Me Talk Pretty One Day
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Me Talk Pretty One Day

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  419,534 ratings  ·  12,375 reviews
David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section. His family is another inspiration. You Can't Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his b...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2001 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brian
I just don't care for David Sedaris.

There, I've said it. I've made peace with the fact. I have stared deep into the cockles of my heart, and forced myself to come to the only obvious-but-unpopular conclusion.

I just don't care for David Sedaris.

It was somewhat of an existential struggle for me to reach this conclusion because I'm exactly the kind of person who should like David Sedaris.

I am a sarcastic Generation Xer with an overdeveloped sense of irony. I enjoy reading personal essays about poi...more
Tim
Witty, wry, bitter, delightful.

My mom gave me the book. I was living in France at the time, so she thought David Sedaris and I would have a ton in common. She went to a Sedaris booksigning to get a personalized message to her gay son in France. After he was done reading, she jumped up to get him to write a note to me, "David! My son is gay! He's living in France right now, please sign this copy for him!" He had already started an orderly signing process, going down the rows. He looked at her dis...more
Kasia


That about sums it up.

Because, what's the point to these anecdotes? Are you trying to tell me something Mr. Sedaris? I think not. You think you're funny? Meh, not that funny. Special? You're not that special either. You're a writer, just another writer. What's the big deal?

As I said, I don't care much for your little stories. Seriously, my dear, I don't give a damn.
David
I've been thinking a lot about this, and I have come to the conclusion that David Sedaris is one of the worst human beings in history, i.e., since human beings were first invented by an incompetent, Jerry Lewis-like god or by the inscrutable permutations of natural phenomena. This isn't a moral judgment. It's more like when someone tells you that you have spinach stuck in your teeth. It's both the mere reportage of a fact and a public service. Because, after all, you wouldn't want to walk around...more
Carrie
If I were in someone else's bathroom and there were no other reading materials except for something by David Sedaris, I would pick it up and flip through it. I probably would even find myself slightly amused. But my basic opinion about David Sedaris - which is that he is boring, not very funny, mean and bitchy, and too lazy to write a novel - would remain unchanged.

Remember when people who had fucked up or interesting lives drew on their personal experiences to create artful, often symbolic sto...more
Gemma
This book has been my tube companion for the past fortnight. It is the perfect accompaniment to the London commute for two reasons:

1) The essays are perfectly formed, so you can be assured that you'll be able to finish 3 little chunks over 40 minutes or so. Once the train trundled into Westminster station I would know to quicken my pace so as to finish another section before alighting at Blackfriars and elbowing some bankers.

2) My tube line is the epitome of the British stiff upper lip. People's...more
Bob
Jul 23, 2008 Bob rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bob by: Dion Garrett
Shelves: stopped-reading
Yes. I realize this book is supposed to be hilarious. Yes. I realize I'm not a hip gen-x'er if I don't happen to think it is. Yet...

I feel like Sedaris accurately summed up his entire approach to writing on page 44: "True art was based upon despair, and the important thing was to make yourself and those around you as miserable as possible." He meant this as satire, I'm sure...but what I found truly halarious was that he didn't even realize that he just described the book I was currently reading....more
Nina
So I know this is totally cheating, but I never actually read this book, I listened to it on CD. And I am against the whole book-on-tape idea to begin with, but I needed something easy to listen to on my commute home a few months ago when I was still living all the way in NJ with my parents, and a lot of people whose sense of humor I appreciate told me David Sedaris was hysterical. Actually, I didn't even listen to the whole book, it was so bad I think I only made it past 4 stories. So here is m...more
Erica
"You could turn up your nose at the president or Coke or even God, but there were names for boys who didn't like sports."

"Lisa had been born with a lazy leg that had refused to grow at the same rate as it's twin. I liked the idea that a part of one's body might be thought of as lazy--not thoughtless or hostile, just unwilling to extend itself for the betterment of the team."

"She was what we called Tanorexic."

"My father is the type who once recited a bawdy limerick: "A woman I know who's quite bl...more
Jason Koivu
As the title suggests, much of Me Talk Pretty One Day revolves around speech and speaking:

> Back in school lil' David (I guess he's still kind of little, isn't he) was forced into correcting his sibilant speech by a highly determined therapist. We're led to wonder if she wasn't stamping out boys' lisps through out the North Carolina school with an ulterior motive.
> A move from NY to Paris prompts David to take French lessons in France with hilarious results.

