Naked

Naked

by David Sedaris, David Sedarls

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Overview

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-familar world. It takes Sedaris from his humiliating bout with obsessive behavior in "A Plague of Tics" to the title story, in which 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594600749
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/01/1998
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 49,371
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Hometown:

London, England

Date of Birth:

December 26, 1956

Place of Birth:

Johnson City, New York

Education:

B.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1987

Read an Excerpt

Naked


By David Sedaris Back Bay Books

Copyright © 1998 David Sedaris
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316777735



Chapter One


chipped beef

I'm thinking of asking the servants to wax my change before placing it in the Chinese tank I keep on my dresser. It's important to have clean money--not new, but well maintained. That's one of the tenets of my church. It's not mine personally, but the one I attend with my family: the Cathedral of the Sparkling Nature. It's that immense Gothic building with the towers and bells and statues of common people poised to leap from the spires. They offer tours and there's an open house the first Sunday of every October. You should come! Just don't bring your camera, because the flash tends to spook the horses, which is a terrible threat to me and my parents, seeing as the reverend insists that we occupy the first pew. He rang us up not long ago, tipsy--he's a tippler--saying that our faces brought him closer to God. And it's true, we're terribly good-looking people. They're using my mother's profile on the new monorail token, and as for my father and me, the people at NASA want to design a lunar module based on the shape of our skulls. Our cheekbones are aeronautic and the clefts of our chins can hold up to three dozen BBs at a time. When asked, most people say that my greatest asset is my skin, which glows--it really does! I have to tie a sock over myeyes in order to fall asleep at night. Others like my eyes or my perfect, gleaming teeth, my thick head of hair or my imposing stature, but if you want my opinion, I think my most outstanding feature is my ability to accept a compliment.

Because we are so smart, my parents and I are able to see through people as if they were made of hard, clear plastic. We know what they look like naked and can see the desperate inner workings of their hearts, souls, and intestines. Someone might say, "How's it hangin', big guy," and I can smell his envy, his fumbling desire to win my good graces with a casual and inappropriate folksiness that turns my stomach with pity. How's it hanging, indeed. They know nothing about me and my way of life; and the world, you see, is filled with people like this.

Take, for example, the reverend, with his trembling hands and waxy jacket of skin. He's no more complex than one of those five-piece wooden puzzles given to idiots and school-children. He wants us to sit in the front row so we won't be a distraction to the other parishioners, who are always turning in their pews, craning their necks to admire our physical and spiritual beauty. They're enchanted by our breeding and want to see firsthand how we're coping with our tragedy. Everywhere we go, my parents and I are the center of attention. "It's them! Look, there's the son! Touch him, grab for his tie, a lock of his hair, anything!"

The reverend hoped that by delivering his sermon on horseback, he might regain a bit of attention for himself, but even with the lariat and his team of prancing Clydesdales, his plan has failed to work. At least with us seated in the front row, the congregation is finally facing forward, which is a step in the right direction. If it helps bring people closer to God, we'd be willing to perch on the pipe organ or lash ourselves to the original stainless-steel cross that hangs above the altar. We'd do just about anything because, despite our recent hardships, our first duty is to help others. The Inner City Picnic Fund, our Annual Headache Drive, the Polo Injury Wing at the local Memorial Hospital: we give unspeakable amounts to charity, but you'll never hear us talk about it. We give anonymously because the sackfuls of thank-you letters break our hearts with their clumsy handwriting and hopeless phonetic spelling. Word gets out that we're generous and good-looking, and before you know it our front gate will become a campsite for fashion editors and crippled children, who tend to ruin the grass with the pointy shanks of their crutches. No, we do what we can but with as little fanfare as possible. You won't find us waving from floats or marching alongside the Grand Pooh-bah, because that would only draw attention to ourselves. Oh, you see the hangers-on doing that sort of thing all the time, but it's cheap and foolish and one day they'll face the consequences of their folly. They're hungry for something they know nothing about, but we, we know all too well that the price of fame is the loss of privacy. Public displays of happiness only encourage the many kidnappers who prowl the leafy estates of our better neighborhoods.

