on ‘Naked at Lunch: The Adventures of a Reluctant Nudist’

Bywater_08_15Michael Bywater at Literary Review:

The American edition of Naked at Lunch has the title in big upper-case letters, printed as though they were cutouts, windows onto the scene behind, showing a man on a slatted chair that appears to be on a ship. You can see the sea, and the kind of light you get at sea, which has inspired artists for…

You're right. This is avoidance behaviour so I'll just say it: the guy is NAKED, okay? NUDE. Plump, middle-aged, bald, grey goatee, specs and he's in the effing nude. On his lap is a MacBook Air. It's resting on his willy. His todger, for God's sake, wang, doodle, schlong, his PENIS is TOUCHING his COMPUTER. This must be the author on the nudist cruise, with 1,865 other naked people, and I really hope the ID tag around his neck doesn't say 'Access All Areas'.

So that's the naked author, with his whacker and his Mac, and this is his book about nudists and what they're like and what the hell they think they're doing. So, not unreasonably, the book is categorised as social science. In the USA.

But not here. Here in Britain, there's no nude author. The cover is whimsical, cartoony: there are little pink blobby people, sunbeds, a swimming pool and a very tanned woman with a poodle and a tent. And here in Britain, the category is travel writing.

more here.