Finding Finneas’ New Naked Book Review
“Nine Reasons You Should Never Be a Naturist”
Author “Naked naturalist”
Published December 7, 2015
Greetings gentle naked readers! I have been away working diligently to restructure and jump start my 2016. I have a stack of reading to catch up on and as I do I will be sharing my thoughts with you. Our first literary adventure completed of this year has been “Nine Reasons You Should Never Be a Naturist” by an unnamed author, only signed as Naked naturalist. I understand the use of a pseudonym, as in all fairness Finneas Ryder is mine, so no judgement from me. Let’s dive in.
With only 69 pages, I knew that this would be a quick read, and with an author’s name like “Naked Naturalist,” I honestly was expecting a fun, parody piece, one that was using a little reverse psychology if you will to prove a point that naturism really is for everyone. I was only partially correct. I reached a sentence in the disclaimer (yes, there is a disclaimer) that states, “I intend to offend and to invite ill feelings; I am old and no longer care. For all of you English critics, this book is not edited, this is not an error of judgement; it is a creative form of expression.” So, at that point, my expectation was shifted to that this was going to be more of a performance art piece. I think again, I was only partially correct.
We take a journey with this author through nine reasons to not be a naturist true enough. Each reason is separated out into not really a chapter per se, but a section on its own. Each section presents the reader with a bit of the author’s personal story of naturism followed by the overall “argument against” naturism. Some of them entertaining, some of them painful, some of them emotional all of them very personal.
I don’t want to speak too much about the work itself because since it was such a short read, I would be truly retelling the story. I do have some personal reactions to the work itself that I would like to share with you. Please keep in mind that these opinions are solely mine and represent no one or entity other than myself.
I found this book more of an extended essay rather than a novel. The feeling that I got while reading was that the author didn’t necessarily have a plan on where he was going when he started writing this piece, but it was more of a rant of information that he needed to get off of his chest. A one-man spontaneous performance piece meant to illicit a response. He succeeded in getting responses from me. Several actually.
One of the strongest, to be honest, was disappointment. The author carries a character in this tale through each section and refers to them as a meerkat. He uses the term to refer to those voyeurs that stand at attention at almost every naturist event, gawking, watching, and sometimes going on the prowl. We’ve all seen them at some point. Originally, I thought the description apropos however the problem that I had was that he added gay men to be the companion to the “meerkat.” He made a very sweeping generalization that every gay man was a pervert, referred to them as wearing women’s underwear, and were unwanted in naturism.
“You may detect some passion coming through here and yes I admit this is a pet hate of mine. I do not like the meerkats or the gay males who infest our quiet places. They do indeed have other places to go and should be forced by the law of the land to do so. YOU ARE CAUSING OFFENCE! So bugger off.”
I was absolutely floored, disappointed in the fact that someone who obviously loves this already minority group of naturists could come across as so incredibly small minded and prejudicial in this modern day and age. Then I had to step back and breathe. Remembering that naturism cuts across all lines, that you can always shed the clothes, but not the belief systems that some people hold to their hearts. We are all open about our bodies, not always open with our minds.
I will conclude by saying that the author does make some valid points about naturism in the midst of his rants, he does convey his story, a very human one, and I feel for him for the some of the struggles that he has had to endure because of his involvement with naturism. I go back to the thought that this rant was part just releasing his story to the universe for his own healing, and part performance piece. He did warn us that he was going to offend and he succeeded in doing so with this reader.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book, just based on my own visceral feelings about it. It is at this point that I am reminded of words by Evelyn Beatrice Hall (wrongly attributed to Voltaire,)