When my sisters were taken, my father crumpled the ransom note and tossed it into the eternal flame that burns beside the mummified Pilgrim we keep in the dining hall of our summer home in Olfactory. We don't negotiate with criminals, because it's not in our character. Every now and then we think about my sisters and hope they're doing well, but we don't dwell upon the matter, as that only allows the kidnappers to win. My sisters are gone for the time being but, who knows, maybe they'll return someday, perhaps when they're older and have families of their own. In the meantime, I am left as the only child and heir to my parents' substantial fortune. Is it lonely? Sometimes. I've still got my mother and father and, of course, the servants, several of whom are extraordinarily clever despite their crooked teeth and lack of breeding. Why, just the other day I was in the stable with Duncan when...

"Oh, for God's sake," my mother said, tossing her wooden spoon into a cauldron of chipped-beef gravy. "Leave that goddamned cat alone before I claw you myself. It's bad enough you've got her tarted up like some two-dollar whore. Take that costume off her and turn her loose before she runs away just like the last one."

Adjusting my glasses with my one free hand, I reminded her that the last cat had been hit by a car.

"She did it on purpose," my mother said. "It was her only way out, and you drove her to it with your bullshit about eating prime rib with the Kennedys or whatever the hell it was you were yammering on about that day. Go on now, and let her loose. Then I want you to run out to the backyard and call your sisters out of that ditch. Find your father while you're at it. If he's not underneath his car, he's probably working on the septic tank. Tell them to get their asses to the table, or they'll be eating my goddamned fist for dinner."

It wasn't that we were poor. According to my parents, we were far from it, just not far enough from it to meet my needs. I wanted a home with a moat rather than a fence. In order to get a decent night's sleep, I needed an airport named in our honor.

"You're a snob," my mother would say. "That's your problem in a hard little nutshell. I grew up around people like you, and you know what? I couldn't stand them. Nobody could."

No matter what we had--the house, the cars, the vacations--it was never enough. Somewhere along the line a terrible mistake had been made. The life I'd been offered was completely unacceptable, but I never gave up hope that my real family might arrive at any moment, pressing the doorbell with their white-gloved fingers. "Oh, Lord Chisselchin," they'd cry, tossing their top hats in celebration, "thank God we've finally found you."

"It ain't going to happen," my mother said. "Believe me, if I was going to steal a baby, I would have taken one that didn't bust my ass every time I left my coat lying on the sofa. I don't know how it happened, but you're mine. If that's a big disappointment for you, just imagine what I must feel."

While my mother grocery-shopped, I would often loiter near the front of the store. It was my hope that some wealthy couple would stuff me into the trunk of their car. They might torture me for an hour or two, but after learning that I was good with an iron, surely they would remove my shackles and embrace me as one of their own.

"Any takers?" my mother would ask, wheeling her loaded grocery cart out into the parking lot.

"Don't you know any childless couples?" I'd ask. "Someone with a pool or a private jet?"

"If I did, you'd be the first one to know."

My displeasure intensified with the appearance of each new sister.

"You have how many children in your family?" the teachers would ask. "I'm guessing you must be Catholic, am I right?"

It seemed that every Christmas my mother was pregnant. The toilet was constantly filled with dirty diapers, and toddlers were forever padding into my bedroom, disturbing my seashell and wine-bottle collections.

I had no notion of the exact mechanics, but from overhearing the neighbors, I understood that our large family had something to do with my mother's lack of control. It was her fault that we couldn't afford a summerhouse with bay windows and a cliffside tennis court. Rather than improve her social standing, she chose to spit out children, each one filthier than the last.

It wasn't until she announced her sixth pregnancy that I grasped the complexity of the situation. I caught her in the bedroom, crying in the middle of the afternoon.

