Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As the title suggests, much of Me Talk Pretty One Day revolves around speech and speaking:
> Back in school lil' David (I guess he's still kind of little, isn't he) was forced into correcting his sibilant speech by a highly determined therapist. We're led to wonder if she wasn't stamping out boys' lisps through out the North Carolina school with an ulterior motive.
> A move from NY to Paris prompts David to take French lessons in France with hilarious results.
But that's about all there is to the main topic in this 5 disc set*. The rest is a mixed bag of topics:
> A stint as an avant garde performance artist.
> Drug use.
> His hilariously red-necked brother.
> The lives and deaths of family pets.
> Annoying American tourists.
> Teaching a writing course and having no idea how.
> Learning guitar from a sexist midget.
> Stories about his entertaining father.
That mixed bag of topics brings with it a mix in tone. Some pieces are just flat out funny, while others have a deeper meaning and seem almost too serious to laugh at...and yet I do.
Is there a mix in quality as well? My little jury of one is out on that still. I've listened to this one many times, maybe more than any of his others, and while I enjoy the heck out of it, there are long stretches where I wasn't laughing. Usually the ha-ha down-time is filled with me pondering expansively upon his chosen subject matter, so I'm never bored or disconnected from the Sedaris experience. But those looking for wall-to-wall laughs be warned.
* You really have to listen to Sedaris read is own material to get the full funny out of it. He is a humorist after all, and much like a comedian, you wouldn't get as many laughs from reading a script of their stand-up routine as you would from watching them live.