Naked at Lunch is one man's cracklingly witty, compellingly odd and oddly life-affirming journey into the subculture of nudism. Celebrated journalist Mark Haskell Smith meets, and indeed joins, those shucking off social conventions by shucking off their clothes - he hikes bareback in the Alps with a naked rambler's society, he buys baguettes in the buff in a French resort and he meets the marginally dressed mayor of a Spanish clothes-optional municipality. But this is not just a book of naked adventures and sun-ripened genitals. It is a study of 20th-century Western cultural and social mores; a record of radical history and politics practised by those made radical by their refusal to get dressed; a heartfelt celebration of the simple joys of being alive; and a full-blooded war cry for reclaiming pride in our bodies and rejecting those who would make us ashamed.
Mark Haskell Smith is the author of three novels, Moist, Delicious and Salty and is an award-winning screenwriter. He lives in Los Angeles. He knows the secret to an authentic mai tai. His website is www.markhaskellsmith.com.
Thoughtful and hilarious... Haskell Smith ambles a breezy line between the likes of Geoff Dyer and Bill Bryson
Hilarious and absorbing
Breezy, free-wheeling, often very funny
A hilarious insight into what makes people get together and strip off... William Burroughs' 1959 Naked Lunch may win when it comes to sex and drugs but Naked at Lunch pulls its pants down when it comes to barefaced laughter.
Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
A knight in shining lotion... Haskell Smith can hit the David Sedaris humour sweet spot
Los Angeles Review of Books
A total joy... Even if you've never been nude in your life and have no plans to be in the future, this book will thrill you with its hilarious and outrageous stories and move you with its essential humanity
Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable
Insightful, brave, and inspiring. With extraordinary honesty and humor, Haskell Smith faces down social and personal inhibitions to experience both a fascinating subculture and a moving personal transformation
Jillian Lauren, author of the New York Times bestseller Some Girls
A strangely compelling, riotously funny traipse through the world of nudism. Mark Haskell Smith is a worthy heir to the George Plimpton school of journalism. He's not there to mock; he's there to experience humanity in all its full-monty complexity.
J. Maarten Troost, author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals