Sunbathing Naked: and Other Miracle Cures - A Memoir Paperback – 19 Jun 2008
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Praise for One People
Kennaway fills his stories with a warmth and humanity capable of brightening the chilliest morning
"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)
A frank and funny account of learning to live with yourselfSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, as are all guy Kennaway's books. Very inclusive, kind and funny.Published 13 months ago by Elljaygee
Funny read about a the authors quest to treat his psoriasis.He encounters many people with the disorder along the way.Published on 9 Oct. 2013 by Alan B Hartland
This book is unlike any other I have read. For a fellow psoriatic it is a must, Guy Kennaway expresses his inner feelings so eloquently and with such feeling and honesty, he had me... Read morePublished on 15 May 2009 by Giles Cawley
A fun and informative read for those of us unfortunate enough to have skin problems and a great insight for 'anyone who knows someone'
So wonderful to be reminded that we are... Read more