A brilliant, savage, hilarious new collection of writings from David Sedaris - it's as if Garrison Keillor's evil twin meets Woody Allen.
Anyone that has read Naked and Barrel Fever, or heard David Sedaris speaking live or on the radio will tell you that a new collection from him is cause for jubilation.
His recent move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious new pieces, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that 'every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section'.
His family is another inspiration. You Can't Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.
About the Author
David Sedaris recently moved from New York to Paris. Raised in North Carolina, he has worked as a house cleaner and most famously, as a part-time elf for Macy's. Several of his plays have been produced, and his essays are featured regularly on BBC radio and in The New Yorker and Esquire.
'Welcome to the wonderful world of America's foremost humorist' gushes the back cover, 'where life is littered with idiosyncratic delights.' Luckily, Sedaris's fourth collection of deadpan semi-autobiographical pieces delivers much more than this anodyne blurb suggests. Sedaris is Edgar Allen Poe as adapted by John Waters, or an episode of Seinfeld scripted by Flannery O'Connor. No wait, he's Charles Adams meets The Simpsons. At any rate, 'idiosyncratic' doesn't quite describe him. Sedaris begins by recounting his childhood battle with a speech therapist. A confirmed lisper, he outwits the enemy - and increases his vocabulary - by avoiding words that contain the letter 's'. Young David then terrifies his guitar teacher, a chain-smoking macho midget, by singing advertising jingles for processed meat in a Billie Holiday voice. The alternative world of David Sedaris is peopled with the damaged and damaging, but somehow he's witty with it. I gawped at his affinity for skin rashes, war wounds and rusty cranial saws (I wasn't kidding about Charles Adams) and nodded appreciatively as he outlined his contempt for computers and cyberspace. The Sedaris family provides a lot of raw comic material: 'the Rooster' (David's ultra foul-mouthed brother), his wacko sister (who jumps out of a subway car with a cheery 'Good luck beating that rape charge, David') and his jazz-obsessed father (unnaturally close to the family's Great Dane). Eventually he moves from North Carolina to New York and then from the Big Apple to France. The French chapters inject a new ironic energy as he attempts to learn the language ('me talk pretty one day') and is called upon to defend US foreign policy at dinner parties where everyone has had too much to drink. The chapter in which he's mistaken by an American tourist for a Parisian pickpocket is a particular delight. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: July 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.7 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.19
Edition Number: 1