A different read for me, and if I hadn't have pushed myself to keep reading after the first couple of chapters, I wouldn't have become glued to the book. David Sedaris is able to put thoughts to paper in a way we never could, even though we may have thoughts similar to his. He took every day situations and turned them into humor. It was a nice refreshment read from my usual reads.
I wasn't aware that this was a series of short essays, but I'm glad it was. I found I needed a rest from the authors humor every few pages, and the format enabled me to do so. I actually loved his dry humor, but sometimes found it to be a little overwhelming and I wasn't certain if he was being sarcastic or honest.
Funny, fast read. Each chapter is a different humorous essay, so it is easy to pick up and put down. It would make a good vacation book or book to read when you are busy.
The different stories that he tells come from different times in his life, so it is a bit hard to sum up quickly. He writes about his childhood, his quirky family, pets, lame jobs, his stupidity, his time in France and learning to speak french.
It doesn't get any funnier than this book. This is a book of vignettes about the author's lunatic life. He reports his life episodes with side-splitting wit. As it says on the back cover: "If wit were measured in people, David Sedaris would be China: His talent is that huge." He could be the funniest writer alive. If you need to get your endorphine levels ratcheted up - read this book.
Nothing prepared me for the sheer audacity and frankness of this book. I found myself laughing for days - literally days - after I read some passages and recalled them even weeks afterwards. David Sedaris has a gift for sketching the most bizarrely true events in his life and putting them in spare terms that hit your funny bone 'just so'! This is a perfect book for a savvy college student, anyone who faces a struggle of learning a new language or anyone who likes modern stand-up comedy. This is a book of autobiographical chapters and if you're not prudish, his rapier wit will exhilarate you- even as it stuns you - with sheer insightful humor. Just hilarious!
So, it was funny. It was. The humor wasn't as "acid" as the hype suggested, but there were parts that made me laugh out loud. The second half of the book, which takes place after Sedaris moves to France, is definitely funnier, but perhaps that's because I can relate somewhat, having spent some time in France myself. The parts about his Father were hilarious, and I have to admit that he reminded me at times of my own Father.
Often, when reading a memoir, you're reading about someone who has done some extraordinary things. Here, I think we're hearing about a fairly ordinary person, who has not done anything terribly extraordinary, but who writes rather well. He's not as outrageous as many gay writers; in fact he seems rather conservative in outlook.
I've been advised by several that his work is much funnier when hearing him read it, but I haven't had the opportunity yet.
When I take car trips I enjoy listening to entertaining audio books. This one did not disappoint. Sedaris included some hilarious stories on this one. My favorite was City of Angels and is about woman who comes with one of his friends to NYC from Greensboro, NC. That one had me in fits.
If you have ever taken French with a crazy French teacher, the passages about his experiences will have you laugh so hard, you will cry. I had actually thought this book was about mental retardation when I first saw the cover. Absolutely not ... and David Sedaris is a scream!
This was a nicely humorous book. Parts of it had me laughing under my breath, and it seems that Sedaris has seasoned a bit since "Naked", since his writing seems more polished. It is somewhat astounding that so much has happened to the man, though. His life has certainly been one of adventure...
A very enjoyable read! He has a funny way of looking at things and he writes very well. Since all of the chapters are self-contained stories, you can pick it up at any time and just start reading, which I like since I'm always reading a few books at once.
This book is comprised of many short stories, essays, and ramblings. Somewhat autobiographical with liberal use of hyperbole and humor. Perfect for reading short bits at a time or straight through. The Sedaris family is fascinating and they sure make great characters in this book. The author's opinions about society and life are also compelling. Highly recommended.
This is a great compilation of essays by the witty writing David Sedaris, a great bath time read. Easy and amusing would highly recommend if a light read is what you are after. David's view on the French, his family and dating life is comical insight on the every day life of a person many can relate to.
Some chapters were hilarious, particularly the ones about Sedaris's crazy family. Other chapters I found whiny and annoying, such as the ones where he refuses to paricipate in French culture, while living in France. While he's an interesting writer, Sedaris is definitely not someone I would want to spend time with.
"It's a pretty grim world when I can't even feel superior to a toddler." Welcome to the curious mind of David Sedaris, where dogs outrank children, guitars have breasts, and French toddlers unmask the inadequacies of the American male. Sedaris inhabits this world as a misanthrope chronicling all things petty and small. In Me Talk Pretty One Day Sedaris is as determined as ever to be nobody's hero--he never triumphs, he never conquers--and somehow, with each failure, he inadvertently becomes everybody's favorite underdog. The world's most eloquent malcontent, Sedaris has turned self-deprecation into a celebrated art form, "Go Carolina," his account of "the first battle of my war against the letter s" is particularly poignant. Unable to disguise the lisp that has become his trademark, Sedaris highlights (to hilarious extent) the frustration of reading "childish s-laden texts recounting the adventures of seals or settlers named Sassy or Samuel."
