Things began to come together and I went from speaking like an evil baby to speaking like a hillbilly. "Is thems the thoughts of cows?" I'd asked the butcher, pointing to the calves' brains displayed in the front window. - David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
To say I enjoyed Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris would be a gross understatement. I laughed, I rolled, and at one point I seriously thought I was going to pee my pants because I was laughing so hard. It is an incredibly funny, entertaining audiobook*.
Me Talk Pretty One Day is a memoir that is told in chronological order (for the most part) and focuses (again, for the most part) on three periods of Sedaris' life: his childhood in North Carolina, his young adult years in New York City, and his time living in France. The book as a whole does not have a unifying theme, rather each chapter provides an anecdotal snippet of his life. Each chapter also contains a clever title that has something to do with the content of the chapter.
As I mentioned earlier, this book is hilarious. Do not mistake that to mean that each chapter is stellar; some chapters are by far funnier than others. Notable funny chapters, in my opinion, include:
- City of Angels - Sedaris' recollection of when a childhood friend comes to NYC to visit and brings a rather obnoxious friend with her.
- The Youth in Asia - A collection of tales about various Sedaris family pets over the years.
- See You Again Yesterday, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Jesus Shaves - Three different and hilarious accounts of the author's attempt to learn French while living in France. ("The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate.")
- Picka Pocketini - Sedaris' experience of being mistaken for a French pickpocket by fellow Americans while on a subway in Paris.
Overall, it was a quick and entertaining book. The fact that it was narrated by Sedaris added to my enjoyment. (I even grew accustomed to his still evident, but mild lisp!) Several of the chapters were recorded live at some point and were used in lieu of a formal, studio recording for that chapter. Hearing the audience laugh made the experience seem more like listening to a stand-up performance than an audiobook.
I gave Me Talk Pretty One Day a rating of 4/5 on Goodreads.
*In my reviews, I sometimes don't specifically say that I listened to the audiobook format instead of reading the printed version. I think it is noteworthy for this review, however, to make that distinction. I don't know if the humor I experienced while listening to the audiobook necessarily translates to the written format. It might, but I don't know.