But that's about all there is...more
Masoomeh Tavakoli
Aug 30, 2013 Masoomeh Tavakoli rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: خیلی ها!
Recommended to Masoomeh by: همشهری داستان
ترجمه ی
Me Talk Pretty One Day
معمولاً طنزهای ترجمه شده آدم را نمی خندانند امّا این یکی استثنا بود!
اوّلین بار همین قصّه ی «من را یک روزی دلبر حرف زدن»!!!اش را خواندم (که با عنوان «زیر آسمان پاریس» توسّط احسان لطفی ترجمه و در همشهری داستان آذر 1389 منتشر شده بود) و چه بسیار خنده شد! بعد گذاشتمش در کیفم و با خودم بردمش خانه ی سمیرا. کِی؟ شب امتحان تعلیم و تربیت اسلامی پیشرفته به استادی روان شاد دکتر محمّدرضا شرفی
چهل سؤال داشتیم و می دانستیم که پنج سؤالِ امتحان به احتمال 99درصد، همه از همین چهل سؤال...more
Shovelmonkey1
Jul 28, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who talk pretty but think weird
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: people who already know who david sedaris is
Before I picked up this book I knew nothing about David Sedaris. If someone said to me now, "so why should I give a damn about David Sedaris" I probably still wouldn't be able to offer an adequate defence. What does David Sedaris do? Ummmm, I think he writes books about being David Sedaris.

But, to be fair and accurate he writes pretty funny books about being David Sedaris so if you think that comedy trumps vanity then come on in and join the David Sedaris club. On the whole I suspect that David...more
Kim

David Sedaris has been on the edge of my consciousness for some time. I’m fairly sure that I’ve heard him interviewed on the radio. Or maybe he turned up in these parts to participate in a writers’ festival. In any event, I hadn’t read anyting written by him before and I read this book not because I sought it out, but because it was given to me as a gift. It was given to me because Sedaris writes about Paris and my friend thought that would interest me. She was right. I enjoyed the anecdotes abo...more
Shayantani Das
Very very funny and David reading these stories himself was just the icing of the cake. Lots of lol moments, especially precious memories.

Read again on 22 January, 2012 ,

Recently a goodread friend asked me whether he should read David Sedaris. I said yes, of course, but at the same time, I started rummaging around my place, turning my house upside down looking for my audiobook CD. Reading Margaret Atwood got me in a really gloomy mood recently, but David Sedaris has successfully cheered me up a...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
I've actually expressed my deep, unconditional love for David Sedaris on this site before. With this re-read I realized my love might be a tad unhealthy. You see, last week I was reading this book while a character on a sitcom was reading "When You Are Engulfed In Flames". Rather than being happy that Sedaris was getting quite decent free press, I could only think of the masses of sheer IDIOTS who might venture out to Amazon, purchase something by my true love and then post scathing reviews (wit...more
Lissa

I read Me Talk Pretty One Day on the recommendation of my roommate, the fabulous WER. She gave me her copy of the book, so with a strong recommendation and a free read, I couldn’t possibly refuse.

Me Talk Pretty One Day is a rough autobiography of writer and humorist David Sedaris. I say a “rough” autobiography because it is not told in chronological order, nor is it a straightforward chronological account of the events of his life. Instead, he presents life as a series of vignettes, some of whi...more
Ayla Harbin
So, maybe not exactly literary fiction as it would technically fall under creative non-fiction. However, I personally think creative non-fiction should be considered a form of literary fiction considering not everything, or even most things, in a creative non-fiction story have to be strictly “real”. Besides, this is one of my all-time favorite books!

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris takes place in two parts: Part One and Part Deux. In part one Sedaris tells stories of his childhood and f...more
Jennifer
Nov 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who love to laugh.
I heart David Sedaris. His stories are sooooo funny! I almost feel like you miss out when you read his book rather than listening to him tell his stories. Especially when he talks about how he wants to sing old radio jingles in the voice of Billy Holiday. You read it and it's funny - but when you hear him - in a voice so like Billy Holiday it's shocking - singing My bologne has a first name...it's o...s...c...a...r. it's just a hoot!

Man is he funny. Like if Garrison Keillor were gay and favored...more
Ellabella
Feb 20, 2008 Ellabella rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ellabella by: Stephanie
Shelves: favorites
I must have brought at least three books to Paris with me for the summer, and I read them all within the first week or two. So it was that I found myself to be extremely bored trekking with Stephanie through Paris to all of these different offices to make sure her student visa was in order. And as I waited in the hall, I pulled this book from her bag which she'd been to busy to read yet.

