Bonnie Brody's Reviews > Naked

Naked by David Sedaris
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Mar 07, 12

Read in February, 2009

I just love David Sedaris. If you are not a fan of his yet, I recommend you read this book.

This collection of essays is laugh out loud funny. They are also self-deprecative of the author's whacky, eccentric and unique world. He accepts his eccentricities and appears to realize that they are what feed his creativity. He can see a whole world in his bowl of cereal.

He has both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome. He is gay and grew up in a home with an absolutely looney mother who was also an alcoholic. Most of the stories include his family members and his characterization is sharp, cutting and also filled with love. It must be awkward to be one of his siblings and read this book.
The title of the book comes from Sedaris's visit to a nudist colony. He chooses to blend in but then worries where to look. There are regular people and people with deformities. What part of the body do you look at? What part is off limits? Then there is the matter of sitting on benches where other naked bottoms have been. Yuk!!

The opening story is about an elementary school teacher who is frustrated with the author's obsessive compulsive behaviors, like licking a light switch in the classroom every day over and over again. The teacher makes a home visit to discuss her concerns. She is met by David's mother who has a glass of booze in her hand. David's mother realizes why the teacher is visiting her and she does a perfect imitation of her son's behaviors for the teacher. They then drink more booze together while David eave-drops on this whacky conversation from the stairway.

I don't want to give away the themes of each of the essays but suffice it to say that they are out of the box in terms of theme and hilarity. I don't think you can find a funnier book. The book is also poignant. One can see the author as 'outsider' attempting to draw the visiting reader into his world and provide him some acceptance by enjoying the book.
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