David Sedaris
The Ultimate David Sedaris Box Set
David Sedaris
Read by the author and Amy Sedaris
Audio book CDs
Hachette Audio 2006

Naked, one of  6 audio book CDs in The Ultimate David Sedaris Box Set, is a 3 CD set of comic stories or essays by NPR and This American Life favorite David Sedaris -rumors that host Ira Glass and Sedaris share the same voice coach are simply that rumors. Naked features 9 essays by Sedaris read by the author and his sister, Amy Sedaris. This is probably Sedaris’ most personal and autobiographical collection of stories / essays and most give the listener the same feeling as seeing an automobile accident just a little too closely.

The essays in Naked are A Plague of Tics, Get Your Ya Ya’s Out, Next Of Kin on the first CD, Cyclops, True Detective, I Like Guys, The Drama Bug on the second CD, Ashes, and Naked on the third. Personal favorites here are the title track autobiographical comic essay where Sedaris tells about his first experience at a nudist colony. This is a very funny, caustic, and, no pun intended, revealing essay about how nudists are very ordinary people. Amy Sedaris does the voice of the receptionist / manager of the colony but once you’ve heard her do one character you realize she basically uses the same voice for all her characters.

Just as funny but definitely creepier is the story True Detective where Sedaris tries to find out who in the family has been using the towels as tp and stole his father’s silver dollars. Hiding in a closet, he finds out a lot more about his mother than even the most oedipally complexed son would ever wish to. Most listeners will be fascinated by this essay though they will also feel that they know way, way too much about the Sedaris clan.

Also creepy is Next Of Kin where Sedaris finds a pulp novel about a family that has sex with each other. The book somehow makes its way in the hands of many in the family before the rather bizarre though satisfying ending.

The weak story / essay in Naked is Get Your Ya Yas Out about his grandmother moving in with the family. Though it features the author’s usual caustic wit, the story itself does not really go anywhere.  I Like Guys is about Sedaris realizing he was gay and trying to cope with the fact at an early age. It is hard to dislike such a confessional yet at times darkly comic essay.

Anyone who has lost a parent or relative to cancer will really enjoy the darkly funny Ashes about Sedaris’ mother’s losing battle to cancer and her refusal to allow people to pander to her or her illness. Perhaps Sedaris did not set out to make his mother a heroic figure but she does appear to be one tough, determined lady.

Naked, the 3 CD audiobook included in The Complete David Sedaris Box Set contains his most autobiographical and darkest essays or comic tales.


Related Posts