TASTEFUL NUDES … and Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation

tastefulDAVE HILL

Tasteful Nudes, is a collection of short, comic, autobiographical essays. They skip around in time and subject: One chapter about meeting a fan (a.k.a. “Hottest Naked Chick on the Internet”) in real life segues into another about his love of playing guitar. The title is from a story about spending time at a nudist resort—when Hill opens Tasteful Nudes with an essay about a nudist boat trip. Hill writes with a winking bravado, making bold statements (his intro boasts that he told St. Martin’s “to go fuck themselves” when they approached him about a book because he’s “an artist”) that he quickly undercuts. (He changed his mind when St. Martin’s offered him $400 to write it.) Hill mixes ironic boastfulness with genuine heart. “A Funny Feeling” comically details his battles with depression while slipping in references to the real severity of the problem. “The Time I Went to Prison” describes his thoughts and feelings about doing a comedy show at Sing Sing. The prisoners loved his show, chanting his name as he left the building. “Big in Japan” chronicles his rock band‘s tour consisting of four gigs. All the audience new the lyrics of this unheard of band, and sang along as they played. He makes some of his funniest points describing the unreality of losing a parent: “Learning that my mother had died sounded about as ridiculous to me as if someone said, ‘Hey Dave, did you know your mom used to play for the Knicks?’” When he couldn’t wrap his head around his mom’s death, Hill decided that she’d just moved somewhere, not died. “‘Mom, I’ve been looking all over for you,’ I’d say once I found her. ‘Why Akron?’”

It is a funny book. Worth taking a look at.