Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day

4.2 273
by David Sedaris

ISBN-10: 0316776963

ISBN-13: 9780316776967

Pub. Date: 06/05/2001

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY contains far more than just the funniest collection of autobiographical essays - it quite well registers as a manifesto about language itself. Wherever there's a straight line, you can be sure that Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter; and just where the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at…  See more details below


ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY contains far more than just the funniest collection of autobiographical essays - it quite well registers as a manifesto about language itself. Wherever there's a straight line, you can be sure that Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter; and just where the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at the epicenter of it all.

No medium available to mankind is spared his cultural vision; no family member (even the dynasties of family pets) is forgotten in these pages of sardonic memories of Sedaris's numerous incarnations in North Carolina, Chicago, New York, and France.

One essay, punctuated by a conspicuous absence of s's and plurals, introduces the lisping young fifth-grader David "Thedarith," who arms himself with a thesaurus, learns every nonsibilant word in the lexicon, eludes his wily speech therapy teacher, and amazes his countrified North Carolina teachers with his out-of-nowhere and man-size vocabulary.

By an ironic twist of fate, readers find present-day Sedaris in France, where only now, after all these years, he must cling safely to just plural nouns so as to avoid assigning the wrong genders to French objects. (Never mind that ordering items from the grocer becomes rather expensive.) Even the strictest of grammarians won't be able to look at the parts of speech in the same way after exposing themselves to the linguistic phenomena of Sedarisian humor. Just why is a sandwich masculine, and yet, say, a belt is feminine in the French language? As he stealthily tries to decode French, like a cross between a housewife and a shrewddetective, he earns the contempt of his sadistic French teacher and soon even resorts to listening to American books on tape for secret relief.

What David Sedaris has to say about language classes, his brother's gangsta-rap slang, typewriters, computers, audiobooks, movies, and even restaurant menus is sure to unleash upon the world a mad rash of pocket-dictionary-toting nouveau grammarians who bow their heads to a new, inverted word order.

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Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

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Table of Contents

One Go Carolina.....3
Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities.....16
Genetic Engineering.....32
Twelve Moments in the Life of the Artist.....39
You Can't Kill the Rooster.....60
The Youth in Asia.....69
The Learning Curve.....83
Big Boy.....97
The Great Leap Forward.....100
Today's Special.....120
City of Angels.....125
A Shiner Like a Diamond.....132
See You Again Yesterday.....153
Me Talk Pretty One Day.....166
Jesus Shaves.....174
The Tapeworm Is In.....181
Make That a Double.....187
Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa..... 192
The City of Light in the Dark.....205
I Pledge Allegiance to the Bag.....211
Picka Pocketoni.....219
I Almost Saw This Girl Get Killed.....228
Smart Guy.....239
The Late Show.....248
I'll Eat What He's Wearing.....265

