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Me Talk Pretty One Day av David Sedaris
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Me Talk Pretty One Day (urspr publ 2000; utgåvan 2010)

av David Sedaris (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
19,627340167 (4.05)416
Me Talk Pretty One Day contains far more than just the funniest collection of autobiographical essays - it quite well registers as a manifesto about language itself. Wherever there's a straight line, you can be sure that Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter; and just where the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at the epicenter of it all. David Sedaris's new collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day, tells a most unconventional life story. It begins with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes ("There was the lisp, of course, but more troubling than that was my voice itself, with its excitable tone and high, girlish pitch") and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist ("The only crimp in my plan was that I seemed to have no talent whatsoever") to "clearly unqualified" writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris's career leads him to New York (the sky's-the-limit field of furniture moving) and eventually, of all places, France. Sedaris's move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a "spooky man-child" capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion. Whether describing the Easter bunny to puzzled classmates, savoring movies in translation (It is Necessary to save the Soldier Ryan), or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other--"Original, acid, and wild," said the Los Angeles Times--to every unforgettable encounter."--Jacket.… (mer)
Medlem:reganzzzz
Titel:Me Talk Pretty One Day
Författare:David Sedaris (Författare)
Info:Abacus (UK) (2010), Edition: New Ed, 272 pages
Samlingar:Borrowed from library
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verksinformation

Me Talk Pretty One Day av David Sedaris (2000)

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    Assassination Vacation av Sarah Vowell (rosylibrarian)
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    My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy av Andrea Askowitz (lolo1978)
    lolo1978: Few books have made me laugh out loud. If Me Talk Pretty One Day made you laugh, give My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy at read.
  3. 00
    The Sweet Life in Paris av David Lebovitz (cransell)
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» Se även 416 omnämnanden

engelska (337)  italienska (1)  nederländska (1)  Alla språk (339)
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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is a witty collection of essays, primarily focusing on the author's time in France. I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed the content focus on speech and language that this collection had to offer.

In one of the essays, Sedaris shares what it was like to have a lisp when he was younger and the experience of speech therapy. Later in life, Sedaris moves to Normandy in France with his partner Hugh, despite not knowing the language. Taking French lessons, Sedaris made me laugh out loud every time he shared his meagre knowledge of French and the reactions from locals.

My absolute favourite quote from the collection came when he called a plumber to come and fix their toilet. In trying to describe the problem, and struggling with the gendered nature of many items in the French language, he says:

"My toilet, she cry much of the time." (Chapter 22)

Sedaris goes on to describe his experience at the dentist and compares the health systems of France and the USA. Much of the content here is chuckle-worthy and entertaining and the satirical humour is again on show.

For more, you can check out my review of Calypso and Naked. In the meantime, I'm already listening to Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, but suspect I'll be slowing down on my Sedaris streak soon. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Nov 14, 2021 |
I bombed through this pretty quickly. Light and fun, though I don't particularly have much to say about it.

The strongest stories, to me, always seemed to be the ones that went with the title: they dealt with speech, with language, with being out of place. One or two didn't seem at all relevant to the rest of the collection.

Anyway, I think in this case the bulk of my thoughts would go best with the quotes, so without further ado...


Quote Roundup

p40 - It was like having a foreign-exchange student living in our house. Nothing we did or said made any sense to her, as she seemed to follow the rules and customs of some exotic, faraway nation where the citizens drilled the ground for oil pain and picked pastels from the branches of stunted trees.
I love how much is packed in here, even if the sentence did start to lose me at the end the first time I read it. It's such a perfect description of many people in my life, but then we also have this wonderful imagery of a world that I would certainly love to visit (though I would always be the foreign-exchange student in the land of the visually artistic).

p69 - When it looked as though one of [the newborn puppies] had died, our mother arranged the puppy in a casserole dish and popped it in the oven, like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.
This is honestly one of the most astounding things I've ever read--and it's only so funny because it actually happened! (Well, assuming the narrator is telling the truth, but that's a pretty big doozy to just make up.) Reading this, I was immediately reminded of a phase I went through in about third grate when I joked that putting a dog in the microwave would make "puppy popcorn". In my defense, I only made the joke in the first place because the dog in the microwave had featured in a seriously freaky ghost story a friend told at camp, and if I didn't laugh about it somehow I probably wouldn't have slept for the rest of the week.

p80 - A week after putting her to sleep, I received Neil's [the cat's] ashes in a forest green can. She'd never expressed any great interest in the outdoors, so I scattered her remains on the carpet and then vacuumed her back up.
Believe it or not, I'm more skeptical about this than I am about the puppy revived in the oven--unless this was during Sedaris's drug phase. I can only imagine that this would seem like a good idea if one were drunk or high.

p91 - I don't know who invented the template for the standard writing workshop, but whoever it was seems to have struck the perfect balance between sadism and masochism.
This is relevant to my life. Not true in my life, thank goodness, but I got a few looks on the subway when I laughed at this line.

p100 - The Great Leap Forward
This story, about some of Sedaris's jobs in New York City, was one of my favorites. It's the kind of story that could only come about in New York, I think, and it's part of why I love living here.

p133 - "They'll thank me for this later." He honestly thought he was doing his girls a favor [by aggressively valuing their looks over anything else], and it confused him when the thanks never came.
This was sickening to read--I didn't laugh at any of these casually discussed instances of emotional abuse.

p177 - This scene, in which a classroom full of beginning French speakers who don't share a native language try to explain Easter to a Muslim who'd never heard of it, was freakin' hilarious. I love Sedaris's literal translations of the French, complete with extraneous "the"s and present-only verbs.

p179-180 - If I could hope to one day carry on a fluent conversation [in French], it was a relatively short leap to believing that a rabbit might visit my home in the middle of the night.
"Jesus Shaves" was another of my favorite stories, and I also felt as though it was one of the most traditional, building toward a solid conclusion and something a bit more profound than just getting a laugh. This last full paragraph was wonderful.

p189 - I was leafing through the dictionary, trying to complete a homework assignment, when I noticed the French had prescribed genders for the various land masses and natural wonders we Americans had always thought of as sexless. Niagara Falls is feminine and, against all reason, the Grand Canyon is masculine. Georgia and Florida are female, but Montana and Utah are male. New England is a she, while the vast area we call the Midwest is just one big guy.
There is nothing like the horror that is trying to remember the sexes of random nouns. Now that I'm out of school, I pretty much default to "luh", my attempt at verbalizing l', which could be either la or le. Of course, l' is only supposed to appear in front of vowels and the occasional H, but we can't have everything.

p200 - I have learned to take satisfaction in the life that Hugh has led. His stories have, over time, become my own.
In almost any other context, this might be a statement to make me smile. At the end of "Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa"...not so much. As a storyteller, I do love to collect stories, though I have no problem with adopting stories while maintaining the original ownership. But to take a story this grim and ascribe it to yourself... How do you even do that? I did appreciate the sudden depths hiding in the humor, but this was another disturbing story that really didn't sit well with me. Not that it was supposed to, but it certainly ratcheted up the attention on the unreliable narrator.

p212 - Whenever my government refuses to sign a treaty or decides to throw its weight around in NATO, I become not an American citizen but, rather, America itself, all fifty states and Puerto Rico sitting at the table with gravy on my chin.
I was going to make a scathing and sarcastic comment about nice it must be to have this feeling be remarkable, but then I remembered that Sedaris is gay and has probably encountered this particular sensation in the States as well as abroad. Frankly, this excellent description is probably most useful for the straight white men (and some women) reading this book who might never have experienced the "joy" of suddenly finding oneself speaking for an entire demographic when one only wants to speak for oneself.

p225 - I'm not the sort of person normally mistaken for being fast and well-coordinated, and because of this, I found Martin's assumption to be oddly flattering. Stealing wallets was nothing to be proud of, but I liked being thought of as cunning and professional.
How Americans earned their reputation abroad. Aiyah...but it makes for a great story. I like how there's no parting shot. It'd be all to easy to slip one in for the sake of the structure, but it's truer to life with the opportunity for the perfect stinger slipping away. ( )
  books-n-pickles | Oct 29, 2021 |
Very easy to read and funny for the most part. ( )
  _Marcia_94_ | Sep 21, 2021 |
Typically Sedarisian humor, some of which you'll know from his radio essays. The one about his parents' dogs gets me every time! ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 1, 2021 |
This is book of humour, and some other things, but mostly humour. It is a series of vignettes extracted from the life and times of the author. From his youth as a lisping boy, though his early adulthood as a substance abusing performance artist, to his adulthood as an Ex-patriot in France doing his very best to parlez avec les francophones, we follow as he leads us though his observations with a gentle hand and a smirk. But this book is much more than the sum of its parts.

As entertaining as it is, what you really get out of it is a new perspective on your own life-- in vicariously experiencing Sedaris' family life it is easy to slip into a mode wherein you relate personally with the subject at hand. All his neurosis are shared, along with delusions of grandeur, self deprecation, and missed efforts. All we as readers can do is sit back and think to ourselves: "yeah, I've done that." These tales are about more than just one's person's experience in exposition. They are about the human experience in all its fickle glory, and how funny it really is when we stop taking it so seriously. ( )
  dowswell | Jul 25, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 339 (nästa | visa alla)
Whereas ''Naked'' reads like a series of overlapping autobiographical essays, this volume feels more like a collection of magazine pieces or columns on pressing matters like the care and feeding of family pets and the travails of dining in Manhattan. But if Mr. Sedaris sometimes sounds as though he were making do with leftover material, ''Talk Pretty'' still makes for diverting reading.
 
The gifted Sedaris has not been hard enough on himself. At the risk of sounding patronizing, I suspect there is a better writer in there than he is as yet willing to let out.
 
This collection is, in its way, damned by its own ambitious embrace of variety; with so many pieces assembled, the stronger ones always punish the weaker... But reading or listening to David Sedaris is well worth the lulls for the thrills.
 

» Lägg till fler författare (3 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
David Sedarisprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Aison, Cathryn S.Formgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Colombo, MatteoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hayden, MelissaOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kaye, Michael IanOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pardoen, IrvingÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Me Talk Pretty One Day contains far more than just the funniest collection of autobiographical essays - it quite well registers as a manifesto about language itself. Wherever there's a straight line, you can be sure that Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter; and just where the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at the epicenter of it all. David Sedaris's new collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day, tells a most unconventional life story. It begins with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes ("There was the lisp, of course, but more troubling than that was my voice itself, with its excitable tone and high, girlish pitch") and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist ("The only crimp in my plan was that I seemed to have no talent whatsoever") to "clearly unqualified" writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris's career leads him to New York (the sky's-the-limit field of furniture moving) and eventually, of all places, France. Sedaris's move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a "spooky man-child" capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion. Whether describing the Easter bunny to puzzled classmates, savoring movies in translation (It is Necessary to save the Soldier Ryan), or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other--"Original, acid, and wild," said the Los Angeles Times--to every unforgettable encounter."--Jacket.

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