"Are you sad because you haven't vacuumed the basement yet?" I asked. "I can do that for you if you want."

"I know you can," she said. "And I appreciate your offer. No, I'm sad because, shit, because I'm going to have a baby, but this is the last one, I swear. After this one I'll have the doctor tie my tubes and solder the knot just to make sure it'll never happen again."

I had no idea what she was talking about--a tube, a knot, a soldering gun--but I nodded my head as if she and I had just come to some sort of a private agreement that would later be finalized by a team of lawyers.

"I can do this one more time but I'm going to need your help." She was still crying in a desperate, sloppy kind of way, but it didn't embarrass me or make me afraid. Watching her slender hands positioned like a curtain over her face, I understood that she needed more than just a volunteer maid. And, oh, I would be that person. A listener, a financial advisor, even a friend: I swore to be all those things and more in exchange for twenty dollars and a written guarantee that I would always have my own private bedroom. That's how devoted I was. And knowing what a good deal she was getting, my mother dried her face and went off in search of her pocketbook.

Continues...


Excerpted from Naked by David Sedaris Copyright © 1998 by David Sedaris. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Interviews

On Tuesday, May 27, barnesandnoble.com welcomed David Sedaris, author of NAKED.


Moderator: Welcome to barnesandnoble.com. We are excited to welcome David Sedaris to the Auditorium this evening to chat about his latest hilarious book, NAKED. Welcome and thanks for joining us!

David Sedaris: Good evening. Hello!


Michele from Dallas: Do your novels take an average length of time to finish? Or do you find some take quite a bit longer than others? If so, why?

David Sedaris: I've never written a novel, but my first book was written over the course of four years. I never thought it would be a book. I wrote the stories over four years as they came to me. The second book was written over the course of a year -- a long and terrible year -- in order to make a deadline.


Steve from Bloomington, IL: What inspired you to write NAKED or to name it NAKED?

David Sedaris: My deadline inspired me to write it. And the title was inspired by my trip to the nudist colony. But if I had it to do over again, it would be different, because I'm weary of one-word titles.


Emily Hatfield from CT: I read in The New York Observer that you and your sister, Amy, collaborated on several sections of BARREL FEVER for the stage in particular. Did you write any of NAKED for the stage? If so, which sections? Do you have actors in mind for the roles?

David Sedaris: I didn't write any part of NAKED for the stage, but I read part of it with Amy aloud in New York. I thought about part of it being performed, but they would have to be naked the whole time in order for it to make sense. I work with a troupe on a regular basis, but I'm not sure if any of them are willing to be naked for an entire play.


Amelia from NC: What kind of response have you gotten from your family about this book?

David Sedaris: They all seem to enjoy it. Any story that pertained to any of my brothers and sisters I let them read first and choose whether or not the piece would be included. I think they understand that this is my perspective of what happened.


Kathleen from NJ: Do you find it painful to write about yourself? Is it more difficult than writing about characters you make up?

David Sedaris: I think I prefer to write about fictional characters -- only because I don't know where their story is going. Seeing as that I think of myself almost exclusively, it's no great leap to write about myself. But I look forward to writing fiction now.


Brian from Hoboken: David, do you work on TV or movie screenwriting? Have you been approached about using your books as subjects for TV or movies?

David Sedaris: Yes, for some reason I'm often approached, which puzzles me, because I don't see how any of them would work. My sister did a sketch-comedy show which they worked well for. But as far as TV or movies go, I don't see how any of them would work. I'm not up for the power pyramid that comes with those kind of productions. I like to be on top of things.


Lynda from Bethpage, NY: Will you be doing any book signings at the B&N stores on Long Island -- the Huntington, Carle Place, or Massapequa Stores?

David Sedaris: I don't have any plans to. I just finished a two month-long tour. I don't have any plans to, and I don't care if I never get on another plane in my life. In terms of a book tour, I have no idea why they send you where. I have no idea why I went to Cedar Rapids instead of Miami.


