Me Talk Pretty One Day
The Ultimate David Sedaris Box Set
David Sedaris
Read by the author and Amy Sedaris
Audio book CDs
Hachette Audio 2006

Me Talk Pretty One Day is the most comical and certainly the least caustic of the 5 David Sedaris audio book CDs and one live recording CD included in The Ultimate David Sedaris Box Set. Of course these comic essays and stories by this regular NPR This American Life contributor feature funny autobiographical tales involving the entire (and very weird) Sedaris family but Me Talk Pretty One Day is certainly the most charming audio book CD set included in this box set.

A lot of the charm in Me Talk Pretty One Day comes from the many humorous anecdotal stories about Sedaris’ stay in France. Americans, hell, the whole world, even the entire known galaxy, loves to hate the French, but Sedaris has a live and let live compromise that is refreshing though as perceptive as Stephen Clarke’s A Year In The Merde (translated by the French as God Save La France!). Part of the charm of the French stories in this Sedaris audio book CD set is the author’s ability to transmogrify his ineptitude at speaking French into English which allows him to easily and comically convey his inability to communicate.

Anyone who has taken a second language course will howl with laughter listening to Jesus Shaves and the story of Easter or the first days in French second language class of the title track Me Talk Pretty One Day. If you think you had the second language teacher from hell, you have not met the woman teaching Sedaris’ group of willing but browbeaten students. Almost just as funny is the comic story of talking a French second language in New York and realizing the learned dialogue is never going to happen in real life.

Other comic stories set in France that stand out are The City of Light in the Dark about going to see American movies while in Paris and Picka Pocketoni where the standard Ugly American tourist in Europe makes an appearance though this time the take is from another American tourist.

CD 5 of Me Talk Pretty One Day features quite a few live tracks -a refreshing change of pace- where David Sedaris reads from his diary entries. These are short, anecdotal stories that lose none of their acerbic wit and gain a little from being short, focused observations.

Not all of Me Talk Pretty One Day is all A Year in Provence type material. One of the many highlights is the live track The Youth In Asia on the first CD of this audiobook. This is the story of the many pets the Sedaris family has gone through over the years. Fans of the Marmaduke comic strip will especially enjoy this one.

Overall, this 5 CD audio book set part of The Ultimate David Sedaris Box Set is the least caustic and kindest of the sets included in this really, really cool release.

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