Me Talk Pretty One Day

Version: Abridged
Author: David Sedaris
Narrator: Author
Genres: Essays & Memoirs
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published In: June 2001
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 5 hours
Tell Your Friends:


"As far as I was concerned, the French could be cold or even openly hostile. They could burn my flag or pelt me with stones, but if there were taxidermied kittens to be had then I would go and bring them back to this, the greatest country on earth."

David Sedaris's new collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day, tells a most unconventional life story. It begins with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes ("There was the lisp, of course, but more troubling than that was my voice itself with its excitable tone and high, girlish pitch") and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist ("The only crimp in my plan was that I seemed to have no talent whatsoever") to "clearly unqualified" writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris's career leads him to New York (the sky's-the-limit field of furniture moving) and eventually, of all places, France.

Sedaris's move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a "spooky man-child" capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion. Whether describing the Easter bunny to puzzled classmates, savoring movies in translation (It Is Necessary to Save the Soldier Ryan), or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like none other.

Reviews (26)

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Written by Anonymous on April 10th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Don't waste your time. Quit listening part way through the first CD. Very unusual book.

Listening and Driving can be Dangerous

Written by Betty on December 16th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This book is astoundingly funny. Keep in mind that driving and listening to this CD could be very dangerous. I laughed so hard, at times, that I could not keep my eyes open...I had to actually turn the CD off in order to calm down. I have not laughed so hard since ...I don't know when. I was particularly taken by David Sedaris' accounts of learning French. Anyone who has struggled with learning a new language will appreciate his accounts.


Written by Anonymous from Woodbine, MD on March 5th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I'm now known as the "parking lot lunatic" for sitting in my car, laughing out loud at Sedaris's stories. Very, very funny!

Melancholy, somewhat witty, not funny

Written by Anonymous from Sunnyvale, CA on September 20th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This book has a melancholy, complaining, even whiny tone to it. The author is obviously intelligent and somewhat witty, but I rented this book so that I could laugh out loud, and I did very little, some small chuckles, while listening to this book. Overall, I was disappointed.

me talk pretty one day

Written by Anonymous on August 14th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

if you love David Sedaris like I do. This is another great.

Original Humor

Written by Bob Williams on February 22nd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Very, very, funny. As a keen observer of comics and those enamored with the English language and it's many forays into the unknown or unpredicted Sedaris is almost on a new plane. Very refreshing and entertaining with adventurous and original anectodes. If you rent it I'll doubt you'll be disappointed.


Written by Anonymous on December 28th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is an extraordinary book. I've read other by Sedaris but like this the best! Very funny. Very insightful. Sedaris has a way of looking at the world that makes me smile - maybe b/c I can relate to what he is saying but could never communicate it the way he does. If your sense of humor is dry and sarcastic you'll love this book!

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Written by Anonymous from Fallbrook, CA on December 12th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

It took me awhile to warm up to the author, but stay with it, I was rolling on the floor and wishing for more by the end. What a rapier sharp wit!

For the ride home

Written by ML from Carrollton, TX on August 14th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Sedaris breaks from his fictional tales and entrenches us in his cross-crossing life treating us to autobiographical genius. Part social commentary, part self-deprecating humor, all laughs. His voice inflection in reading adds another dimension to his stories. This is exactly the type of book I needed after a hard day's work while stuck in traffic.

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Written by Pamela Christensen from Long Beach, CA on May 3rd, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Fabulous, Hysterical, Warm, Funny, Smart, Clever, Witty! This was my first experience with the works of David Sedaris, but definitely not the last! I just fell in love with him and his stories. Highly recommend...I wish there were more than 5 stars to give to this wonderful CD!! I was laughing the whole way home. The best!

Author Details

Author Details

Sedaris, David

David Raymond Sedaris, born in Binghamton, New York on December 26, 1956, is an American humorist. He was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina with his sister Amy Sedaris, a comedic actress and writer. They were raised Greek Orthodox members of a six sibling brood, years that Sedaris references back to constantly in his works. According to his writings, a lisp led to a love of all “s-less” words and to parents worried about his orientation while he was young. Sedaris has written that this all brought to him an incredible vocabulary. His satirical wit comes from a life filled with his own unique experiences and observations in which only he would find humor.

A declared sufferer of OCD while he was younger, Sedaris has written that smoking helped to cure him of the obsessive behaviors. Many criticize Sedaris on these claims while others wonder if he is only being satirical when making them. The privilege Sedaris has now to write and to get noticed did come easily. In 1977, he left both Kent State University and Duke University without a degree but finally earned one in 1987 from the Art Institute of Chicago.

His path to writing fame was a slow one as he had to take on jobs such as house cleaning to support himself. But his hilarious, thoughtful autobiographical works would soon become acclaimed. They were mostly written accounts early on about his teenage and young adult years where he experimented with drugs. Then he began to explore his family ties and his own homosexuality in his material. He has often contributed his short works to The New Yorker and Esquire magazine as well as delivered them on a radio show entitled “This American Life”, a Public Radio International distribution.

He has gained an international audience for his top selling books and collections of stories such as Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Naked. He was even nominated for a Grammy for the category “Best Spoken Word Album for Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim. He has done gained mainstream attention in the states by doing shows like “The David Letterman Show”. And he was the editor for the book Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories.

He and his sister Amy Sedaris are an explosively funny collaborative team. They write under the moniker “The Talent Family”. Many of their works were produced in New York City at The Drama Department and at the Lincoln Center. Brother and sister have created plays like The Book of Liz, Stump the Host as well as One Woman Shoe, an Obie Award-winning play.

David Sedaris has also won several awards on his solo material. He was nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Comedy Album for David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall. Along with that distinction he received the Thurber Prize for American Humor and was only the third writer to do so. Time magazine in 2001 had even honored him with the title of Humorist of the Year.

Presently, Sedaris resides in France with his partner Hugh Hamrick. However, Sedaris makes several tours throughout the United States on promotional book tours often. For 2008, Sedaris is panning to release a book titled Indefinite Leave to Remain.