Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is one of the best books I have read in a long time (and I read a lot of books). Sedaris’s acerbic wit recounts stories of his life that are once foreign and familiar. From North Carolina to France, Sedaris explores relationships and friendships with his signature humor.
Admittedly, Sedaris’s greatest gift is his ability to make people laugh out loud while reading, but his stories probe deeper than pure comedy. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a scrambled coming-of-age story, a sort of künstlerroman about the development of a writer. Sedaris chronicles his adult struggle to learn French, anecdotes of his tanorexic sister and summers at the beach, and bizarre moments of his life as a conceptual artist.
Sedaris has a bizarre charm that pervades his work. He talks about his stint with speed as if it were mundane, satirizing the humiliation of addiction while acknowledging its tragedy. His chapters have titles like “Jesus Shaves” and “Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities,” which showcase Sedaris’s irreverent humor and creativity.
I blew through Me Talk Pretty One Day, because it was pure fun to read. Sedaris’s language is luminous, his logic zany, and his prose fluid. I am convinced that he is a uniquely talented author, with a signature brand of wit. I rushed out to purchase his other books immediately after finishing Me Talk Pretty One Day, and I can’t wait to start reading them! Though I generally gravitate more towards novels than memoirs, Sedaris may convert me to a devoted nonfiction reader.
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