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Naked Paperback – 15 Feb 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (15 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753812487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753812488
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,890,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I just love Sedaris's stories. They're honest, funny and uncompromising, and they read as if they're effortless to write, which is a mark of how brilliantly crafted they are (Rebecca Front) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

*A collection of personal essays - surprising, disarming, heartbreakingly funny - from the #1 bestselling writer Time named America's Favorite Humorist. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Sedaris writes mostly about his family (including himself), but instead of relying on the tired old wouldyoubelieveit style to get their personalities across, he makes obsessiveness, predictability and contemptuous familiarity seem normal and inevitable. Which they probably are. The writing is very 'straight' for such a hilarious book, and it's appallingly and brilliantly clear - you're not spared just exactly how everything felt, even though he doesn't exactly tell you.
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By Marty From SF HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
Only David Sedaris can take a mundane activity and turn it inside out so intensely and simply that you can't stop laughing. This collection includes his morbid Greek grandmother who turns the family life upside down until they force her into not one, but two nursing homes where she traumatizes all around her. As a youngster, Sedaris finds an old pornographic novel with horrible typos that speaks of relentless incest. Passing it down to his sisters, they all develop a fear of their "sexual prowling" parents. Senior Sedaris tricks the kids into going golfing only to have sister Lisa have her first period at the fourteenth hole in front of all the Golfing big shots. Does the author stop hitch-hiking after several attempts on his life? No. This he finds exciting, made all the better when he can produce marijuana to calm any fag-hating drivers. The stories are alarmingly fresh and Sedaris' viewpoint is so violently skewed, you wonder how he lives his life at all. This is a hilarious outlook on life.
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Format: Paperback
Sedaris is a great and funny writer. Humour is hard to do standing up, but on the written page it can fall flat and be fatal. Sedaris's book ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY is his best work and NAKED takes a good solid second place to that. I'd give BARREL FEVER third. This said, you should still read NAKED as it has got some great material in it. "A Plague of tics" is by far the best thing in the book and you'll wet yourself in public reading this if you're not careful. Would also recommend the funny book KATZENJAMMER by McCrae if you want something Sedaris like but with a great many twists and turns.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It took me two attempts to read this book. The first time, I read a few of the stories and then put the book to one side. Given that I was already aware of Sedaris's reputation as a great comic writer, having to set the book aside was both disappointing and frustrating. I couldn't quite put my finger on what exactly I didn't like about it. Over the next few months the book kept 'nodding' at me from the 'to be read' pile until I eventually decided to start reading again from the start to see if I could get into the book properly. After the first few stories it became clear to me why I had disliked the book the first time around. There was a certain 'manufactured' quality to some of the stories as if he had deliberately set out to make something funny even if, in itself, it was not intrinsically funny. There was an exaggerated quality to man of the stories which I found irritating. After a while I got used to the style and some of the stories I had disliked at the first sitting started to grow on me.

There are seventeen stories in this collection -some of which are quite good and often entertaining. But at no stage was I in convulsions laughing at the humour. In common with a few of the other reviewers I too was dismayed to read of people laughing out loud at some of the stories. The funniest ones, to me, were 'Get Your Ya-Ya's Out' and 'Dinah The Christmas Whore'. These were very engaging and well-written. However, the title story 'Naked' was far too long and ended up being tedious.

For me, Sedaris displayed much more impressive skill when he dealt with more serious subject-matter. He seemed to be on much firmer ground and more compelling. The story 'Ashes' about his mother's impending death from cancer manages effortlessly to be both funny and very poignant. I finished it wanting to read more stories in this style rather than the forced style of a lot of the other stories.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Naked, published in 1997 is the second book by David Sedaris I have read having read Me Talk Pretty One Day, a later work, some years ago. All of Sedaris' work comprises of anecdotal, autobiographical short stories. A comic writer many of his stories are genuinely hilarious, but comedy is a personal taste thing and I found the stories overall in this one less amusing than I did the previous book I'd read, which isn't to say that was the case with every story.

In this book Sedaris tackles such diverse topics as his time on a nudist colony, his Greek grandmother, his volunteerism in a psychiatric hospital, his sister Lisa's friendship with a prostitute, a pornographic novel discovered in their home, Lisa's first period and her marriage, and his childhood issues with his homosexuality and OCD among others.

I felt when reading 'Me Talk Pretty One Day' that Sedaris' childhood made anyone's seem dull and tame, and 'Naked' expands on this, the man's life is full of incident and wild stories to tell at dinner parties, whilst what happens to David the majority of the time is unfortunate and often cringeworthy, you feel slightly envious that he had all these experiences. It beats the heck out of childhood Saturdays spent traipsing around garden centres.

The funniest stories this time round for me were 'The Drama Bug' a story in which Sedaris becomes taken with Shakespeare and begins to address his family in Shakespearean Language, which genuinely made me laugh aloud, The Women's Open : the story of Lisa's first period which distinguishes itself for Lisa's reaction to her father in the car.
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