I wasn't fond of this book at all. It was recommended by someone in my bookgroup who thinks Sedaris is hilarious. I didn't find myself laughing much or make it all the way through the book.
"Everyone had taken their places, when I excused myself to visit the bathroom, and there, in the toilet, was the absolute biggest turd I have ever seen in my life - no toilet paper or anything, just this long and coiled specimen, as thick as a burrito."
Yes my friends, everyone poops (some more than others) and I'm pretty sure we've all found ourselves in a similar situation at one time or another, entering an empty bathroom only to find the toilet clogged or filled with the most putrid pile of feces you've ever seen. Immediately, thoughts such as the following cross your mind: Should I flush it? What if it clogs the toilet and causes it to overflow? What in god's name did he eat for dinner last night? If I don't flush it can I escape the bathroom without anyone seeing me flee the scene of the crime? The list goes on and on...and thankfully for us David Sedaris decided to write about his similar experience in the hilarious chapter titled "Big Boy", which turned out to be my favorite short story within this novel.
Now, it must be said that I do have a somewhat sick and twisted sense of humor, and there's a really good chance that this type of subject matter may not be considered humorous by others. What impressed me more than anything else however was not the size of the turd being discussed, but rather Sedaris's ability to accurately and honestly capture the types of thoughts that race through our minds during such awkward and uncomfortable moments in our lives.
I've never been one for short stories, as I tend to gravitate towards meaty tomes that threaten the stability of even the sturdiest of bookshelves, however I decided to give Sedaris a try after years and years of hearing everyone and their brother praise his work. Based off of a friend's suggestion I cracked open "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and after all was said and done I found it to be an easy read, peppered with amusing stories that ooze wit, honesty, and humor from each and every sentence. Sedaris manages to portray even the most mundane situations in an amusing manner, which I found to be incredibly entertaining.
With all of that said however, I wasn't exactly blown away by this book either. Perhaps my general distaste for short stories was to blame, but I found myself growing bored at times. I found the latter half of the book, which focuses primarily on his struggle to learn French while living overseas, to be a bit dry at times. Maybe I'm just a big mean jerk, but I really was not that intrigued to find out if he ever managed to master the language.
All in all though, I did enjoy this book and would consider reading more Sedaris novels in the future. He has a very unique and interesting way at looking at life and is not afraid to blurt out those commonly unspoken thoughts that swirl through our heads on a daily basis. One word of caution though, if you happen to read this book while sitting atop the good ole' porcelain throne, don't forget to flush. Because, well, if you don't it will just make things weird for the next person.