17 July, 2014

Book Review: Me Talk Pretty One Day

From Goodreads: 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 bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.

Thoughts: I can't remember where I first heard about this book, but it stuck with me enough to include it as one of my back up books for my Five from Forever challenge. Just as well I had a back up because I cannot track down a copy of my 5th book - Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman. Me Talk Pretty One Day also has the added bonus of being a book in my 100 Best Books List Challenge - one book, two challenges! Excellent!
Me Talk Pretty One Day is a collection of short essays, columns written by David Sedaris about his life. The first half is in America and includes stories on his family, his life in college and his foray into experimental art and drugs. The second part of the book concentrates on his adventures in France after he moved there with his boyfriend.
The book provided some genuine laugh-out-loud moments and several wry chuckles. Many of the reviews on Goodreads are either scathing or full of love - I can see both points of view. One review relates a story about the mother of the reviewer pretty much being snubbed by Sedaris at a book reading/ signing. Any one who had read the book should not have been surprised by his reaction to the mother's behaviour.
I'm don't think I'd like David Sedaris. I think I would find him self centred and obnoxious. I'm equally certain he wouldn't care what I thought. I think it's this aspect of him that makes the book what it is. Not sure I'd recommend it to anyone, but if I did I would suggest they proceed with caution.

Challenges:  Five from Forever, 100 Best Books List