A friend of mine introduced me to David Sedaris a few years ago with Me Talk Pretty One Day. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I’m not sure I got a really good handle on Sedaris by reading Me Talk Pretty, either. I enjoyed it, but didn’t really pursue any other books by Sedaris.
Since then, I’ve heard him a few times on NPR and have really enjoyed his work. When I found out he was coming to St. Louis for a book signing at Left Bank Books, I decided to grab tickets and catch him live.
That turned out to be a great decision. If you want the most out of Sedaris’ material, hearing him perform it is the way to go. Not that it doesn’t make for decent reading, but it’s definitely at its best when he’s performing it. It was also nice seeing an author who really seems to love interacting with his audience. He showed up early to sign books, did a reading of decent length, and then went back to signing books until 3 freaking a.m. (Luckily, we got ours signed before the reading, so we didn’t have to wait in line until after 2 a.m. It takes a hardcore fan, and a hardcore author, to stick it out that long!)
So, what’s it about? Really, it’s a collection of essays, musings, character sketches, and remembrances by Sedaris. We’re not talking great literature, but it’s enjoyable if you happen to be of a similar mindset to Sedaris (e.g., I doubt that Rush Limbaugh’s audience would be big fans). Some of the pieces I found riotously funny, some I found merely amusing.
If you’re going to pick it up, I do strongly recommend the audiobook. Generally I prefer reading to listening, but this really begs to be performed rather than read. Not sure if you’d enjoy Sedaris? Check out one of the podcasts from NPR where he’s featured.