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Me Talk Pretty One Day 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 273 reviews.
katiedidordied More than 1 year ago
“If you aren't cute, you may as well be clever.”  Well David Sedaris is certainly clever and never more so than in Me Talk Pretty One Day. A friend gave it to me when I was down and I recommend anyone to give it to a friend that needs cheering up. It helped me so much. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book Sedaris tells his life story and the things that happen to him throughout his life. When I first started to read this book I enjoyed it, and I liked to hear about how Sedaris was able to find ways to work around his speech impediment when he was a child. In one of the chapters his dad forced him to play an instrument that he had no interest in. I was able to relate to him in this chapter because when I was a child I was forced to play a sport that I had absolutely had no interest in but my parents wanted me to play. One of the chapters that disturbed me the most was when he was at a friend’s house and he walked into the bathroom after someone had left poop in the toilet. He felt that someone would think it was him so he tried to flush it, but then it started to overflow and how he made it stop you can read if you want. The majority of the content in this book I would say is rated R because has quite a bit of foul language, drugs and dirty humor. If you have a dirty mind or are eager for a twisted and sick read then I encourage you to read it, but if you’re like me and aren’t into twisted humor then this isn’t the book for you. Although, I didn’t really agree with what was being said at times during this book, I found it hard to put down. The book is very interesting because he doesn’t live a normal life, it’s actually very far from it. I would recommend this book because of how off the wall it is and funny, but some parts my stomach was too weak to handle. Although, I can’t said that I hated this book because the adventures he went through and how his life actually turns out is very interesting and a bit comical at moments.
bookworm_451 More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to read my first Sedaris book. I've heard over and over again how hilarious he is but I found myself disappointed. I chuckled a few times but I don't get all the hype over his writing. I probably won't read any of his others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was told this book was hilarious and I would enjoy it. However I can honestly say I do not understand Sedaris' humor but then again humor is hard to convey some times. I kept reading only because I expected the book to get better although for me that never happened. I wish I could have understood it the way some other readers found it but sadly I lack his humor.
kcbTX More than 1 year ago
I started reading this for my book club and kept wondering what was the point. This guy's life story is pretty boring although you can tell that he thinks it is riveting. He lost me at the poop. I really don't find anyone's bowel movement all that fascinating, even my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the book Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is a compilation of his essays about many different subjects and topics each chapter is different. He starts off the book by talking about his childhood lisp and how he wants to name his guitar a boys name. All of his chapters just get stranger after that, especially the Big Boy chapter I honestly did not understand the point of that essay. I particularly did not like this book because I just wish it would all go together instead of being jumbled around. The humor was different unlike anything that I have read before. This is my first book from David and it will be my last. I do not like the style that he writes in, and I am sure if any of his books are like this one then I will not recommend them to anyone. Some people may like this style of writing and this type of humor but I did not like it. If this book was not required for my class I probably would have walked passed it a million times in the book store not even looking down at it. However, now that I have read the book and tried to understand what he was saying exactly I probably will never read this book again. One thing I wish the book had more of was a purpose and a flow. If this was one whole story, like most books are, I probably would have enjoyed it more, but since it was scattered and all the chapters were different I just got lost and confused. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless I think they might like a book like this or have that sense of humor that Sedaris has. 
Anonymous 4 months ago
Less lacking in humility or self-awareness than his previous work, but still vulgar and sadistic.
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anijizmejian More than 1 year ago
David Sedaris captures his sister brilliantly in this book: “Amy adored both the new look and the new person it allowed her to be. Following the photo shoot, she wore her bruises to the dry cleaner and the grocery store. Most people nervously looked away, but on the rare occasions someone would ask what happened, my sister would smile as brightly as possible, saying, 'I'm in love. Can you believe it? I'm finally, totally in love, and I feel great.” A fabulous read, though I think his sister is funnier than he is. What a great family to have two such brilliant artists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never really found this book to funny, although I did find some parts interesting. I must say Sedaris does have a creative mind though. A lot of his imaginations in this novel make you think real hard about what he is really talking about. This book explains the events that he treasures and keeps close to him. A lot of these events I would include are Sedaris having a lisp as a child causing him to completely change his vocabulary around, having a little brother who swears constantly, his sexuality being different, his partner Hugh, experiencing with drugs and going to school, his move to France with his boyfriend, etc. This book has many disturbing and immature scenes as well. For example I could describe disturbing and immature would be when Sedaris was at a party and he needed to use the restroom and someone left him a clogged toilet. You would think as a grown and older man he would have asked for a plunger. But instead Sedaris uses his hands to scoop out the feces because he is scared that people will judge him for clogging the toilet. If you like to read about authors who tell there past events then this is the book for you. I do not think there is any moral to this book although there was a lot of dry humor and many interesting and disturbing parts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author David Sedaris of "Me Talk Pretty One Day" writes a wickedly weird and intoxicating book. This book is based on the life David has lead and the many unbelievable stories he has to share. Sedaris opens up about his life as a homosexual and and a recovering drug abuser. If you think you have heard just about anything, think again because Sedaris' humor is unlike any other and he uses his life experiences to produce humor. The book begins discussing David's childhood and when he realized that he was a homosexual. Throughout the book it progresses from his childhood to his adult life. Most of his adult life speaks of his drug use and the time he had spent in Paris, France with his boyfriend Hugh. In all honesty I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who enjoys laughter mixed with a little bit of weird. This book kept me reading and reading. It was truly hard for me to put the book down. So my advise to you is to go out and read Sedaris' book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On Achieve bestseller’s list; David Sedaris is the author of “Me Talk Pretty One Day” which was published in the year 2000 possibly during the Lesbian History/Celebrations. It was written when he was living in France. The author introduces of lifestyle of homosexuality though out the book. I advise conservatives to read the novel with caution to the author’s attitude on introducing unique fantasies and imagination. Finish reading the novel before you judge it. Based on the title of the novel I thought it was going to be romance or fiction novel. I delighted by the chapter of Midget Abilities because David’s father wanted him to become a classic American. The author illustrates his father as a gifted jazz musician. However; the description of his music teacher Mister Mancini requires some improvement. My reaction lacked enthusiasm because of the emphasis on “turds and the list of standards” on page 154. However, novel purposed a unique way to prove something to its audience by using freedom of speech and the humor of dysfunctional situations to improve the quality of life. From CHC.