Tuesday, August 27, 2013



A strange trip through David's life. One of those essay type memoirs with a mix of childhood stories, then a bounce to adulthood to recount David's trips to France where he attempted to learn the French language. It would have to be filed under 'Humour', but, I found it kind of lacked laughability.
Depending on how you look at your childhood it can be funny. I'm sure we all have stories about how strange our parents behaved, or that time you innocently said something completely inappropriate, or that you had a lisp.
Sedaris had a lisp. He talks all about it. Then he moves onto how, no matter how hard he tried, he could never grasp the French language - even when he moved to France and spent years there! The way he made fun of himself and the situations he found himself in was amusing. The mistranslations were the highlight - 'me talk pretty one day' as an eg.
I was, however, a bit disappointed with this book. It started off making me laugh, a little, and then nothing. It lacked any, er, edge. Ya, no edge. Sometimes writing on the edge can be funny. The only other book I'd read by Sedaris was Squirrel seeks Chipmunk, which was ten times edgier. It was at times, in fact, too edgy. I suppose this was what I was expecting. Not a light romp through french mistranslations.
I may read other Sedaris books in the future and benchmark them against Squirrel seeks Chipmunk (which is actually kind of scary). As of now, if for some reason you have to read a Sedaris books, I'd wouldn't recommend this one.


*As stated above, if you are looking for an edgier read, do not read this book, instead read Chipmunk seeks Squirrel.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm. I've read a chapter or two of Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, and it didn't totally grab me. Other than that, I've only heard Sedaris on the radio (being interviewed by Terry Gross or something). I've laughed at the interviews, but haven't been inspired to get any books.