If there ever was a popular bestseller that was made for bathroom reading material this is it. This collection of often humorous short story/memoirs even includes an homage to the gastronomical pleasures of the bathroom in the aptly titled “Big Boy,” a short piece about the embarrassment of clogging the toilet at a dinner party. Me Talk Pretty One Day has been sitting on my porcelain shelf for the past six months and I’ve enjoyed turning the pages to pass the time. However, I’ve never once been so enthralled to read any of Sedaris’s works outside my private office; which goes to show that there are limitations to the enjoyment of Me Talk Pretty One Day – this book has its time and its place.
The collection is split into two parts, with the first being a varied collection of personal stories and social observations that are quite good but often quite cynical in their effort to reveal the absurd humor of modern life. The second part has more cohesiveness because they are all stories of Sedaris’s life in France with his boyfriend. In France Sedaris is a little more introspective but his judgmental cynicism does continue to shine through. I had the feeling that part one was a collection of pieces published in magazines because they all had a very poignant, quick editorial feel to them whereas the pieces from part two were less interesting and likely collected specifically for this book.