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Naked Hardcover – March 1, 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 670 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Hip radio comedy fans and theater folks who belong to the cult of Obie-winning playwright/performer David Sedaris must kill to get this book. These would be fans of the scaldingly snide Sedaris's hilariously described personal misadventures like The Santaland Diaries (a monologue about his work as an elf to a department store Santa) seen off-Broadway in 1997. In a series of similarly textured essays, Sedaris takes us along on his catastrophic detours through a nudist colony, a fruit-packing plant, his own childhood, and a dozen more of the world's little purgatories. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Sedaris (Barrel Fever, LJ 5/1/94) has fashioned a funny memoir of his wonderfully offbeat life. To call his family "dysfunctional" would be enormous understatement and beside the point; Sedaris's relatives and other companions become vital characters on the page. We see his mother serving drinks to the string of teachers who want to discuss her son's compulsions to lick light switches and make high-pitched noises. We travel with Sedaris and his quadriplegic hitchhiking companion, listen to his foul-mouthed seat mate on a long bus trip, and accompany the author on a hilariously self-conscious visit to a nudist colony. Sedaris's humor is wickedly irreverent but not mean. Traveling with him is well worth it for the laughs and his generous human sensibility. Highly recommended.?Mary Paumier Jones, Rochester P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 1st edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316779490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316779494
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (670 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is classified as a memoir, and it's the funniest one I've read to date. Growing up Greek in North Carolina couldn't have been easy, but adding to the mix a crazy grandmother and a sibling with a penchant for using towels as toilet paper makes it that much harder (and funnier, to us).
David was struck with enthusiastic OCD as a child, only to find ways to "cure" his tics in college. His stories of life after schooling include apple-picking and packing, working with jade (not to mention a crazy, hypocritical Christian), and refinishing woodwork with a Jew-hating Lithuanian and a somewhat confused black guy. He hitchhikes with all levels of human decapitation until a rowdy truck driver combs thicket by the roadside looking for him.
Not all of the fifteen stories are side-splitting funny. "I Like Guys" highlights accepting his homosexual feelings, and an undercurrent of seriousness lines the story. "Ashes" tells of his mother's cancer, and a sense of tragedy seems to sober his usually razor-sharp satirical style.
The last (and title) story, "Naked", tells of his experience with a nudist colony. It's written in more a journal form (the others are written in a 'flashback' form) and by the end, you feel strange in your own clothing.
I definitely plan on recommending this book to my friends. I don't see how you could live your life without picking up a Sedaris book.
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Format: Paperback
NAKED is--by far--the funniest book I have ever read. Several people suggested that I read it, and I ignored them for a long time: I had a lot of other books I wanted to get to first. I finally read it this weekend. The next thing I knew, I was ordering HOLIDAYS ON ICE and BARREL FEVER.
NAKED is a collection of true stories from David Sedaris's life. I only wish my life was half as funny.
"Chipped Beef," "Get Your Ya-Ya's Out" and "I Like Guys" are highlights of this collection, but the funniest story is "A Plague of Tics." In it, Sedaris discusses his strange behaviors as a child: licking lightswitches, hitting himself with his shoe. I laughed so hard reading this story that my roommate told me I was going to have to shut up.
Give NAKED a shot. If you like it, pick up BARREL FEVER. It isn't as funny, but it's close.
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Format: Paperback
I would love to give this books five stars but I can't. There were three stories ("Chipped Beef," "Dinah, the Christmas Whore," and "The Drama Bug") that just didn't grab me, so I can't in good conscience give "Naked" a perfect rating. But it's a very strong 4....like a 4.7.
David Sedaris is one of the funniest authors I've ever read. His storytelling is superb and absolutely hilarious! This is a must-read for anyone out there who wants to temporarily escape their own dull lives and live vicariously through someone else. Underneath Sedaris's humorous adventures lies a sadness and fear, but that's what makes the stories so beautiful and genuine. Living with OCD, his mother's death, and realizing and accepting his homosexuality are amongst life's trying situations, to say the least. But Sedaris recounts those experiences with tenderness and dignity. I dreaded getting to the last page, and when I closed the book and put it back on the shelf it felt like I was losing a new friend. So...the solution to that was simple....I just pre-ordered his next book.
NOTE: If you loved "Naked" you'll love "Barrell Fever."
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Format: Paperback
The days when David Sedaris was on Morning Edition on NPR (National Public Radio), I was always late for work. His commentaries on being a single gay man working odd-jobs or cleaning apartments in New York City were some of the fall-down funniest things I've ever heard. In print, he is no less skillful at making me weep with laughter. Sedaris, in a raw, honest manner, describes the events of his childhood and young adulthood - as perceived by his incredibly humorous and rich imagination. This collection of essays cover everything from his mother's sharp, accurate portrayal of his tics, his job as a mental health institution assistant, his sister's wedding/his mother's death, to dealing with (while in high school) being gay, and many of the funny little stories that make up being a member of a family, any family. His wit is dry, sharp, poignant, and philosophical all the same time. And after listening to his voice on those cold mornings on the radio, I can "hear" him tell these tales. What a riot! I have read some of the other reviewers who gave this book a one and all I can say is that I pity the person who does not have a sense of humor because they miss out on the absolute joy of reading anything by Sedaris - or even better, listening to him. wow.
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By A Customer on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first heard of Sedaris through his reading of "True Detective" on NPR (fudge-colored towels). I actually sat in my parked car at the grocery store to hear the whole thing. I didn't realise the reading was from an entire collection so I was delighted to stumble across Naked a few months later. I am eagerly awaiting the audio version from the library. Until then, I am half-way through the book. Last night my husband and I were reduced to tears and painful belly laughs as I read aloud from "Cyclops". This morning as we were on our way to his work, I read aloud from "I Like Guys". I am two-thirds of the way through the book and thus far I prefer the earlier entries involving Sedaris' childhood over the latter entries involving his travels and odd-jobs. Yet even those are engrossing and entertaining. Had I been Sedaris' editor I would have left out "Dix Hill" and "Incomplete Quad" neither of which has added anything to the collection. Rather, I found myself skimming quickly, impatient for the next entry. For those who think Sedaris' tales are implausable just think of the last time you rode public transportation. I recently had a Girl Friday sort of job that was fraught with just the sort of experiences that would make an unbelievable story had I the inclination or the talent to record them. The kid who I pawned the job off on took notes. For any of you have ever had the inward thought, "What are all these incompetents doing on the set of MY movie?" this book is for you.
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