Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World


Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 0.9 X 8.2 inches | 0.8 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Mark Haskell Smith is the author of five novels, most recently Raw: A Love Story, and the nonfiction book Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Vulture. He lives in Los Angeles.


Praise for Naked At Lunch

One of the Huffington Post's 20 Notable Non-Fiction Books You Might've Missed This Year
One of Los Angeles Magazine's 7 Books You Need to Read This June
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Week

"Smith offers lots of funny anecdotes about his first-person research. As you might imagine, the clothing-optional world is not all Adonis and Aphrodite playing volleyball."--Ron Charles, Washington Post

"Haskell Smith's rollicking Naked at Lunch does its absolute best to make us feel more comfortable in our skin. In his funny, thorough account of his investigative stint as a social nudist, he deftly balances reporting, dry humor, historical context and hilarious anecdotes. . . . Haskell Smith's enthusiasm is infectious and his subject matter will make you appreciate the cool breeze on your mostly unclothed beach body more than ever."--Huffington Post

"Smith clearly delights in talking to oddballs; he balances this nicely with a pocket history of nudist movements . . . Smith's tone is breezy, free-wheeling, often very funny."--Boston Globe

"L.A. author Smith puts on his reporter's hat and takes off everything else as he explores the history and sociology of nudism."--Los Angeles Times

"Naked at Lunch is an absolute hoot."--Maggie Nelson, Los Angeles Magazine (7 Books You Need to Read This June)

"Haskell Smith fully enters the land of nudism to find a world peopled by good-natured hedonists, the sort who have more in common with wine connoisseurs and foodie fanatics than with seedy perverts."--LA Weekly

"In the spirit of Mary Roach's curiosity and humor . . . fascinating and funny."--Los Angeles Daily News

"A delightful and informative look at nudism throughout history and around the world."--Seattle Times

"[Haskell Smith is] alert to the latest schisms and controversies within the nudist world. His tone is informal and spiced with daffily well-targeted turns of phrase. But he's also trenchant and commonsensical in his observations . . . Naked at Lunch is a perfect summer read."--Oregonian

"Mark Haskell Smith nails the many variations in the clothing-optional world. . . . The book is breezily written, warmly personal, and largely nonjudgmental."--Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Gets down and dirty with [the] history of nudism."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Hilarious, absorbing and--to adapt Blake's comment on Milton--a sustained celebration of the invention of clothing."--Geoff Dyer

"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 Headhunters on My Doorstep and The Sex Lives of Cannibals

"Naked at Lunch is a total joy. Mark Haskell Smith is a fine reporter, a trenchant cultural observer and a spectacular writer. He's the best kind of participatory journalist; one who stands proudly with his subjects even as he stands apart from them. The naked cruise chapter is a tour de force and a worthy addition to the canon of great cruise writing. 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: And Other Subjects of Discussion

"Mark Haskell Smith turns out to be an ideally curious point man into the bizarre and complicated world of modern-day nudism. If there's a funnier, more interesting book about being naked, I'd very much like to read it."--Tom Bissell, co-author of The Disaster Artist

"Naked at Lunch is 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: My Life in a Harem

"Our knight in shining lotion . . . makes some stealthy observations . . . Interspersed with his naked adventures are fascinating . . . glimpses of nudists throughout history . . . Haskell Smith can hit the David Sedaris humor sweet spot."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Throwing both caution and clothing to the wind, novelist and journalist Haskell Smith strikes a winning combination of personal and journalistic narrative as he investigates the appeal of nudism. . . . Though he's not above making more than a few jokes about swinging genitalia, Haskell Smith does an admirable job of keeping the narrative respectful . . . Haskell Smith's empathy and genuine interest in nudism and its appeal make this account both informative and entertaining . . . A witty and insightful read."--Publishers Weekly (starred review and "Best Book of the Week")

"An amusing and earnest attempt to understand the appeal of nudism. . . . With solid reporting and scholarship, Smith delves into the genesis of the global nudism movement, constantly enlivening material that could have gotten stale. . . . Smith makes you laugh and think. A thoughtful and entertaining analysis of why so many still want to ditch their clothes and let it all hang out."--Kirkus Reviews

"A lot of people will enjoy Naked at Lunch. Mark Haskell Smith's escapades and his observances are hilarious."--Myrtle Beach Sun News

"Smith, a likable American writer who ambles a breezy path between the likes of Bill Bryson and Geoff Dyer, offers up plenty of hilarity as he prepares to embrace this subculture of 'nakations' and 'clothing optional' environments . . . This thoughtful, funny book is a plea for the middle ground. By the end of his unbuttoned adventures, Smith has widened his idea of what normal can be--and, following him into that sea of flesh, so has the reader."--Guardian

"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 At Lunch pulls its pants down when it comes to barefaced laughter."--Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

"Part social study, part history of naturism and nakedness, the book is written with a light touch and although it never becomes salacious, [Mark Haskell Smith] keeps the story interesting."--Sydney Morning Herald

"Naked At Lunch is the kind of book George Plimpton might well have written if he were still alive."--Winnipeg Free Press


"Naked at Lunch . . . may be the best book on naturism--and the most persuasive argument for naturism--ever written by a non-naturist . . . The book is a pleasure to read, whether or not you're a naturist yourself."--Naturist Philosopher

"Hilarious . . . well researched, truthful . . . Naked at Lunch will go a long way toward dispelling many of the misconceptions that mainstream, non-nudist readers have about Nudism . . . destined to become a classic of naturist literature. Many nudists . . . will find much to enjoy here as well."--SoCal Naturist Newsletter

"Smith's informal, often carefree tone serves him well . . . the book projects fresh perspectives throughout."--N Magazine

"Very funny stuff . . . Haskell Smith writes entertainingly."--Press and Journal (UK)