I’ve always enjoyed memoirs, and funny ones even more so. You may remember my reviews of Augusten Burrough’s works that I’ve posted here, and how much I love these books as a whole. Therefore, how could I not read David Sedaris’ hilarious addition to this genre?
In his work Sedaris writes a memoir of sorts, telling the reader about his upbringing via short stories that chronicle his life. The first part deals with his earlier life in Raleigh, North Carolina and subsequent jobs that Sedaris held to make a living in New York City. Sedaris describes how in his early years he felt that he didn’t fit in due to forced sessions with a speech therapist and music teacher that made him feel awkward. He finds that he shares much more of his mother’s creative traits, and less of his father’s serious and cerebral attributes. He jokes that he would gladly discuss how to achieve the perfect tan rather than talk about anything technical at a young age. “Deux”, the second portion of the work (aptly named), describes his life after he moved to Normandy, France, with his partner Hugh. It humorously depicts Sedaris’ failed attempts at French, and the irony of living in France with miserable language skills.
Sedaris is a wonderful addition to the ever-growing memoir genre. His stories are all told in a self-depreciating narrative, that makes you think through the laughter. Some of the stories in the first half of the book deal with his life trying to make it in the art world, and the drugs he took during this era in his life. While the creations that he and his group of friends created are hysterical, the issues he had with cocaine are really scary and show the darker side of his life.
Some of the stories are hit and miss, but it’s with “Deux” that Sedaris really hits his stride. The first half of the book felt as if he was trying to impress you with as many crazy things as he could that happened in his early life, while “Deux” felt more like he just wanted to share his memories of France. In all of the Sedaris books I’ve read, one story always stands out to me from each book. For Me Talk Pretty One Day, it was “You Can’t Kill The Rooster”, which chronicled the relationship his younger brother “the rooster” and his father had. I honestly had to wake Todd up in the middle of the night to share my laughter with him. It was absolutely hysterical.
If you’re looking for a book that will give you a good laugh, then I highly suggest Me Talk Pretty One Day, or any of Sedaris’ other books. His humor shines through even the craziest situations, and you can’t help but feel blessed with the life you have after reading his works.
4 out of 5 Stars