Fisher from RI: Sounds like a great book. Would my 12-year-old daughter be too young to read it?

David Sedaris: Twelve, yes. Seventeen would be alright, but I don't think it would be of much interest to a 12-year-old.


Mike from NYC: David, I loved SANTALAND DIARIES and was wondering if you ever considered performing it yourself.

David Sedaris: No. It was adapted as a stage play last year, but I had no desire to perform it myself. I've smoked so much pot I can barely remember my zip code, and the thought of remembering all that dialogue.... I like to read out loud, but I have no interest in performing.


Jill from Boston: Who do you like to read? Are there authors that have inspired you?

David Sedaris: I tried not to read anything while I was working on the book. So I just started reading some of the things I've got backed up, like ANGELA'S ASHES -- which I love. And some Flannery O'Connor, which knocks me out every time I read it. I love Susan Sheehan, Thomas Berger; I loved reading THE DESIGNATED MOURNER, the new Wallace Shawn play, and the Tanya Tucker biography.


Karen O'Connor from Needham, MA: Hi, David. I am curious about what it is you have in you that enables you to bare all your secrets, embarrassing and all, to the world. What made you decide to do this book? Did you feel a sort of cleansing when you finished it? Or did you feel "naked" but uncomfortably so?

David Sedaris: I felt neither cleansed nor naked. There were a lot of things there that I would have preferred to address in fiction . There were a lot of parts featured in "Morning Edition," but they could only be six minutes long, so I started the book by expanding those radio pieces. Not until I was halfway through did I think it would be a book about me.


Jonathan from Massachusetts: It seems you are able to find the upside to even the saddest of family moments in your writing. Is this a general personality trait or something that you discovered when you began writing NAKED? I loved the book!

David Sedaris: Thank you! I figure that no one wants to hear the maudlin stuff -- I know people like that and I avoid their phone calls. In retrospect, I think about what was funny about it. I write kind of serious maudlin things at night, but eventually I sober up and throw them away.


Mike from NYC: I just got NAKED today, so I haven't been able to read the whole thing yet, although I am listening to The Captain & Tenille's "Greatest Hits" right now. The book jacket is awesome! Did you have any say in the design?

David Sedaris: Chip Kidd did the jacket, and I'd always been an admirer of his work -- he's a publisher's way of letting you know they really care. He came up with the design on his own, and I like it.


Kiely from Miami Beach: Do you take any inspiration from the writers you mentioned earlier that you like to read, like Flannery O'Connor or even Frank McCourt? What writers have inspired you to write?

David Sedaris: I suppose anyone whose work I read and enjoy I find inspirational. It's inspirational that they could write such a rewarding book. When I was younger, I was more apt to copy the writers I admired, I think it took a while to figure out that that was who they were, and to admire them instead of try to be them.


Angel from East Village: Do you feel you bared your soul in NAKED? I read that in The Village Voice and couldn't decide if the journalist was just trying to be cute or if you had truly bared your soul in the book? I mean, I loved it but did you feel raw when it was published?

David Sedaris: No, I didn't. I'm not what you would call a secretive person . A lifetime of running my mouth had prepared me for writing this book, and worrying that I had revealed so much of myself that there was nothing left.


Roy Dicks from Raleigh, NC: I read in a magazine interview with you that you had mentioned having 70 pages of a novel written (this was before NAKED came out). Is that a different book or did it turn into NAKED.?

David Sedaris: That's a different book. I'm not sure if I'll go back and finish it or if I'll just leave it. In order to finish it, I'll need to attend the academy for locksmiths and spend some time in a rehab center -- because my main character is paralyzed.


Mark from Boston: Do you plan to do any more pieces on "This American Life" (on NPR) from NAKED?

