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Publisher's Summary

David Sedaris' new collection of essays - including live recordings! - 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' career leads him to New York City and eventually, of all places, France. His move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a "spooky man-child" capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion. Whether describing the Easter bunny to puzzled classmates or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other to every unforgettable encounter.
©2000 by David Sedaris, All Rights Reserved; (P)2000 by Time Warner AudioBooks, A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing

Critic Reviews

"At his best, he makes you laugh out loud, which indeed may be worth the price of admission." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,974
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  • 3 Stars
    636
  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    2,954
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    631
  • 3 Stars
    246
  • 2 Stars
    84
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    105
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  • Overall

Dreary; few laughs

Borrowing a line from Mr. Sedaris' book, I thought this book was a "profound disappointment." Most of it consisted of dreary dialogue about his disappointments in life, punctuated occasionally with a witty observation. It was a chore to listen to.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeffrey
  • Hubbard, OH, USA
  • 07-16-05

Some parts slow, some okay

The material in this book is excellent as usual, but Sedaris as the narrator is much better performing live than he is in his monotone, low-energy, non-emotional reading of this book. At times I could not believe how non-engaging this book was, and I couldn't wait for certain stories that were inserted from live performances. Again, the material is classic Sedaris, but you may fall asleep several times as you struggle through much of this narration.

Listen to all his book samples, compare his live performances and ones on This American Life to this, and you'll see what I am talking about.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marius
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • 03-18-05

He write and read pretty good today

The author reads a hilarious account of his life. From lithping thchooldays, to hith thomewhat eccentic parentth and thiblings. Life in New York, to the French countryside and Parisian cinemas. Some of it is plain funny, some is funny-serious while much is laugh-out-loud stuff, so the folks sitting near you during your commute are going to give you some strange looks. A comparison with Woody Allen is valid, although David Sedaris is no mere clone. If you enjoy really good humour (and there's precious little of it on audio), don't hesitate!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Too much of a good thing?

David Sedaris'collection of essays may not be, in subject matter, appreciated by everyone. His talented delivery and quirky take on life (from childhood, through several stages of personal development)do however make for amusing listening. Unfortunately, the author seems to be trying very hard to show us how clever he is. Though each anecdotal segment on its own is amusing, the work as a whole can be a little tedious. This is a great car selection -- 30 minutes here and there spread over an extended period.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Casey
  • Valencia, CA, USA
  • 01-19-03

Me Talk Pretty One Day

David Sedaris is hilarious. His experiences growing up gay and obsessive compulsive in the South made me laugh out load. His childhod fantasy that he would some day grow up to be a cabaret star with an act consisting of his impression of Billy Holiday singing ads for local car dealerships was so insane that it made me howl and yet, I still believed it. And, amazingly, when he read the story of his music lessons, he sang the ads like Billy Holiday.

But behind the laughter is the reality and sadness that are often present in great comedy. Me Talk Pretty One Day is more than a collection of funny stories. It touches you. It makes you laugh, but you ache for this child whose elementary school thought it could "cure" his homosexuality with speech therapy.

I am no fan of abridged books. But hearing Mr. Sedaris read his own stories more than made up for anything I may have missed. And since he did the reading himself, I assume he collaborated on the process of cutting his work. This book gave me plenty of laughs on my way to work and, having heard this abridged version, I have put the book on my nightstand and plan to read it soon.

11 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pam
  • Scott, LA, USA
  • 01-15-04

YAWN

Not hysterical at all....fell asleep a couple of times while listening. Just Cute...not funny.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anjan
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 08-16-04

LOL Funny

My wife recommended this book, which is absolutely hilarious. It also has some incisive social commentary which really works because the author?s doesn't preach or take himself too seriously. I was in complete stitches on many occasions. David Sedaris has great delivery and excellent timing making the narration very enjoyable!

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Annie
  • Cedaredge, CO, United States
  • 03-05-03

Hilarious

This book is sooo much better on audio--I only wish the unabridged version was available.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Listen when you need a pick-me-up.

No one makes me laugh like Sedaris (well, maybe Bill Cosby). He has tremendous insight into human nature and relates that insight in such a clever way through his stories. All of the essays in this collection are funny -- some more hysterical than others, but all are funny.

I really enjoy reading his New Yorker column, but it is very entertaining to hear him read his own work. Once you've listened to him and then read his work afterward, his voice rings in your head as you read -- love it!

A few of the essays are repeats, but I didn't mind hearing them again. Well worth the credit. I only wish that he was more prolific.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

My favorite David Sedaris book

Any additional comments?

I read this book years ago, but the audiobook is a completely different experience. I laughed out loud.