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Naked Came the Stranger Hardcover – Import, January 1, 1970


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BARRIE & JENKINS (1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0214651452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0214651458
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,332,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I read a review of this book in the Mental Floss magazine, and my curiosity was aroused.
N. Nelson
I do feel the book showed us something about ourselves, and that is a good thing, even if we don't particularly like what we see.
D. Blankenship
This book was not interesting, was not titillating, and there was not one character in it who was interesting or likeable.
Ms. Meredith Kibbee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tobit1714 on June 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Since borrowing a dog-eared copy from friends who were passing it around a number of years ago, I have not been able to get my hands on this book which became a short-lived cult favorite -- hope Amazon.com can come through! Under a "nom de plume," a group of writers each took a chapter to prove how ostensibly easy it is to write a successful "trash novel!" All the talk shows were trying to get the non-existent author Penelope Ashe for interviews! Sexy but outrageously funny -- ice cubes will never be the same!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A. S. Cole on October 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's a terrible book. The characters are uninteresting, the motivations are obscure, the machinery is obvious, the sex is strange and unerotic, the writing is terrible. But in spite of everything, Naked Came The Stranger is a hoot. There's nothing you can point at and say, "This redeems", but the book is so weirdly enjoyable that it really doesn't matter. Read it in autumn, hide it from your friends, finish it in an afternoon. One of my all-time favorites.
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Format: Paperback
The stories behind this book are pretty well known now, but let us drift back to when it was first published. I can remember it vividly and remember all the hoopla surrounding the event. Unlike most of the reading public, and unlike half of you reading this review right now, I fully admit that I bought and read the thing when it was first published. Now, in my defense, both my wife and I, after reading it, thought it was one of the most horribly written books we had ever come across. But the point is, we actually paid out good cash for the thing as did hundreds and hundreds of others. This, I think, is the point the multiple authors were trying to make.

The book is indeed terrible. But I have to admit that I gave it a second read recently, this time knowing what it was, and I do have to give the authors credit. They did their job well. As others have pointed out, the plot nonexistent, the characters shallow, the sex is boring (actually, sort of funny on some level), the organization of the book is terrible and it was the type of book that you did not want to be seen reading. As I said, the authors did their job.

Now it is easy to set back now that we know the full story behind the writing of the book and knowingly nod our heads, but I can actually remember some pretty well know T.V. types that were quite impressed with the work and I can remember some book reviews that actually give it pretty good ratings. I do feel the book showed us something about ourselves, and that is a good thing, even if we don't particularly like what we see.

I have often felt we have been duped from time to time, not only in literature, but in art (Andy Warhol comes to mind), and suspect we will be again in the future.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By sugarprincess@usa.net on September 23, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Knowing beforehand that each chapter was written by a different author was what led me to read it (I had to borrow it from a college prof since it's so hard to find)--and it in no way hindered my reading! The book came together extremely well and was a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the intertwining lives of the characters. It's become a staple on my bookshelf for when I just need a good quick read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wheelchair hero on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Whew! Im glad I found out this book was intentionally bad...Because it is, it's really bad. But for some reason you really can't put it down. Its so tasteless, I actually read it in secrecy. Its characters are pathetic, the sex scenes are just...bad? there really is no plot line, no climax, or conclusion. I am having a hard time comprehending how they achieved this.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Duvernois TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The five stars are for the concept which was to write a terrible, formulaic book. They succeeded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eddie James Williams III on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like books like this. Not for themselves, but for what they tell us about ourselves. This book was an eye roll. It is a parody that gotten taken seriously by the public, created by writers trying to create an experiment and prove a point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Lawhern on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are aspects of this enduring "classic" which might turn your head around and make you reconsider what you've just read. As others have commented, some of the writing is awful -- and so intended by the multiple authors who contributed. But the truly ironic aspect of the work is that the original book without the multi-author forward (aka "forewarning") sold almost as well as anything Harold Robbins ever wrote. Even after the authors confessed their hoax in public, it was on the NY Times Best Seller list for 15 weeks and sold an estimated 400,000 copies.

The Stranger can be read for fun and sexual titillation, if your literary instincts aren't so developed as to get in the way. It's intended as farce, not serious fiction. But the novel can also be read for what it tells us of the sexual hypocrisy of the 1960s and 70s -- and today. Originally slanted to illustrate how vulgar our popular American culture had become, in hindsight it may actually illustrate something deeper. The lingering anti-sensualism of western culture and religion have continued to cast a deep shadow of sexual repression over all of us, denying us the enjoyment of a major dimension of our humanity.

There was once a school of psychology which entertained the idea that the primary source of all neurosis (a term no longer used in professional practice) was not getting laid often enough or with any trained skill. Even if we aren't willing to go quite that far, it must surely be apparent that when our culture cannot embrace sexual desire and transcending ecstasy without labeling them "naughty", there is something profoundly wrong with the way we're [STILL] being brought up!

So read the Stranger and let yourself be pleasantly aroused between your groans over the writing.
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