In Naked, David Sedaris's message alternately rendered in Fakespeare, Italian, Spanish, and pidgin Greek is the same: pay attention to me.
Whether he's taking to the road with a thieving quadriplegic, sorting out the fancy from the extra-fancy in a bleak fruit-packing factory, or celebrating Christmas in the company of a recently paroled prostitute, this collection of memoirs creates a wickedly incisive portrait of an all-too-familiar world. It takes Sedaris from his humiliating bout with obsessive behavior in A Plague of Tics to the title story, where he is finally forced to face his naked self in the mirrored sunglasses of a lunatic. At this soulful and moving moment, he picks potato chip crumbs from his pubic hair and wonders what it all means.
This remarkable journey into his own life follows a path of self-effacement and a lifelong search for identity, leaving him both under suspicion and overdressed.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Everyone’s youth overflows with awkward experiences. But David Sedaris’ acidic wit makes him uniquely qualified to wring hilarious stories out of his early humiliations—and he’s courageous enough to look foolish for the cause. Whether he’s recalling his old-world grandmother’s eccentricities, his history of compulsive behavior, or his early anxieties about being gay, Sedaris leavens his bone-dry sarcasm with just a dash of poignancy. When we finally recovered from laughing, we found ourselves a little bit moved, too.
NPR commentator Sedaris can hardly be called a humorist in the ordinary sense. The memoirs and jeux d'esprit that make up his first book, Barrel Fever, are too personally revealing to be domestic satire, and the writer they reveal is more eccentric--okay, weirder--than most domestic satirists. Sedaris is instead an essayist who happens to be very funny. Only two of the pieces in this new collection, "A Plague of Tics" and "c.o.g.," match Barrel Fever laugh for laugh. The first concerns Sedaris's childhood nervous compulsions and disorders, the second his later, Northwestern vagabondage. In the other essays (some of which originated as NPR broadcasts), Sedaris aims for a subtler sort of comedy. Several pieces describe his relationship with his mother, who is clearly the source of Sedaris's earthy sense of humor. That he manages in these pages to sketch such a memorable, seductive character (and, without sentimentality, to describe her death from cancer) is a high achievement, perhaps his highest to date. Most of the other essays recount Sedaris's misadventures, emotional and vocational, such as those he experienced as a hitchhiker ("Drugs were the easy part; I carried them as a courtesy and offered them when asked. What threw me were the sexual advances. How much did they expect me to accomplish at fifty miles per hour, and why choose me, a perfect stranger? When I thought of sex, I pictured someone standing before me crying, `I love you so much that... I don't even know who I am anymore.' "). Even at his most wistful, Sedaris never loses his native taste for raunch, whether the subject is fearsome dildos or dressage at a nudist camp--and although the book's off-color passages cannot be quoted here, Mrs. Sedaris would certainly approve. So will her son's many fans.
Customer ReviewsSee All
David Sedaris is an author who was introduced to me by my best friend who gave me a annotated copy of "Me Talk Pretty One Deay" as a birthday gift & since then I've read & re-read everything he's written & wish there was more. Of his books "Naked" is my absolute favorite never before has any author been able to make me laugh out loud, need to smoke a cigarette & cry all in one collection of essays. Sedaris is the greatest writer n humorist of our time & gives such an incredibly personal look into every area of his life like no other author can. I've actually had the opportunity to go to one of his readings & if u ever get the chance I guarantee you will not be disappointed - not only was the lecture/reding hilarious & entertaining but afterwards he took the time to stay & not only sign a book for ea. & every person who was there but interact with & ask everyone questions which I was not expecting.
Interesting for the first ten pages
Don't bother....unless you like painfully slow reads about nothing in particular.
I completely loved this book and laughed the whole time!!