David Sedaris had me laughing out loud on the plane. People stared, some seemed annoyed, but I just couldn't stop. I was crying and had to put the book down several times because I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. Suggestion: if you really want to start this book laughing, begin in part *Deux and then work your way back from there.
I love this book and gave my copy to a good friend to read (which she still hasn't read!!) -- but I had to get another copy for my library. This is one I read and re-read because Sedaris' essays really hit home. They paint such a visual picture -- I love reading excerpts to my husband while I am reading it. He wonders what I am reading and laughing out loud!
David Sedaris is a funny, funny man, but if you are squeamish or prudish, you might find this book a little distasteful. My advice: get it, read it in private, and laugh your head off. Sedaris writes short essays that are perfect pre-bedtime humor. His stories often revolve around his colorful family and are laugh-out-loud funny. Finally, if you ever get a chance to hear David Sedaris read any of his work (typically on NPR), by all means make the effort. His delivery makes the stories even better.
Unpopular opinion time: While this book was undoubtedly well written and worth reading, I didn't find it funny at all. In fact, it was quite depressing. I'm not sure why I don't see the hilarity; I usually love cynical humor. For some reason, the way this was written just didn't make the often horrible situations it describes seem humorous or absurd at all. Just...well, depressing.
Wait, I take that back. Some of the stuff about the difficulties of learning French and trying to communicate with a limited vocabular were amusing. But nothing was gut-bustingly hilarious like I'd been led to believe.
Still, Sedaris is a talented writer who paints a vivid picture with his words. This book is definitely an interesting read.
This was the first book by David Sedaris that I read, and unfortunately, it now has become the book by which all of his other works are judged. I agree with the majority of the reviews that this is probably his best work. Each essay is funnier than the previous and it's easy to fly through half of this book in one sitting because you don't want to stop.
It seems that most people either love Sedaris or don't get his style of humor. The punchlines aren't 'in-your-face' and require a bit of thought in order to appreciate. Put yourself in his shoes and you'll enjoy the essays even more. If you can handle the subjects and language, then essays like You Can't Kill the Rooster, The Youth in Asia, and I'll Eat What He's Wearing will leave you laughing and gasping for air... unless of course, you don't have the awesome sense of humor that you think you do... in which case, you probably won't be able to finish this book.
Several months after reading this, I had the desire to re-read it, but instead bought the audio book, which is read by the author. It's a completely different experience, but hilarious to hear the stories straight from David's mouth. Whether you're reading it or listening to it, there's no wrong way to consume Me Talk Pretty One Day.
If this is your first Sedaris experience, as it was for me, and you're hungry for more, I recommend Holidays on Ice as the follow up.
Odd that so many people think this book is funny. I found it quite pitiful frankly. Can't see the reason for all the notoriety. Have any of the other reviewers read any REALLY good essays-- say, like Mark Twain or Jack Kerouac?
This was my first David Sedaris book, and after reading it, I cannot wait to get my hands on all his others. The short stories that fill this book are hilarious. David Sedaris has a quarky sense of humor that I find refreshing. I found myself laughing out load again and again. I could really identify with some of the thoughts he expresses in the text and that is rare, and a little scary.
I could have flown through this book, but my preference was to savor it for all its worth. I highly recommend this book, and I will be sure to review his others, as I read them.
LOVE IT! Love David's writing style full of wit and sarcasm but oh so true to life. Truly a book you will pick up whenever you want a break from the ordinary and need something to put a smile on your face.
David Sedaris is perhaps one of the most funny and easy to read authors of modern humor. He can even make coming from one of the most dysfunctional families I've ever read about funny rather than bleak. Rather you are reading one of his true essays or one of his fiction short stories (always a treat) you will be howling with laughter from this book.
Very funny... David Sedaris' books are basically about about himself and his slightly warped view of the world. They'll make you giggle and knowingly shake your head the whole time you are reading. My favorite essay in this book has to be the first one in which he is relaying his experiences in speech therapy with "Agent Samson," as he calls his therapist, to correct his "s" sound. I was laughing out loud at his descriptions of avoiding using "s" at all costs... to the point of saying about how he'll spend his New Year's Eve... "On the final day of the year we take down the pine tree in our living room and eat marine life." *giggle*
David Sedaris is VERY funny. This was an easy read. One can easily relate to the situations that he writes about and you might find yourself laughing out loud at many of the stories inside the book.
