LEIGH FORBES: Books of all Sorts

Me Talk Pretty One Day

by David Sedaris.

While parts of this book had me crying (in public) with laughter, other sections left me cold.

Me Talk Pretty One Day is not, as the blurb would have you believe, an account of the author’s struggle to learn French (which is what drew me to it). Although there are two or three chapters about that, most of the book concerns other aspects of his life (childhood and adult) and his family. With his cutting and personal observations about others, Sedaris’s humour does not sit comfortably with me, and I found myself disliking him more and more as I read on. He’s a wry observer of the human condition, I’ll give him that, but in the end it wasn’t enough to counteract the unpleasantness.

I get that this is humour, and that humour is subjective, but – on balance – I found it too dependant on mockery rather than being able to stand on its own merits.

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