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Naked, by David Sedaris - Review

Naked - David Sedaris

I didn't finish this book. If this angers you and require my full explanation..I'll put it at the end.

Sedaris follows a time-honored formula of presenting humorous slices of his life in a more or less chronological form, the only real innovation here being the melding of the classic scenes of autobiographical emotional poignancy with the humor vignette made popular by writers from Dave Barry to articles at the back of Field and Stream.

It's not a match made in heaven.

The combination of the two leaves both lacking. At his most effective, Mr. Sedaris writes strikingly about his experiences as a teenager struggling with homosexuality and the undercurrent of habitual prejudice against it in school, even transcending the racial tension of the time.

Less effective is his attempts to find humor within his own behavior, becoming tiresome and straining to find humor relatable to the reader.

However, humor is often considered to be the most difficult to write. It's serious business taking the serious unseriously. So while I didn't really enjoy the book, there were moments I enjoyed, such as the image of what his maternal family line's coat of arms would look like. But at the end of the day, I cannot recommend this book. I found it surprisingly dark, but not in an enriching way, and surprisingly formulaic.



-reason I didn't finish it-

I declined to finish this book after reading more than half. Hate that if you like, but life is too short, and there are too many good books to read. I read MANY thoughts and reviews on this book, and the vast majority express that the first three or so section are the best, and that for them, it went downhill afterwards. Considering my opinion of those, and the subsequent chapters, I had zero reason to believe I'd be missing out on the modern equivalence of Mart Twain by continuing to read it. If you're the author, or a friend/supporter of them, I'm sorry, it's not personal, and ask you to please tolerate my choice, and if failing to do so, I can direct you to a lengthy perambulation off of what Joyce called a "disappointed bridge"