Book club book #6: Me Talk Pretty One Day


Book: Me Talk Pretty One Day

Author: David Sedaris

Number of Pages: 272

Plot, according to the back of the book:
There was no plot on the back of the book.

Plot, in my own words:
There is no plot. The book consists of a collection of short essays written by Sedaris ranging in topics from childhood memories to living in Paris as an adult.

Thoughts, comments, questions, concerns:
I had no idea what this book was about when I bought it. I just liked the title. So imagine my surprise when this turned into a collection of short essays rather than a story. I wouldn’t really call them short stories, because they seem to be little glimpses of memories he has from going to a speech therapist, and failing miserably, to teaching a college English class, and failing miserably, to living in Paris and attempting to learn French…and failing miserably.

This book was quite hilarious from start to finish. I mean, there was at least two or three things from each story that had me laughing out loud (literally, not the LOL where you type it, but you never really do LOL). The book was split into two parts. Part one was random essays about his life growing up, taking drugs, attempting to be an artist, etc. The second part of the book recalls his time living in Paris. They are equally amusing; though I did enjoy reading about the situations he went through in Paris that were somewhat similar to my own.

The language he uses is so descriptive that sometimes you felt you were right beside him, experiencing these things first hand. The opening story about the speech therapist is brilliant and had me laughing the entire time. His parents make for hilarious characters and part of me wondered if any of this was exaggerated, because no one could possibly have a parent like that. And then I thought about some of the things my parents have done, and some of the things my friend’s parents have done, and I realized yes, yes you could.

And now for one of my favorite excerpts:
“For the first twenty years of my life I rocked myself to sleep. It was a harmless enough hobby, but eventually I had to give it up. Throughout the next twenty-two years I lay still and discovered that after a few minutes I could drop off with no problem. Follow seven beers with a couple of scotches and a thimble of good marijuana, and it’s funny how sleep just sort of comes on its own. Often I never even made it to bed. I’d squat down to pet the cat and wake up on the floor eight hours later, having lost a perfectly good excuse to change my clothes. I’m now told that this is not called “going to sleep” but rather “passing out,” a phrase that carries a distinct hint of judgment.” (pg.248-249)

Bottom line:
This book was hilarious, and quite an easy read. The good thing about the essay form is when you do not have a lot of time to sit down you can just read a few of the entries without feeling as though you would be lost if you sat it down for a few hours or even a couple of days. The manner in which he tells the stories is hilarious. Some are sad, though only for a brief moment or two, others downright awkward and disturbing. I really recommend this book. I liked it so much I went and bought one of his other books- Naked, and I really can’t wait to read it.


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3 responses to “Book club book #6: Me Talk Pretty One Day

  1. Genevieve

    I know you said that this was funny but it seems really sad to me!!

  2. improbablefiction

    How so?

    There are really only one or two instances that seem semi-sad. You should just read it. It is hilarious!!

  3. Genevieve

    I know, but you said he failed at everything he tried… that’s sad!!

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