

  46. January 17, 2011 8:12 pm

    I’ve not read ANY Sedaris yet but I definitely will one day.

  47. January 18, 2011 12:47 pm

    David Sedaris is someone that I’ve got to listen to on audiobook soon – it might cure all the misses I’ve been going through lately with audio!

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