I really wasn't interested in David Sedaris' books until I heard him on NPR telling the French metro story. It was so funny hearing him tell it that I read the book. Lots of laughs and perfect reading for a commute-- short little sections.
"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.
I bought this book on a friend's suggestion and took it to read on a cross-country flight. Mid-way through the flight, I was laughing so hard, I was crying. My seatmate demanded to know what I was reading because he said he hadn't seen anyone laugh that hard in a long time. I teach English as a Second Language and I can completely relate to the stories he tells of how strange American culture seems to others, and the stories of how he struggled to learn French were spot on. If you like David Sedaris, his sister Amy Sedaris is equally funny. Thumbs way up!!
Sarcasm is one of my favorite mediums,and I think I found the "master." While reading this book I was laughing out loud on an airplane. Besides Sedaris' stories being so painfully funny that I couldn't help but cackle on a silent plane with a stranger less than 2 inches away from me, I can honestly say I've never read a book that has made me laugh out loud. This was my first Sedaris, and it was a pretty good introduction.
This was my first David Sedaris book. I laughed outloud, often and immediately went to the bookstore to buy as many more books as I possibly could. HILARIOUS. He has an amazing gift for recording detail and seeing the absurdities of life, while making you laugh.
Hilarious! I have enjoyed Jen Lancaster novels in the past and David Sedaris was suggested through amazon. Loved some stories, they had me rolling, but others just fell short for my sense of humor. But, would recommend it for anyone looking for a carefree read.
Funny and easy to read. David Sedaris just keeps writing wonderful books! This book, similar to his others, is a compilation of short stories about various parts of his life. I found myself laughing out loud at some points.
There are many parts of this book I found hilarious; actually laughing out loud. I found Sedaris' story of his childhood where his sister had and continues to have a unique way of rebelling against their father's expectations of her one of the funniest parts of the book. I couldn't put this book down; it was so much fun. Now with all the books I've been getting from PBS I wonder when I'll be able to get my laundry done.
David Sedaris is one of the funniest people writing these days. This book is a collection of autobiographical essays. The title is his rendition of how he and his fellow students of French in Paris mangle the Gallic language. We meet a hilarious cast of characters from his family and friends. The second half of the book is about his experiences as an American in Paris.
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. The only possible reason not to read this book is if you'd rather hear the author's intrinsically funny speaking voice narrating his story.
Well, this was just great! Each one of these essays was fabulous -- funny, witty, wry, and quirky. Sedaris's perspective is unique, and he has a way of taking the most mundane events (going out to dinner with his father, say) and making them seem like epic stories full of meaning and insights into the plight of humanity, and yet taking the most seemingly romantic situations (like moving to Paris) and grounding them satisfyingly in the mundane.
Plus he's freakin' hilarious.
I think my favorite essays were the ones in part two that dealt with his attempts to learn French. He turns culture clash into comedy gold! ("'I hate you,' [the French teacher] said to me one afternoon. Her English was flawless. 'I really, really hate you.' Call me sensitive, but I couldn't help but take it personally.") Hee! How can you not love this guy?
I bought this book because it was a bestseller. I could not read more than 1/3 of the book. It is not my type of book, but book critics seem to love it. I found it boring and frankly, could not even tell you what it is about becauseI just could not stick with it.
Autobiographical group of essays; some insight into what it's like to come out & eventually embrace your homosexuality, among other things. I thought it was hilarious, but I suppose if you are in the least homophobic, this one won't be your cup of tea. Kind of a window on the world (literally, in a sense, as some of the time is spent in Europe) through the eyes of a gay man.
"David Sedaris's new collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day, 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's career leads him to New York (the sky's-the-limit field of furniture moving) and eventually, of all places, France.
Sedaris's move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language..."
David Sedaris continues with his hilarious essays on life,his family and laugh-out-loud experiences. This book,like past book of stories is superbly written and enjoyable.A humorous insight on the life of D.Sedaris as it unfolds for your reading enjoyment.If you need a laugh this book will give it to you 1
Perfect for an audio book read by the author and a pretty good audio book for short distance listeners like myself. It was funny, but I guess I don't quite get the 5-star hype. Maybe I need more Sedaris to get that and with this book being enjoyable, I would read (or more likely listen to) more.
I was relieved when this book finally came to an end. Sedaris tries too hard to be funny with his exaggerated truths and dry wit but instead of being funny it is rather repulsive. My first and last Sedaris book.