The publisher puts this book in the category of Essays/Memoir. The book is laid out as a chronological series of stories. David Sedaris takes us on a hilarious journey, a cathartic re-living of his growing up years.
When I first picked up the book and read the first couple of chapters (Chipped Beef, A Plague of Tics) I was certain the stories were either complete fabrications or such extreme colorizations that the real truth was so hidden that we may never be aware of it. But as I read further, I started realizing what the author was showing us. This is how we remember. We remember the outrageous, we tell those stories over and over again…if not to others, we tell them to ourselves. And in each re-telling, the stories seem more and more foreign, more like a dream.
In Naked, the authors candor, his open re-telling of stories that range from sidesplitting funny to horrific and sad, easily captures the reader’s imagination. In just a few words, we are drawn into the world of a boy growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina. David shares with us his remembering of an outrageous mother to the more outrageous immigrant Greek grandmother who runs a newsstand/candy store.
I highly recommend this book. And I offer this caution; as you are reading and your mind starts to wander, you may at some point realize how healing and freeing this type of open and honest story telling must be for the author. When you are reading about the authors experience of making clocks out of jade in the shape of Oregon, or his trip/vacation to a nudist colony, and your thoughts lead to the strange/funny/sad/outrageous stories of your own life, write them down! Who knows? And what will you call your memoir? Perhaps ‘Twice Beaten Canoe Trip’, or ‘Karaoke Diva’…even if it isn’t book-worthy, you’re bound to have flushed a few daemons in the process.