Sunday, June 24, 2007

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
$10.19 at Amazon.com
ISBN: 0316776963
There are several reasons to read the work of David Sedaris. First of all, he's incredibly funny and is sure to have you laughing out loud like a mental patient. Second, he's lead an incredibly interesting life, and done a lot of very unusual things. His books allow you to experience the fun of what he's done without all the inconveniences he had to put up with. This is his second book: his first, Naked, is most definitely worth checking out as well.
This is a memoir in two parts. The first part covers Sedaris' childhood and youth in suburban North Carolina and New York City. He has a large, rather quirky family, and a lot of the book's humor comes at their expense. Sedaris took a rather troubled and circuitous route through life: there's a chapter in which he's a crystal-meth addict and conceptual artist. Later he becomes a substitute teacher in a community college, a publisher's assistant, and an apartment mover.
There's also one outstanding chapter in which Sedaris discovers a large turd floating in a friend's toilet. The turd is too big to be flushed away, and he becomes panicky as he tries to find a way to dispose of it, not wanting other guests to think that it's his.
In part two, David is an adult and moves with his boyfriend Hugh to rural France. He comments on French movie theaters, theme parks, and his rather half-witted efforts to learn French in the classroom of a seemingly sadistic teacher. He paints a fascinating picture of the French, and a disturbing one of American tourists visiting his adopted country.
It is my firm belief that Sedaris is the most outstanding writer of his generation. I'm forever recommending him to high schoolers who don't like to read, adults who are looking for something new, and experienced readers who want something light but still worthwhile.
In other words, this book is a sure-fire winner no matter who you are or what you're into. Don't deprive yourself of this curious and up-beat piece of current literature.

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