Friday, April 26, 2013
Book review: Naked
Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.
Welcome to the hilarious, strange, elegiac, outrageous world of David Sedaris. In Naked, Sedaris turns the mania for memoir on its ear, mining the exceedingly rich terrain of his life, his family, and his unique worldview-a sensibility at once take-no-prisoners sharp and deeply charitable. A tart-tongued mother does dead-on imitations of her young son's nervous tics, to the great amusement of his teachers; a stint of Kerouackian wandering is undertaken (of course!) with a quadriplegic companion; a family gathers for a wedding in the face of imminent death. Through it all is Sedaris's unmistakable voice, without doubt one of the freshest in American writing.
I've had several friends who were HUGE David Sedaris fans. I'd never really given him too much of a shot, but when I started listening to This American Life, I started hearing more and more from him -- he's a regular contributor. So I got his boxed set of audio books from the library -- I think there's four? -- and this is the first one I listened to.
Naked is a collection of true short stories or mini-memoirs, I guess -- stories about his life.
Some of them I really loved -- one in particular about his father's constant warnings of men who lost a limb skateboarding or chopped off their thumbs chopping up vegetables reminded me of conversations with my own parents.
Some of them were a little obscene or graphic and I was glad I was listening alone. Nothing too gory -- David as a child found a book about an incestuous family, for example. That plot line had a few interesting quotes...
Overall I enjoyed Naked. I laughed more than I cringed, for sure, and soldiered on to his next book, which is obviously a good sign. I gave it three stars on Goodreads.
Are any of you familiar with David Sedaris? One of his books, which unfortunately isn't in the boxed set, is about when he was a Christmas Elf in a department store -- can't wait to read that one!