01 July 2009

44. Naked

Naked by David Sedaris

This is a collection of 17 short stories written by a very funny guy. The stories all are autobiographical. All are about things the author has done, experienced while growing up, his relationships with other people, his adventures, his feelings and his quite hilarious view of all those things.

I truly enjoyed reading these stories. Some I could picture the scenes perfectly.

"A Plague of Tics" was about his OCD and his neurosis' while growing from a small child to a young adult. His mother's way of dealing with things like licking light switches and rolling his eyes back in his head were very funny.

"True Detective" related his mother's and sister's obsession with 1970's detective TV shows with how he was going to solve petty crimes around the house. Problem: real life crept in.

"Planet of the Apes", "The Incomplete Quad", "C O G" and "Something For Everyone" were all stories where the author was traveling after graduating college. Much like Kerouac and Mewshaw, he had troubles along with his conquests in each of these stories.

I loved "Get Your Ya-Ya's Out" and "Ashes".

I read this book because I found it at a yard sale for a quarter. I knew the author's name because I have another David Sedaris novel, "Me Talk Pretty One Day", on my list of books to purchase (found it at Goodwill this past week).

I like the author's humor. It is blunt and raw, but not crude or mean. It comes across in a way that relays how people really are. Not always loving relationships between siblings, but they still love each other.

I think my favorite story was "Cyclops". Dad keeps telling the kids these nightmare scenarios where people lose a foot or are blinded while doing everyday chores. This happens so often during Sedaris' formative years that he is scared to do many things. He never drives a car. He moved to Chicago and New York because they had superior public transportation and he would not need to use a lawn mower. I can picture the stories he was told. I can also picture the father's reaction when many years later he is asked about them and has no recollection of ever telling the story. The story was probably made up and told to teach some little life lesson...one that Sedaris took a little too serious.

It is funny and made me laugh out loud a number of times. I am definitely smiling inside just thinking about the stories.

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