Author: David Sedaris
Genre: Non-fiction | Memoir | Humor
Summary: 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.
Final Rating:♥♥♥ and a half / ♥♥♥♥♥
I was required to read an essay collection for my writing class at school, and I chose Sedaris immediately. Why? Because when it comes to school, I don’t like reading super-serious writing. I had heard that Sedaris writes with a very dark, very sarcastic yet very humorous tone, and I was interested in seeing how those two work together.
I was not disappointed with the tone of the book. I enjoyed Sedaris’s unique brand of humor, and I also enjoyed analyzing this book, trying to figure out what Sedaris was saying beneath the surface. The stories, especially the ones at the beginning, were sidesplittingly funny. They were far from dull or mundane; they had a lightness to them, a quirkiness I haven’t seen in any other writing I have ever read.
However, as the collection progresses, the stories get much darker, much more serious. Although they are never dull— they are always humorous stories— they become a little harder to read as we realize that although Sedaris is a funny man, he has not led a very happy life.
Recounting tales of family dynamics, his mother’s dramatics, his homosexuality, his obsessive-compulsive disorder. Discussing themes like sexual harassment, the dangers of hitch-hiking, a death of a loved one and the inability to express emotion. This essay collection is a lot more than just funny. It’s meaningful, offers an intimate portrait to Sedaris’s life.
So I liked it quite a lot. Why just the 3.5 rating? Mainly because Sedaris has a tendency to ramble towards the middle of the collection, which annoyed me. The crass language, the casual use of recreational drugs, the sexual innuendos were not for me. Sedaris is a genius with his writing, with his humor, but some of the content of the collection didn’t sit well with me.
Having said that, this collection is great if you like dark humor.
Would I recommend? Yes.
Would I re-read? No.