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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 David Sedaris, All Rights Reserved (P)2000, 2001 Time Warner AudioBooks

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 listeners say about Me Talk Pretty One Day

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I wept

I am a huge recent fan of David Sedaris, and this book didn't disappoint. My whole family was listening to it on a long drive. At one point I thought my husband was going to run off the road he was laughing so hard. I was weeping with laughter, so couldn't even take over the driving. David Sedaris has the best delivery, and the best self-deprecating humour that comes through even when the subject matter is less hilarious than piquant. We'll listen to it more than once.

1 person found this helpful

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I thought I would be annoyed.

I thought David's voice would irritate me but no - he is a brilliant reader. His stories are a "slice of life" about growing up in his large family, surviving the education system and bulls****ing his way through various careers, while keeping a firm grasp on his sense of humour. The only irritating bit was the section where he was reading to an audience and we have to hear their laughter - fortunately this is short. I loved the chapter on the family's succession of ill fated pets. The book is well worth listening to.

3 people found this helpful

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No laughs here

Not funny. The author details the adversity he faced growing up as a young homosexual. Not a comedy at all. Very sad at times. Was not expecting an autobiography.

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Disappointing.

I bought this based on the reviews but it didn't resonate with me. Not funny!

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Still hilarious twenty years later!

David Sedaris' food-hoarding father sounds exactly like my Chinese parents who did not live through abject poverty! Loved hearing about his years living as the American village idiot also in Normandy, France. Very relatable with my broken French in spite of twenty years of on-and-off French classes!!

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Hilarious!

Fantastic narration and very very funny. Very easy to listen to and giggle along with the anecdotes.

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Loved it

Where does Me Talk Pretty One Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

How does a guy get so funny. Loved every word of this book. Definitely my best so far.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Me Talk Pretty One Day?

Too many to list

What about David Sedaris’s performance did you like?

Everything. The writing, his delivery, his self-deprecation (so refreshing compared to so many people these days), his pathos, his empathy. He is just a great writer across the board.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

His writing about learning French in Paris. That was not only funny but helpful for me because I'm a language teacher and it really helped me to empathise more with my students.

Any additional comments?

I just hope my next audio book will be even half as good as this one.

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Not For Me

Why David, why? Why don't I like you? I really tried, honestly I did. After I panned "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls" everyone told me I'd started in the wrong place. Everyone told me your very best work was actually “Me Talk”, so I dutifully went back for a second round with fresh hopes and a forgiving heart.

Oh David. The uneven but occasionally funny “Diabetes” was actually better than the extremely even (i.e. never-once-interesting) drivel in “Me Talk”.

David, David, David. We really should've hit it off, but I'm afraid your anecdotes are just a little too pointless, laughless and — dare I say — truthless for me to bother with Round 3. If this is the best you have to offer, let's just agree to go our separate ways. It's not me, it's you.

2 people found this helpful

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Hilarious

Would you listen to Me Talk Pretty One Day again? Why?

David Sedaris' short stories are hilarious, and spoken with his dry wit only adds to the overall experience.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Me Talk Pretty One Day?

It was wonderful to listen to the live segments and hear others appreciate the humour too.

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  • Pamela Mantrippe
  • 06-29-15

This guy is an original

Very entertaining stories and anecdotes . I am working my way through all his audiobooks, they are all good. Try one and see what you think !!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tracey
  • 01-06-10

Absolutely hilarious

I'd never encountered David Sedaris before this audiobook, and was advised this was a great starting point. And I am so glad I listened to it. David's stories are touching, informative and above all ridiculously funny. His attempts at speaking French had me laughing out loud, while his revealing tale about tourists judging him on the Paris Metro made me want to reach into the headphones and punch the offending ignorami. He is extremely likable, and once you listen to one story don't make any plans for the next few hours, as you won't want to leave him unattended.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Carolyn
  • 09-01-13

He talk pretty

I've only recently discovered David Sedaris after stumbling across his Radio 4 show, Meet David Sedaris. I bought this, hoping that it would be as funny as the 30 minute R4 show and I have not been disappointed. I judge how funny an audio book is by how stupid I look when I am listening to it and this one passes the test with flying colours. I have been laughing out loud whilst listening to this when I'm walking the dog and I suspect that I am fast gaining a reputation locally as some sort of laughing halfwit. My favourite line - "is them the thoughts of cows". It will make sense when you get to it. Highly, highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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  • MRS K EVANS
  • 06-21-14

Very funny but very believable

What did you like most about Me Talk Pretty One Day?

The narration

What was one of the most memorable moments of Me Talk Pretty One Day?

The story about the family dog

What does David Sedaris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His deadpan delivery

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed a lot, even in public

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to another Sedaris book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Phil
  • 12-02-13

Very funny

Having David Sedaris himself narrating in his witty tone is a real bonus. It's perfect for long car journeys or travelling with headphones. Chapters are self contained stories so perfect to dip in and out of.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Moostu
  • 08-24-13

Glad I stuck with this book...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd definitely recommend this book. It look me while to get used to Sedaris' delivery, but once I had I loved it.

What did you like best about this story?

Loved the bits about speaking French, made me pee. The Youth in Asia had me in tears, very moving.

Any additional comments?

The length of the stories mean that it's a great book to listen to on the bus to/from work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-21

David Sedaris Is My HomeBoy

I don’t actually know what a HomeBoy really is. But you often see t-shirts or caps that say Jesus Is My HomeBoy, and I imagine that these can’t always have been a worn in irony, so based on my general assumption that a HomeBoy is someone you hold in high esteem and would like to hang out with sometimes, or be associated with, I think I would like David Sedaris to be one of mine. Non-ironically. His stories are unique, hilarious, deliciously sardonic and the way he uses language is superb. No-one in the world could read his own writing better than he does, I’m sure of it, and I am only left wondering if he would be as good if reading someone else’s. It’s a joy to listen to David Sedaris, so completely specific an experience. I highly recommend. Whether you would ever wear anyone’s face on a t-shirt declaring them your HomeBoy, or not.

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  • Mary D
  • 03-15-21

My favourite David Sedaaris collection so far

I could just devour every story ever written by the brilliant David Sedaris. I'd read some of the before, but his narration brings all of his quirky, hilarious, irreverent and unpredictable characters and stories to life. Highly recommend.

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  • Andrew Sharp
  • 12-13-20

Never even heard of him before this awesome book!

I'd honestly never heard of him until my friend recommended I listen. I'm so glad I did. I was around half way through the book before I decided to Google him to find his age, such was his timelessness. He could have been anywhere between 25 and 70. Even though the book is 20 years old now it didn't sound dated in either content or delivery. Gonna start on some more if his work next.

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  • Babycham
  • 07-28-20

What a find....!

I stumbled upon this after I heard David Sedaris speaking on the brilliant podcast The Thing About France and was just hoping for an insight into living in France but I discovered a treasure trove of wonderful little stories. What a brilliant writer this man is - his stories are funny (often laugh-out-loud funny), touching, sometimes absurd (but still believable), moving, and so refreshingly honest. I have put all of his other books into my wishlist and am going to be working my way through them all. The production of this book is top quality also - from the accompanying music, to the sound quality. A very well written, narrated, and produced audiobook...highly recommended :)

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  • Chris
  • 07-09-20

This story had me laughing out loud all the time.

Fantastic delivery by the author, on one of the funniest and eccentric stories I’ve read/listened to in ages.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-16-18

Delightful. Intelligent. Funny. Touching.

What a brilliant collection of stories that will make you laugh and cry. Loved hearing them read by Sedaris too.

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  • Margot
  • 07-29-18

David Sedaris is a hilarious delight!

I could listen to David Sedaris tell stories all day long. Thoughtful, funny and entertaining.

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  • David Kelly
  • 02-23-18

brilliant

I powered through this book, loving every story. amazing observations and flawless delivery by Sedaris. looking forward to hearing more of his books. Would recommend for anyone who enjoys a humorous and critical view of the world.

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  • Kylie
  • 07-24-16

Whack whack whack

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and David's reading of it. Makes you smile and laugh. An honest and entertaining account. I'm just glad I'm not related for fear of what might be written about me. As an Australian I was bemused that a Kookaburra and masturbating sound the same. Whack, whack, whack!!!

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  • Steven Green
  • 02-05-15

David Sedaris is wonderful...

Not just his writing but his speaking and narration is a thrill. He has a way with his mannerisms as well as his comic timing that makes his narration of his book even better. This is my first audio book and what a great choice of book it was... I hope everyone that choses this enjoys it as much as I did.

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  • Qwerty1
  • 06-03-14

As expected

If you could sum up Me Talk Pretty One Day in three words, what would they be?

Amusing, cynical, light

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not applicable

What about David Sedaris’s performance did you like?

If you are familiar with David Sedaris from This American Life (as I am) you will know exactly what sort of humour to expect. If you don't like him on TAL then don't buy it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's a comedy book.

Any additional comments?

Not something you would listen to for an extended period, but great for putting on in the car or out jogging. Funny and light.