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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Dose of Culture Shock
I read this book right after reading Bill Bryson's I'm a Stranger Here Myself. It seems to me that there is a recent theme in new books that centers around humor at the expense of a person who is experiencing culture shock. Since this seems to be the recent theme, I suppose there's no harm in writing yet another book review with a theme of culture shock.
Davis...
Published on Oct. 4 2000 by neeterskeeter27

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A good example of how not to write a story
I heard an interview with David Sedaris' sister. She talked a lot about David and this book. It sounded great, so I picked it up that day. I anticipated a raw and witty story revealing the oddness of family life. However, what I got was a rant.
I can accept that it is not a novel, but a bunch of random thoughts. Still, I like to be compelled to at least read the next...
Published on Aug. 26 2002 by Gooberpie


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Dose of Culture Shock, Oct. 4 2000
By 
"neeterskeeter27" (http://www.neeterskeeter.com/new) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Hardcover)
I read this book right after reading Bill Bryson's I'm a Stranger Here Myself. It seems to me that there is a recent theme in new books that centers around humor at the expense of a person who is experiencing culture shock. Since this seems to be the recent theme, I suppose there's no harm in writing yet another book review with a theme of culture shock.
Davis Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty One Day combines two of the world's greatest cities- New York and Paris- with humor, all in one book that is incredibly hard to put down. The book is comprised of a series of humorous personal experience pieces, the first half of which take place in Sedaris' native New York City and the second half of which take place in Paris, where he moves to temporarily with his boyfriend Hugh.
The first essay in Me Talk Pretty One Day sets the fast and funny pace continued throughout the rest of the book. It also sets the theme of "culture shock" in one's own county, because Sedaris comments on many experiences in his youth that made him feel alienated from other people in his own environment. In it, Sedaris discusses the speech impediment (aka "lisp") that he had as a child and still has to this day. The efforts of his speech teacher to correct the lisp were never successful, but Sedaris' descriptions of them are hilarious. He writes about the kids who were in his speech therapy class, saying, "None of the speech therapy students were girls. They were all boys like me who kept movie star scrapbooks and made their own curtains... 'One of these days I'm going to have to hang a sign on that door,' [my speech teacher] used to say. She was probably thinking along the lines of SPEECH THERAPY LAB, though a more appropriate marker would have read FUTURE HOMOSEXUALS OF AMERICA".
Even when Sedaris writes about such mundane things as restaurant menus and crossword puzzles, or such serious things as Euthanasia, he is so funny and absurd that you begin to wonder if he takes anything about life in New York City seriously. However, just as you are wondering this, he sweeps you off to Paris to read his wacky comments on life there. Sedaris never did learn French fluently, nor did he do all the touristy things such as seeing the Louvre and the Eiffel Tour. Instead, he watched American movies in English in French theatres because "I've never considered myself an across-the-board apologist for the French, but there's a lot to be said for an entire population that never, under any circumstances, talks during the picture... I can't remember the last time I've enjoyed silence in an American theatre".
If you have ever been to a foreign country, whether as an American who is embarrassed by the other American tourists that surround you, or as a member of a different nationality who makes fun of the American tourists, you will laugh along in complete understanding with Sedaris' comments on the two types of French that Americans speak: "the Hard Kind and the Easy kind. The Hard Kind involves the conjugation of wily verbs and the science of placing them alongside various other words in order to form such sentences as 'I go him say good afternoon'... The second, less complicated form of French amounts to screaming English at the top of your lungs, much the same way you'd shout at a deaf person or the dog you thought you could train to stay off the sofa".
Me Talk Pretty One Day is guaranteed to give you an insider's look at culture shock in one's own country and abroad. It will also give you an insider's look at life in New York City and Paris. But best of all, it will give you this dose of culture shock (and if you've read I'm a Stranger Here Myself, make that your second recent dose), with a strong dose of humor. And that makes everything just a little bit better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny stuff, March 26 2013
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This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Paperback)
Great read. Easy to enjoy and funny. I picked this book up when i was trying to get back into reading. It did the trick!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, June 3 2014
By 
Jilly the Reader (Wasaga Beach, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book for the most part. I'm not usually a fan of random autobiographical stories tied together in a book, but most of the chapters were interesting and often funny. Not my first Sedaris book, although of his books that I've read I liked this one the most.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sedaris Rocks, Feb. 1 2014
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This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Paperback)
Every time I read one of his books, I know I'll laugh. Sharp, biting, unbelievably hilarious and poignant all at once.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky humour, fabulous writing!, Sept. 26 2013
There's little to be derived by relaying the stories combined in a memoir -that's unnecessary but to say there are no deep plots or life lessons -it's the pure genius, components to Sedaris's humour - self -deprecating, slanted perspectives, obsessive -compulsive behaviours, hilarious depictions & characteristically Sedaris -style of writing that has created ardent fans of his books.

