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Sunbathing Naked: and Other Miracle Cures - A Memoir Paperback – 19 Jun 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Paperback, 19 Jun 2008
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Product details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (19 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847670458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847670458
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"

Praise for One People
Kennaway fills his stories with a warmth and humanity capable of brightening the chilliest morning

" (Heat)

"Hilarious." (Daily Telegraph)

"Kennaway's satirical portrait of life in a small Jamaican community ripples with humour and crystal clear seas . . . like Keillor, his prose is even better read aloud." (Independent)

"This year's funniest, most thoroughly likeable novel. A fantastical yet believable microcosm of life." (GQ)

"Like Garrison Keillor, but with stronger material." (Arena)

"Kennaway . . . looks at the prejudiced world with a sense of satire . . . Utterly unsentimental, though always unfllinching . . . Kennaway uses case histories to great effect and pokes fun at the array of suggested cures." (Martin Tierney Herald 2008-07-05)

Book Description

A frank and funny account of learning to live with yourself

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book cover to cover one afternoon, and having suffered from acne for a long time I felt immediately like i'd found a new best friend. Finally someone else understands and knows what it is like to be daunted by your own image and often the terrible stress that accompanies it. And what's more, I have become deeply aware of how far worse off other people with all kind of ailments are, which has inspired me to get on with my own life. A charming, often hilarious and thoughtful read. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who has at any stage in their life been less than happy with the way they look, you'll get a wonderful feeling that you know what? Life's not all that bad...
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
This memoir of dealing with the skin condition psoriasis caught my attention and while I've never had this condition I was struck by the quality of the writing and the interesting portrayal of life with this condition.

Kennaway explains that while ultimately the sunbathing is the cure, most people afflicted with a skin condition only want to cover up. The stress of having a breakout causes a feedback loop as the patches are more likely to occur when you are stressed. Many so-called cures are marketed but the medical ones are so severe that they can make the skin go blue or cause liver failure. No wonder people turn to herbal remedies and internet medicines. Some people take jobs that can be done from home, or never have relationships, worried about their looks.
Kennaway also suggests that in the past people with severe skin conditions may have been sent to leper colonies - where, leprosy not being easy to catch, they would account for the inmates who lived long and full lives.

When Kennaway got his condition cleared up he then became a sex-addict, perhaps because skin was suddenly permitted to expose and to stare at for the first time in his life. He got treatment for this also, which involved being an inmate just as the psoriasis treatment required him to stay at the Dead Sea in a resort for skin sufferers, because the UV rays are absorbed by the atmosphere by the time they reach this low point, so one doesn't get dangerously sunburnt while soaking up the healing power of the sunlight.

This is humorous and soul-searching, and very readable.
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Format: Paperback
Highly recommended!

Don't be put off by the subject. This book is quite something. A brave thing to write about, and the amazing thing is that it made me laugh throughout. Mr Kennaway is a true observer, if not a voyeur of life. He loves people and you feel it throughout the book. Look forward to read more by him.
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
It's interesting in this book the links that the author makes between psoriasis and addiction, although whether they are personal to him or something that can be more widely applied is unclear.

I admit that having known people with psoriasis who are just accepting of their lot and getting on with their lives with no obvious issues I was quite surprised to find the author going to such extremes about his condition. The fact that he was instrumental in a man losing his money and home, just because he wanted the heating turned down seems fairly obsessive and ill. A lot was explained when he teetered over into addiction during a long period when his skin cleared up.

A troubling yet fascinating read.
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Format: Paperback
Until recently I knew nothing about psoriasis until I met a new colleague at work who has the condition. He said very little about it, so when I saw this book I decided to have a read.
The book is written with warmth and humour and does a good job of describing the stress and misery that a misunderstood but very visible condition can cause. It is a terrible shame that some people react the way they do towards anyone who looks different, but what came across from this book was the heartbreaking way that many sufferers turn upon themselves, hating the way they look and feeling insecure and miserable.
I certainly feel that I have a better understanding of the condition and the way it can affect people after reading this, and the author is remarkably candid in places, such as when he discusses sex addiction.
At times, the stories within this book, for example the story of Bill and Emily, and of Howard are very sad, and my only real criticism of the book is that it does not give any indication of what some of the people featured are doing nowadays, which I would have liked to know. I wish we had found out what happened to Emily and Bill, and if Howard was ok and I felt that these parts of the narrative were "unfinished"
The book is still worth reading though, if you do not have a skin condition and want a better idea of how it can impact on your life this is a good starting point. That said, for someone like me it felt a bit tedious in places and repetative, for example the section in israel could have been condensed somewhat or my tastes.
I think this would be a good read if you do have a skin condition as it would probably be helpful to hear from someone else who has been through the same, and the style of writing is pretty easy to get into.
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Format: Paperback
Guy Kennaway introduces us into the world of psoriasis sufferers using humour and wry insight into explaining how it affects an individual. He speaks both from his point of view as a sufferer and as an observer and interviewer of others. He takes us through how it has affected him and uses experiences of others to illustrate how different people have dealt with the condition.

Anyone who has psoriasis, or knows someone well who does will recognise many feelings and issues raised. If you are lucky enough not to have any direct experience this will give you a good start to understanding it. Many of the characteristics of dealing with psoriasis raised in the book will be shared with other chronic illnesses, giving it wider appeal.

Much of the book deals with the image aspect of psoriasis. It shows how important image can be to the self and how differences from the 'norm' can cause distress and behaviour that might not immediately be associated with a chronic skin condition. More open and frank discussion of these issues would help and maybe lead to less of a reliance on arbitrary definitions of perfection.
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