David Sedaris: Probably not from NAKED, but I plan to do more stories for the show. What I like about Ira's show is that he'll give me a theme to write from. He gave me 17 sound effects and I had to identify them in order. I know I have a live presentation for his show in two weeks, but he still hasn't told my what the theme is.


Mike from NYC: You remind me a lot of Nicky Silver. Are you a fan of his work?

David Sedaris: I've only seen two of his plays. And I look forward to seeing more -- I think he's really funny. I got to meet him recently, and that was a real treat for me.


Lani from Philadelphia: Thank goodness for your book. I had just finished ANGELA'S ASHES, which I dearly loved but found excruciatingly painful. I not only loved your humor but appreciated your clever writing style. I immediately went out and bought BARREL FEVER as well. Have you ever thought, however, of writing a novel instead of short stories?

David Sedaris: My next book has to be a novel. They're bringing out a book in October, but it's a collection of previously published material . The next book has to be a novel -- it's in the contract. I have no idea how to write a novel, but I guess I'll have to learn.


Aaron from LA: What are your hobbies? If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

David Sedaris: If I weren't a writer, I would be a taxidermist. Right now my hobby is collecting taxidermy. If I wasn't writing, I would probably learn to stuff the animals myself.


John from SC: You seem like someone who would ponder the future. Any predictions for the year 2000? Anything I should look out for? )

David Sedaris: Gosh, I'm just not one to ponder the future -- I don't really think that way. Anytime I see a story in the paper about something that will affect my life, like the cost of cigarettes going up, I just close the paper and wish it away. The only thing I can see about the future is that it's going to be really rough for smokers.


Steve from MA: Boxers or briefs?

David Sedaris: Briefs -- even though there are boxers on the cover. If they put my briefs on the cover, no one would go near the book.


Mike from NYC: Did I read something about you doing something as "The Talent Family" or something like that?

David Sedaris: My sister Amy and I work together as the Talent Family. We usually do a play once a year. I'm not in the plays, but we write them together. We had a play, "The Little Frieda Mysteries," at Lamoma last winter, and we have a play coming up for this summer's Lincoln Center festival in July. We start rehearsals tomorrow, and I have ten pages of dialogue. I'm in trouble with this play. Right now we're talking with a fiddle player, hoping that some sort of a staged hoedown might make up for a good ten minutes.


Amy from Charlotte, NC: Coming from the Bible Belt, do you find that growing up in North Carolina colors the way you think or write? Or has it simply improved your sense of humor?-)

David Sedaris: Well, I grew up in North Carolina, but I was from upstate New York, so we were only sort of outside the established social life there. And maybe it helped me become an observer.


Marianne from West Virginia: Hi, David. Did your mom get a chance to read even part of this book? Or anything else you have written with her in mind? She was wonderfully funny and acerbic in NAKED.

David Sedaris: Thank you. No, my mother died before either of my books were published, but I know there is nothing in NAKED that she would have objected to.


Amanda from NYC: What do you think of the Internet craze? Do you think people need to find something better to do or do you think it will have a positive effect on society?

David Sedaris: I know nothing about computers. I've never touched one except to clean it. I've seen people in airports hunched over their little laptops, but I have no idea what they're doing. I despise the word. I have an IBM electric typwriter, and that's fine for me. Eventually, though, they'll stop making ribbons, and I'll be left brewing White-Out in my bathtub.


Mike from NYC: Before you leave us, we must know if you're single!

David Sedaris: No. I was lucky enough to trick someone into being my boyfriend. And we've been together for close to seven years. He designs the backdrops for all of our plays, so I can't afford to break up with him. Besides, where were all the guys before I had a book published?


Tod from Seattle: Have you ever read HIGH FIDELITY by Nick Hornby? It is fiction, but I think your writing is similar.

David Sedaris: No, I haven't read it. But I heard him interviewed by Terry Gross and always intended to read that book. I'll put it on my list.