And I couldn't stop laughing. From page one, I was hooked and laughing in a loud, ugly, American way, while al...more
Kira
i get why people think he's funny, but i don't know, i just didn't. i never laughed outloud, and i'm one to cry, smile, gasp, bite my nails, and/or give big appreciative laughs when the author gives me reason (even while sitting in public places and at inappropriate times). i never was given reason. though, i can recoginze why he is enjoyed by so many, mr. sedaris and i don't connect.
Ian
Jan 28, 2009 Ian rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who think all one needs to produce in life is an opinion
This book had a bit going for it, in that I do like monologue type books, such as Nick Hornby's work. The main character of this book, however, is what ruined it for me. Regardless of how real it is, having a main character who seems lazy, boring and overly-judgmental just wasn't interesting enough. And sure, a lot of Hornby narrators are similar, but usually it's told in such a way that you know they're off-base. So much of the narration in this book had a tone of arrogance when I could see no...more
کتابخانه گوگولی
... هر روز به ما می‌گویند که داریم در بهترین کشور دنیا زندگی می‌کنیم؛ همیشه هم به عنوان یک حقیقت غیرقابل انکار بیان می‌شود ... امریکا بهترین کشور دنیاست. با این باور بزرگ می‌شوی و وقتی یک روز می‌فهمی که کشورهای دیگر هم برای خودشان شعار ناسیونالیستی دارند و هیچ کدام‌شان هم این نیست که «ما دومی هستیم!» وحشت برت می‌دارد.
Núria
Siempre había tenido curiosidad por leer algo de David Sedaris. Lo que me acabó de animar fue una comparación de su mirada sarcástica y crítica con la de Dorothy Parker. Ahora no me acuerdo de dónde leí esta comparación, pero ya os digo que quien la dijo se lució de lo lindo. No digo que esté mal, porque se lee muy bien y muy rápido, y tiene momentos graciosos, aunque nunca desternillantes, y encima cuando ya llevas unos diez cuentitos suyos se hacen algo cansinos, porque es como ir a cenar con...more
Zach Worthington
there's nothing wrong with laughing until you cry
Lena
Oct 20, 2011 Lena rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
I originally read this collection of comic essays when it came out ten years ago. But after picking up a used copy for a friend who had never heard of David Sedaris (how is that even possible?) I found myself unable to resist rereading it.

Despite my familiarity with the book, I enjoyed it as much if not more than the first time. All of the essays are interesting (presuming you find the oddball musings of a neurotic gay misanthrope interesting, that is) but there are also many pieces in this book...more
Jonathan
What did I learn from this book? That embellishing your life can be okay when you're a great storyteller, no harm's done to anyone, and everyone who reads it knows it's ridiculous and loves you for the constant chuckles.

David Sedaris knows all about timing and spacing. Many of his essays and quips are built around the perfectly turned phrase, the expertly used grammar, and the flat-out zaniness of the subjects. (He's probably not hurting for ammo with a sibling like Amy Sedaris of Strangers With...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
Aug 30, 2014 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who can see and appreciate tragedy in comedy and vice-versa
The word that is coming to mind as a descriptor for Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is deceptive. But, that word has all kinds of negative connotations, and I'm struggling thesaurusless to find a word that evokes the right combination of simplicity plus cleverness with a twist of ironic self-deprecation hiding a heartfelt (or is it disingenuous? or perhaps just conflicted and complex?) poignancy.

Sedaris (at least here in Me Talk Pretty...) is Budweiser with an absinthe chaser. He's go...more
Harini
I am not a big non-fiction fan. I have hardly read any non-fiction books and in the ones that I have read I only enjoyed reading Marley and Me (it’s about a dog, how can I not love it?) and True Colors (its by my favorite cricketer of all time. There was no that I wouldn’t love it). But thanks to David Sedaris my view on non-fiction has changed and I will be venturing more into the non-fiction territory.

David Sedaris’ writing is witty, humorous and smart. This is one of the funniest books I have...more
Madeline
Not for the first time, I wish I had a copy of this book near me right now so I could write down some quotes from it.
If I did, here's the three stories I'd quote from:
1. How Sedaris's sister, Amy, (also a hilarious author; see I Like You - Hospitality Under the Influence) got sick of her father obsessing over how she was letting her looks go, and donned a fatsuit when she went home for a visit. When I saw Amy Sedaris talk at a book signing, someone asked her about that story and she said that i...more
Colin
Uneven. Some portions of this book are utterly hilarious and pitch-perfect: his descriptions of his sister's sun-tanning regime, the interaction of his parents with family dogs, and the relationship of his brother "The Rooster" and his father were all incredibly engaging, very funny, and unvarnished without being diminishing of the people involved.

The stories of narcotic dissipation and personal development (more or less) were less interesting, and painful to read. Perhaps that says something a...more
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David Sedaris is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist and radio contributor.

Sedaris came to prominence in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries." He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. Each of his four subsequent essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Fa...more
More about David Sedaris...
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“Like all of my friends, she's a lousy judge of character.” 1049 likes
“If you aren't cute, you may as well be clever.” 549 likes
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