It was the Meet David Sedaris programme on Radio 4 that first brought this funny man to my attention. I like to listen to it when I’m cooking and often annoy my boyfriend with my constant laughing.
David Sedaris on the radio is hilarious. It’s not just what he says, it’s how he says it. He pauses in the right places and emphasises words to create maximum hilarity. His delivery is flawless.
Reading Me Talk Pretty One Day was a completely different experience to listening to Sedaris. He’s still humorous, but I’m sure it helps that in my mind I can imagine him speaking his essays word for word. His distinct, girlish voice is the perfect way to imagine his observations.
In the book Sedaris observes some odd situations and finds himself in some even stranger predicaments. Like being stuck in the toilet with an unflushable turd – that one had me in stitches! – or being mistaken for a pickpocket on the Métro in Paris. David Sedaris is known for his self-deprecating stories and it’s his honesty about his insecurities that I like so much. It’s nice to know that someone so successful can have similar worries to me (and many, many more!)
The book is split into two parts; the first focuses mainly on Sedaris’ upbringing in North Carolina. He talks a lot about his over enthusiastic, jazz loving father, who tries to set his kids up as a jazz combo, to the horror of the young David and his siblings. The second part of the book is mostly observations from his time living in France, where he moved with his boyfriend Hugh. Here he describes the difficulties of learning a language and examines his identity as an American living in France. I can fully appreciate some of these essays, as I have had similar frustrations when trying to learn a Italian! I also love his confession that instead of visiting the Louvre or Norte Dame, he spends most of his time in Paris in the darkness of a cinema.
Through all of his witticisms, and jokes at the expense of his family, Sedaris’ writing can be very touching. Particularly the relationship between his foul mouthed younger brother, nicknamed ‘the Rooster’, and his father. When his father’s house was damaged by a hurricane, his brother turned up saying “Bitch, I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be alright. We’ll get through this shit, motherfucker, just you wait.” It’s a funny but comforting piece of writing. Every family has it’s idiosyncrasies, and I’m glad Sedaris decided to write about his!
David Sedaris’ writing is addictive and I’m definitely planning to get my hands on the rest of his books. I can’t wait to learn more about his life and his peculiar fascination with taxidermy…
Get your own copy of the book by clicking on the link below!