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Publisher's Summary

David Sedaris' new collection of essays - including live recordings! - 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' career leads him to New York City and eventually, of all places, France. His 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 or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other to every unforgettable encounter.
©2000 by David Sedaris, All Rights Reserved (P)2000 by Time Warner AudioBooks, A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing
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Critic Reviews

"At his best, he makes you laugh out loud, which indeed may be worth the price of admission." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By FanB14 on 09-03-12

Subtly Funny Musings on Life Experiences

This is my first Sedaris book and chuckled throughout. The book isn't a straightforward novel, but a compilation of different events/periods in his life coupled with live performances. It's deeply reflective and humorous in a subtle manner. Highly recommend and can't wait to download his other titles.

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39 of 43 people found this review helpful


By GH on 06-19-13

A constant set of chuckles and a few gotchas!

I really like this Sedaris book. True to his other novels, this is a compendium of stories. The title is taken from the first story where David, as a 3rd grader, goes to a speech therapist. You cannot help but laugh as the story unwinds and young David gets the best of the teacher in the end. And so the stories continue one by one making you laugh and every now and again he slips in a potent serious message.

Sedaris narrates his own work, so the stories comes off more powerful than a classic text might; especially in the first story where he talks about a lisping problem he had as a child.

This is a relatively short listen and it should appeal to anyone who like satirical humor drawn from personal introspection. Although many of the stories involve family members, they are not mean spirited. You feel like you are at a dinner table and just reliving the 'best of' stories with family members. I highly recommend this series of stories -- they are all winners.

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16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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