Book Review of “The Naked Collection”, by Sally Dali
Book Review of ‘The Naked Collection’ by Sally Dali.
By Duncan Heenan, May 2016
This book is figurative ‘A Curate’s Egg’, i.e. ‘good in parts’. That expression is drawn from the story of a young Curate who, when staying with a Bishop, was served a boiled egg for breakfast which, when cracked open, turned out to be bad. When the Bishop asked him “How is your egg?” the Curate, not wishing to cause a fuss, replied “Good in parts, sir”.
‘The Naked Collection’ is a compilation of 4 self-published short booklet/essays, all by the same author; ‘Being Naked’, ‘Still Naked’, ‘Naked In Winter’ and ‘Happy To Be Naked’. I bought it on an impulse as light reading to take on holiday and within a few pages realised that I had fallen in to the trap of buying a book based on its title and a low price.
Each of the component works is essentially the same – the author’s personal memoir heavily laced with lengthy and repetitive expositions of her philosophy of naturism, which amount to the fact that she loves to be naked and loves to tell people about it. He memoirs reflect this in that she has led an unremarkable life except to the extent that she has dedicated most of her adult life to finding ways and places to get naked, leading her eventually to give up her life in England and go and live at the French naturist resort CHM Montelivet, where she now shows signs of boredom and scrapes a living working as a booking agent for some of the accommodation. As a component part of her story, she is very open about her rather active bisexual love life but spares us the detail, and so avoids it becoming a ‘mummy porn’ story; but it may earn her some disapproval from readers who espouse monogamy. However, Sally Dali (a pen name) claims not to seek approval however, either of her love life (which forms a fairly small part of the books) or of her ‘obsession’ (her word) with naturism. She says she just wants to express to the world how wonderful naturism is, and why we should all try it.
Where the book failed, for me at least, was its lack of real content. We are told that she loves to be naked, and there are a few attempts at explaining why, but they all boil down to ‘I just do’. But, because she has so little else to tell us, she repeats it many times with very little