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Nakedby David Sedaris
Synopses & Reviews
Whether he is best known as a playwright, a radio personality, an essayist, or satirist, David Sedaris in Naked is screamingly funny. In the autobiographical essays that comprise Naked, Sedaris reveals his childhood compulsions (nervous ticks, high pitched noises, counting stairs, touching burners), takes readers along on successful shoplifting raids with his quadriplegic companion (nobody stopped them), and describes a number of emotional and vocational misadventures that are disturbing, unfortunate, and utterly hilarious.
Sedaris's humor is at times cruel. It is also deeply charitable. His descriptions of his family are celebrations of their eccentricities, and his take-no-prisoners style places himself first among those against the wall. Anyone ready for his sharp, cathartic tour of wit will laugh out loud in every story. Sedaris appears regularly on National Public Radio as a comentator. He is also the author of Barrel Fever, Holidays on Ice and Me Talk Pretty One Day.
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, 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.
"Hilariously entertaining....The essays in Naked re-create the cathartic, the spiritual experience of laughing so hard that it hurts." Francine Prose, New York Observer
"Brilliant...a fresh comic voice...There's wisdom in these stories." People
"One of the most talked-about, most enjoyed bestsellers of the year, Naked offers a collection of hilarious, touching, genre-bending vignettes..." From Details
"While none of the pieces here is as devilishly cranky as "The SantaLand Diaries," Naked is ultimately a stronger and more grounded book than Barrel Fever. That's because Sedaris digs deeper into his subjects here, and some of the best essays combine shrewd observation with some genuinely affecting subject matter." Dwight Garner, Salon
"Sedaris applies the same deadpan fastidiousness to his life that Charlie Chaplin applied to his shoe in The Gold Rush this is splendid stuff." Kirkus
"David Sedaris's essays echo the wry ruminations of Holden Caufield and the waggish wisdom of Miss Lonelyhearts....The quirk of Sedaris's brain is that he can see a simple lawn-mowing task for its bloody worst-case-scenario potential. And he can make readers guffaw at the macabre." Sam Hurwitt, San Francisco Examiner
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.
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