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Me talk Pretty One Day is the first book I read from the author David Sedaris. When I first looked at the title of the book, I was wondering what the hell this book is about. Looking at the front and the back cover of the book, I realized he is a number one national bestseller and the comments are quite positive. David Sedaris have written four books. Because of the comments and a professor recommendation, I decided to read this book. In this book, most of it is about his life from childhood to adult and how he became a real man. Stories contain his family, siblings, pets, works, his boyfriend Hugh and the life in France. He used jokes to cover sensitive topics including sexuality, homosexual, races and toilet jokes. David and his boyfriend Hugh have a deep relationship. Originally both of them are living together in New York, then one day they decided to move on and moved to France. Without knowing any French, David can not do many activities in France. Wondering and panicking in France, David chose to learn French. Starting from that time, he knew that learning another language is a difficult challenge. David suggested that every one of us should try to learn a second language in our life time. At the time he was studying French, he found obstacles and challenges. One of the chapters in the book was called “Me talk Pretty One Day.” I guess this is why the book title is called “Me talk Pretty One Day” because learning another language needs a lot of effort and time. His ideal goal is that he will talk pretty in French someday. When he was fluent in French, he started to discover more about French people. Hugh and David eat, live and even sleep together. They have gone through many things. I found an interesting thing was both of them talking an IQ test at the same time. The result was that Hugh scored a higher IQ score than David. What we can imply is that David needed Hugh more than the way around. Although David made a lot of humor in this book and many of us thought funny, but for me I did not think this book is that funny. Maybe it is due to my understanding of English and my age, I can laugh only a little portion of it. In the book, sometimes he will present dirty and disgusting things through text. But as a reader, I appreciate what he wrote. This is my personal point of view. If I have to rate the book, I will give it a three stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hysterical & undoubtedly witty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I must have a bad taste of humor because I'm reading peoples reviews on how much they love this book, while I'm sitting here like, “how?!" He has a creative mind though. A lot of imaginations in his stories make you think real hard about what the heck he is talking about. This book basically explains the events that he holds close to him. A lot of these events would include him having a lisp as a child, having a little brother who swears left and right, his sexuality, his partner Hugh, drugs and school, his move to France, etc. This book has a lot of disturbing and immature scenes as well. One example that could describe disturbing and immature would be when he was at a party and he had to use the restroom and someone left him a clogged toilet. You would think as a grown man he would have asked for a plunger. But no, instead he uses his hands to scoop out the feces because he is scared that people will judge him for clogging the toilet. If you like to read authors past events in a book, then this is the book for you. There was no moral to this book. There was a lot of dry humor and a good hand full of funny content, but that is probably just me. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not care for this book, I find his humor dumb and dry. It was not humorous and I would not have read it if it weren't for it being a requirement in my reading class. I would also not recommend this book to anyone unless they want to be bored out of there minds. I would have to say my least favorite part of the book was about the toilet. He is disgusting. In fact his whole family is. A little preview of the book would be he is gay, lives with a lot of family, one of which is called The Rooster. He mentions his obsession with feces and how much drugs have messed up his life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My name is Hagar Assi  David Sedaris’s memoir was quite an interesting peice to read. The delivery was outstanding and especially the process of self development we saw from the main character. The narriator did an excellent job of expressing to the reader their feelings and emotions. Through each phase in Davids life, the reader was able to feel Davids emotions and thoughts as he pushed through his struggles as a gay man living in an American society. His self discovery becomes quite obvious from the beginning when the narriator expresses his odd taste in interests. To the typical american society we find it very odd  that a young boy would not find interest in sports or “manly activities”. After the reader is exposed to these thoughts, they are able to see David’s self inquiry a lot clearer. As for plot structure, the same applies. Each place we see david in through out this book is very well developed and offers us a visual of what his life might be like. Each stage in his life is very evident almost like they are steps in a staircase. He starts off as a young boy in North Carolina, forced to tak speech classes,  and guitar lessons. Then he is moved onto a new stage in his life where he now is a teacher and must deal with the students he does not like. Next he moves to New York and attempts to tackle a life that he might have a future in. With no luck, he advances himself to France where he begins to find his true self and a comfortable habitat.  Next we have character building, the main character is very well developed for the reader but as for the other characters, not so much. To me it does not seem like such a dilemma because, the only character we actually read about is David. We do not need that much character development for anyone else. David on the other hand shows great character development for the narrator. We watch him transform from a young boy to a man living in france over a time period of only 20 years. Amazing!  I personally enjoyed reading this memoir very much. I have learned how to visually entertain my reader with details that would make the reader believe they were there watching my story like a movie. I like how in most memoirs the author is able to paint an eloquent picture with his brush of what the scene may look like through words. Hopefully in my writing I can do the same, by expressing what I see through the words. As for character development, I learned about taking my time to show each phase in a characters life. At the end of the day there should be no questions or concerns left about how the character survived through the story.  I definitely believe this book should be offered again because it was a very humorous and descriptive memoir. It had great details, an interesting story and just enough humor to make the author laugh but not believe it was over done! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book that I ordered at my local B&N store came in quickly and was safely packaged. I enjoyed "Me Talk Pretty One Day" but I just simply enjoy David Sedaris. His humor is imaginative and very down to earth. I loved it! I also recommend his other work, "Naked".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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DGBQ More than 1 year ago
This book will make you wet yourself laughing. I hope you don't dislodge a lung reading this. Too dam funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago