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Me Talk Pretty One Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “I know the thing that you speak exact now. Talk me more, you, plus, please, plus,” says David Sedaris, “talking pretty” in his book. This comes from a story about the absurdities of taking French lessons. The book is a collection of memoirs of awful experiences such as speech therapy in elementary school, the author’s father forcing him to take guitar lessons from a midget, and moving to France and not being able to speak French.

Most of the stories center around his bizarre siblings and parents, including his obsessively swearing brother, his alcoholic, chain-smoking mom, and his drama-obsessed sister. As the book progresses, the stories follow him into adulthood. We see him growing older but still being the same timid, disturbed outsider.

This book is extremely well-written and hilarious. It wasn’t only the events that cracked me up, but the way he wrote about them. His style is subtle and his jokes sneak up on you. For instance, in the story, “Go Carolina,” when he is trying to keep his speech therapist from hearing his lisp, he desperately avoids using the letter S. “On the final day of the year we take down the pine tree in our living room and eat marine life,” he says, to avoid saying “New Year’s,” “Christmas,” or “seafood.” I listened to part of the book in audio form. I loved hearing him read with his calm style of telling the jokes and how he

impersonates his characters.

I would not recommend this book for those who are easily offended by language, because it does contain obscenities. If you like comedy, have ever felt like an outsider, or just want to know how not to speak French well, then read this book.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Kaboomm said...
Apr. 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm
I just finished reading this fantastic book. I completely agree with your review-- his writing is hilarious when you least expect it.
 
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