Monday, 14 February 2011

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

I owe this blog a couple of reviews. They do say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, alongside accidently killing a prostitute and World of Warcraft.

First off, we've got some bittersweet campery from the humorist David Sedaris - a book on tape read by the author. If anyone's a listener of the excellent This American Life podcast, you'll know his stuff, in particular his very distinctive voice. In fact, these memoirs start with his experiences with speech therapy at school to try and rid him of his effeminate lisp. Instead he becomes expert and not using any words with an "s" in them. It did make me think about the way some gay fellas speak - is it affected or involuntary? A mixture? And does it still happen as much these days when we're all a bit more chilled? Anyway, David's sorted out his "s" now, though you're never going to confuse his voice with Lee Marvin's.

The best bit of the book is when he gets into crystal meth and conceptual art ("either one of these things is dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy civilisations.") His father heckles him at one of his interminable and pretentious one man shows, and finally gets a good review for the masterstroke of using his dad in the piece.

There are also musings on parents, siblings, family pets and the joy of smoking, as well as a section on living in France and learning the language. This, along with the speech therapy, gives the book its title.

Very funny and very frank about himself and his family. It's also inspired me to dig out some of my old Truman Capote books - presumably a big influence on Sedaris.

Coming up soon - Tokyo Station by Martin Cruz Smith. And possibly Russell Brand's second book.

1 comment:

bryce said...

Speech impediments are so hot right now...