Jen from West Chester: I am wondering how much of your book is fact or fiction. Surely you exaggerate the basic events or anomalies. Otherwise I can't imagine how you could grow up to be a functional being.

David Sedaris: I exaggerated, but not as much as most people think that I did. The way I see it, it's like taking my family members and putting them onstage. Most of my exaggeration came in the dialogue.


Dave from work: Do you think life in general is funny? Do you sit on the subways looking at people and just laugh to yourself? Do you have any advice for people who take life too seriously?

David Sedaris: I guess I'm just prone to seeking out what's absurd in any given situation, but personally, I'm no laugh riot to spend time with. And people who take life too seriously should probably either take up drugs or run for office.


Mike from NYC: Thanks for a fun hour -- keep smoking!

David Sedaris: OK!


Moderator: Thank you for joining us tonight, David Sedaris! Good night.

David Sedaris: Good night! Thanks for having me.


Customer Reviews

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Naked 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 327 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Sedaris takes us to places that no one seems to want to talk about - yet everyone has experienced or thought about. His realistic outlook is refreshing in a world of hypocrites. I have never laughed outloud while reading a book until David Sedaris...
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
Have you ever been held at gunpoint by someone who picked you up when hitchhiking? Or befriended a paraplegic, mainly for the “credit” others gave you for being such a good person? Maybe spent a week at a nudist camp trying to figure out why the most important requirement was to bring lots of towels? ”Naked” by David Sedaris is a hilarious memoir of the author’s life. Sedaris finds humor in his faults, his family, and the strange situations that he encounters. Unlike some other popular memoirs, “Naked” is very well written and easy to enjoy. Each essay (as his chapters are called) is short, humorous, and enjoyable, and gives you an idea of what Sedaris’s life has been like. I highly recommend “Naked” by David Sedaris. This is a quick read and well worth it! What did you think of it? Visit my blog and give me your thoughts on the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not for the uptight, he is hilarious, Kind of gross humor but oh so funny. I now buy anything written by him.
Melissa_M More than 1 year ago
David Sedaris is a phenomenally witty short story writer. I highly recommend listening to him on audio, so you can experience his work exactly the way he meant it to be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was grinning to my self like a moron on the subway because of this book. It's so well written, funny and just really cool...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the funniest book I've read since... EVER!!! I actually laughed out loud while racing through 'A Plagure of Ticks' and 'Get Your Ya Yas Out'. His keen observations and pointed sarcasm make him one of the best contemporary humorists around. I've already forced it on many of my willing friends and hope you'll try it too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He has a uniquely entertaining view of the world.
indygo88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this was typical David Sedaris -- not spectacular, but enjoyable for the most part. His autobiographical sections are the best, I think.
kk1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
funny, great dialogue and swearing; more memoirs about him, his family and his adventures - all fairly crazy, in an entertaing way.
presto on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this collection of autobiographical short stories David Sedaris gives us a glimpse into his life as a boy and a young man starting out in the world of work. They are not in any chronological order, and can jump back and forth in time, but one thing they have in common is that they are all very funny, some hilarious. Yet they are not flippant nor slight in content, and underlying the humour one cannot miss the occasional anguish of a young man aware of his own shortcomings; for Sedaris writes self-effacingly and with candour, and his honesty only warms us to him. Naked is a very enjoyable read, and at times very moving as hidden behind the humour, Sedairs opens himself up just as the title suggests.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first time reading David Sedaris. Every review emphasizes how funny, nay, HILARIOUS and what a laugh-out-loud-till-you-split-a-gut reading experience it provided. So okay, the stories were a little loopy, but I chuckled just once and that¿s about it.
phoebesmum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't actually find Sedaris all that funny, possibly because he comes across as (a) unlikeable and (b) a bit grubby, but this was remaindered, and I had nothing else to read, oh, apart from the thousand-odd books scattered around the house. The usual selection of would-be outrageous memoirs that, for the most part, fail either to outrage or to entertain more than very, very mildly.
