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, where 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.
centered around a fictional family of David's,
creating a maddening / humorous /
half-believable memoir, constantly stretching
the reader's imagination, while subtly bringing up
questions about the true nature of humanity.
What went through my mind:
This question lingered in my mind the whole time.
- This book would have worked just fine
even with half its length.
- I have not read another book quite like this,
i'd have to admit.
- If he's not crazy, he must be very
observant and imaginative.
& i guess he's not that crazy,
given his superb literary techniques.
- It's amazing how the single literary trick:
Constantly creating climax/anti-climax
during the exposition of the story, aka
leading the readers on & surprising them
with twists & turns --
really made this book stand out from the crowd.
I'm definitely going to be looking for more of his books. :)
I recently made the mistake of reading David Sedaris while I was eating lunch. Fortunately, I was alone in my office, so there were no witnesses when I spewed a mouthful of pastrami across my desk. Not one of the 17 autobiographical essays in this new
Snippets of his Sedaris' life in essay form.
The book is a collection of essays outlining his experiences growing up in a dysfunctional Greek and Jewish family, his problems (he suffers from severe tics and he is a homosexual), his drug-induced days in colleges, and generally, his observation of human nature. It's nothing like the typical biography with details and pictures of parents, grandparents, and relatives of three generations and boastful accomplishments lined up neatly in a timeline. It is a simple story of an ordinary but talented man.
He is described as a humor writer and this book is supposed to fall under the genre of comedy. However, let it be warned that the language is not all that simple. His style can be quite mouthful (in a good way) and takes time to get used to. Sentences can be quite complex but still honest and to the point. Having said all that, the book is undoubtedly funny. I caught myself chuckling aloud a few times after getting used to his style. His specality is cleverly turning sad, or even cruel, events into great satires.
Read it. It's really different.