Thursday, December 5, 2013

Me Talk Pretty One Day

2000, 2001 Back Bay edition
David Sedaris
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Original price $14.95, purchase price unknown
Worn paperback

Although I laughed out loud a few times, I didn't necessarily like this book.  The stuff about Sedaris's childhood and his time in France was best, the young-adulthood less so.  Although I'm using the "biography" tag, these are essays (many if not most published previously in magazines) about his life, so you have to piece together how old he is, and roughly how many and what order his siblings are.  It's interesting that his sexual orientation is sort of background rather than foreground.  When he has to take speech therapy to deal with his lisp, it's implied this was done to all the obviously gay little boys in his school, but then later we find out that his younger and straight brother has an equally girly voice (I'm not sure about the lisp).  Similarly, there's no coming out process, or reaction to him and his boyfriend Hugh as a couple.  Maybe that was dealt with in his earlier books, none of which I've read.

When he writes about his life as a pretentious drug-abusing young artist, or tells of his sister uglifying herself partially to annoy their pimp-like (but innocent) father, it's disturbing even when it's funny.  That sister, Amy, has written her own twisted books, and I think I skimmed the one where she was sort of Martha Stewart on crack.  I could see spending more time with the Sedaris family, but on the other hand, I'm not eager to, and I suspect I've read this book only once or twice before.


  1. I just read Sedaris' Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, which was the first Sedaris book I've read, and I really loved it - but most of the essays lean toward his adult years, not his youth or adolescence, so maybe that's why it hit the spot more than this one did for you.

  2. Well, I like the title of LEDwO anyway. :-) You'd probably like MTPOD.