If you've never read David Sedaris, this book along with "Naked "are the best samples of his writing. The latter was the first I read, which again in memoir style., though impossibly sardonic & cynical towards his ailing mother, is tongue in cheek arrogance towards a disfunctional family. Hilarity & outstanding writing in that vein.

Once you've read these two books, I wud suggest reading his earliest works thereafter, only because his most recent haven't held up to expectation. I think his best achievements, which established a huge popularity, may have decreased the spontaneity in writing about simple scenarios with that quirky point of view. Nevertheless, Me Talk Pretty won't disappoint & you'll be eager to read more Sedaris.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, Aug. 20 2013
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This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Hardcover)
I laughed out loud a few times. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys exploring other people's point of view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracked me up, Oct. 31 2007
This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Paperback)
This book, along with McCrae's "Katzenjammer" really cracked me up. While the two have nothing subject-wise in common, they're both funny. Sedaris is a master storyteller and knows just the thing to say to make you go, "Ah ha!" I've given multiple copies of the book to everyone I know.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first book that made me laugh out loud., Aug. 7 2000
By 
"katie26" (New Canaan, CT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Hardcover)
I often find that when others claim a book is funny, it usually isn't very humorous. However, Me Talk Pretty One Day is the exception to this rule. Sedaris' short essays about small things in life are much like a Seinfield episode. His telling style and honesty about himself makes you feel as humble and as human as he is throughout the book. It is extremley well done, and it extremley hilarious.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A good example of how not to write a story, Aug. 26 2002
By 
Gooberpie (Superior, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Paperback)
I heard an interview with David Sedaris' sister. She talked a lot about David and this book. It sounded great, so I picked it up that day. I anticipated a raw and witty story revealing the oddness of family life. However, what I got was a rant.
I can accept that it is not a novel, but a bunch of random thoughts. Still, I like to be compelled to at least read the next word. But, I found my self predicting the next line and trudging through the pages.
Whatever happened to character building? Who cares about these people? Lots of us have stories like these tucked away in our families (what not you?). Anyway, my point is that David Sedaris attempts ONLY to talk pretty. I can just picture him throwing words together and then sitting back with a grin saying, "Oh yeah, I'm a laugh riot."
Don't waste your precious time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Me Talk FUNNY One Day! (And You'll laugh, too), June 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Paperback)
Sedaris, in another collection of autobiographical essays, showcases his wit and dares to be as politically incorrect and offensive while still maintaining a strong pull at the heartstrings of the reader. This is a book to read on those days when you just think your life couldn't get any weirder- and you will thank Sedaris for demonstrating how relatively normal your life is.
Part One of this book is a collection of autobiographical essays from various times in his life, including a hysterical essay about teaching a writing class entitled "The Learning Curve," as well as the essay entitled "The Youth in Asia" about his family's pets, which is all at once laugh-out-loud funny, and oddly touching and thought-provoking. This is a pattern one will find in Sedaris's writing. He falls in the same category as Kurt Vonnegut was labeled: a Zany satirist with a heart. And indeed, he has a heart, strange and twisted, but still lovable. Through his misadventures, tales of a grandmother who he couldn't stand and being glad of her passing, and tales of weeping at the death of a cat ("she was never really fond of the outdoors, so I sprinkled her ashes on the carpet and vacuumed them up,") we gain a particular insight into our own social dysfunctionalities while laughing at another person's.
Part Deux (part TWO, for those of you less inclined towards the French language) is about Sedaris's (mis?)adventures in France with his partner. Sedaris takes a stab at religion, the Easter Bunny and French Easter traditions all in one swipe in the essay "Jesus Shaves," while providing a touching and serious explanation of the importance of faith. In his typical style, however, he pins onto the end of this touching monologue the phrase "that's just f*cked up" as a mischievous punchline. In this section of the book, we also follow him on adventures with the concept of masculine and feminine vowels in French, and how he avoids this conflict by referring to everything in the plural. ("Hugh may be annoyed by the two turkeys in the freezer, but wait until he sees the CD players I got him for his birthday.")
This collection of essays will consistently make you laugh, while maintaining a strong emotional connection to your own life: In this book one can glimpse elements of their own predicaments and faults, while laughing over how much stranger Sedaris's are. For all the authors that strive to make their everyday characters able to relate to everyday persons, Sedaris makes the reader able to relate to himself through the insane exaggerations and misadventures that we all like to think we have. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a great book! Don't Miss it! Another Amazon quick-pick I recommend is The Losers Club by Richard Perez
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Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Paperback - June 5 2001)
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