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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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  • Overall
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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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    5 out of 5 stars

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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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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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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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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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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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Superb David Sedaris

David Sedaris never fails to entertain and surprise his readers. Calypso is laugh out loud. He is superbly witty, I adore his work.

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Classic Sedaris

I loved this, but as an avid Sedaris fan, found I had read a lot of the chapters or heard the stories elsewhere already - so beware. Also, although it didn't put me off, I sent a copy to someone else before I'd heard it and I don't think they were as keen on the stories about drugs (just mentioning as a warning to anyone who finds such things distasteful haha!)

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I never write reviews but...

..this time I do. This is simply brilliant. Laugh out loud, hilarious, accurate, observational, DS hits the spot with me every time!

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  • Tanya Tear
  • 22-10-13

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine
  • 27-10-09

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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  • emmanuel panaretos
  • 03-11-20

Disappointing.

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

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  • SeeWhy
  • 15-04-20

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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  • Elena Claydon
  • 27-10-16

Hilarious!

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

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  • Elizabeth
  • 27-02-16

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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  • kim
  • 24-05-12

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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  • Hammy
  • 25-07-10

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 21-01-14

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.

1 person found this helpful