A humorist par excellence, he can make Woody Allen appear ham-tongued, Oscar Wilde a drag. Me Talk Pretty One Day collects tales from both home and abroad, and picks up from where Naked - in which he first introduced his larger-than-life Technicolor family - left off ... While there is an undeniable tang of reheated leftovers, Sedaris writes with the magnificent gusto of the neurotic, who, in overreaching their means, find solace in corkscrew hyperbole ... Sedaris is seriously funny. Too often, though, tender, introspective moments are subordinate to the reflexive tug of the grin. There may be more to life than a smart pay-off line, but for the moment Sedaris's autobiographical Chinese whispers continue to take telling tales to sublime heights.
In his best writing, David Sedaris suggests a visiting anthropologist from a distant galaxy or some future civilization, observing and chronicling contemporary life with a mixture of curiosity, disgust, and outright befuddlement. His stranger-in-a-strange-land approach succeeds without undue mean-spiritedness, because time and time again he proves more than willing to turn his spiky wit inward on himself ... While neither as laugh-out-loud funny as Barrel Fever, nor as cohesive and oddly moving as Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day nevertheless proves a worthy showcase for one of the premier humorists of our time.
His need to hang onto his neuroses permeates his fourth collection of comic pieces...an assortment of frequently very funny, too-often bland and ultimately frustrating essays ... Perversely, Sedaris doesn't recognize his own literary gold mine, probes no further and writes the essay like a sitcom treatment. Because many of the essays turn out to be inconsequential, it's all the more disappointing when he conjures one with substance and then lets it fizzle ... Collected in book form, they need some unifying thread -- subject matter, character, location or even sustained hilarity. Unfortunately, none of these is at work here. Frustratingly, except for his self-deprecation, the character of David Sedaris, though principal to just about every essay, remains elusive.