name99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More great Sedaris humor.
djmccord73 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Usually I'm happy to get the odd smirk or chuckle when reading a good book. This book however is laugh-out-loud, milk-out-your-nose funny!
Magadri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It was very funny. It wasn't as good to me as Me Talk Pretty One Day, but I still did not have a hard time getting into it.
joeypod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading something by David Sedaris. It was an easy and quick read. I definitely found the stories humorous with even a few chuckle out loud moments. I like his dry sarcastic humor. Despite the laughs I found myself feeling sorry for the guy at times. I thought I know this is supposed to be funny but its really depressing. However, I would definitely read more by this author.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first venture with Sedaris and I thought it was fine. He's certainly led an interesting life and he writes about it in an engaging way. I didn't find it laugh-out-loud funny, but it was entertaining enough.
SheLovesMaisie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my very favorite collection but still entertaining with Sedaris's remarkably dark, wry, endearing humor.
heikid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What is it about: A collection of short storiescentered around a fictional family of David's,creating a maddening / humorous /half-believable memoir, constantly stretchingthe reader's imagination, while subtly bringing upquestions about the true nature of humanity.What went through my mind:- Is this author crazy?This question lingered in my mind the whole time.- This book would have worked just fineeven with half its length.- I have not read another book quite like this,i'd have to admit.- If he's not crazy, he must be veryobservant and imaginative.& i guess he's not that crazy,given his superb literary techniques.- It's amazing how the single literary trick:Constantly creating climax/anti-climaxduring the exposition of the story, akaleading the readers on & surprising themwith twists & turns --really made this book stand out from the crowd.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had high expectations for this book after reading Me Talk Pretty One Day, and I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed. While Sedaris' writing is still sharp, sarcastic, and biting (just the kind of humor I like), the topics addressed in these stories seemed to be darker and, therefore, less laugh-out-loud funny. I still enjoyed it, but would recommend Me Talk Pretty One Day over this title.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sedaris is always funny, but this isn't one of my favorites of his. The stories are a bit more tragic than humorous and tend to highlight his family's dysfunction, but not in a good way. He¿s poking fun at his life, but most of the things he discusses just aren¿t funny, not even in his hands. He writes about hitchhiking with a handicapped girl, his alcoholic mother making fun of him with his teachers, his fear of people discovering he¿s gay; all of which left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I¿ve been unable to stop laugh while reading some of his books, but this one barely gave me a few chuckles. Maybe the pain he felt was a bit too fresh when he wrote them, but they came across lacking in his usual cheeky sarcasm. I¿d recommend his book Me Talk Pretty One Day, over this one.
wodfest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One that made me laugh out load on public transport.
drmarymccormack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book. It's one of my favorites. When I first started reading it, I was in bed with my husband. I was laughing so hard I couldn't hold it in! He was so annoyed, but interested in what was so funny. Soon he was bugging me by laughing while I was trying to fall asleep! I have recommended it many times and no one has been disappointed yet!
DanaJean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the honest writing that David Sedaris brings to his work. He's one of my favorite authors although I've only read 2 of his books. The quirky way he looks at life and the world around him, plus his wonderful talent with words, I think he's a great storyteller.This book seemed sadder to me, though. Sarcastic and biting, almost a sense of disgust and hatred for those around him, I'm hoping he was just working through some therapy issues. Again, I love his honesty, but this one was like watching him flog himself and humiliate his family. Work some steps David.Still, the writing is very good.
SteveRambach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My brother brought this book for me in Chicago. It sat on my shelf for six months and then I was in between books so I ripped it off the shelf. Naked is funny and I am not a fan of funny. Some stories made me mad and depressed and I usually can look into lives but not become involved. I have loaned Naked to several people and they have also enjoyed it and one person even lent it out to another. I also, not that it has anything to do with the book, loved to see people's reaction to the title especially high school students.