GOING BARE – John David Harding
So, I finally gave in and bought a Kindle, with a year of travel on the horizon, and some interesting offerings that are only available for Kindle type devices. Take Going Bare for instance, only available in electronic format, and for the whopping price of 99 cents! How can you go wrong for a buck!?
It’s a quick read, and I think the reviews on Amazon provide a pretty good pulse on this author’s disclosure of his inner-most thoughts; about nudity, about relationships, and a lot of other stuff that most of us think, but never say aloud, let alone, commit to writing in a public forum. Right from the start, he is quite self-deprecating as to his qualifications as an author (though apparently, he also writes other material under a pseudonym). And indeed, while I may not be fully accustomed to the British parlance, the writing is a little awkward at times, but in the end, he delivers a compelling story.
In brief, his book is about coercing his wife and family into visiting La Jenny, one of France’s most renowned naturist resorts. Having been there at least ten times over the past fifteen years, we know the place well, and I have to say that it was fun to experience the the whole thing through new eyes, as he describes the first naked visit to the market, the expansive pool complex and the people-watching there, and or course, the stunning La Jenny Plage… in the heart of the Cote d’Argent where the beaches are broad, with gentle shelves, and stretch as far as the eye can see. I felt myself reliving our first visit to La Jenny right along with him.
Where the story meanders a bit (says the meandering naturist!) is when he gets into the weeds with the complexities of his relationship with his wife, (who we only know as “E” – why not a pseudonym for her too? That all felt a bit strangely clinical), her fear of flying, and the sustained ranting about the perils and expense of travel. Seems those pages would have been a bit more fruitful had they been dedicated to more detailed descriptions of life at La Jenny, instead. I could immediately smell the pine trees and visualize the lifeguards, but had you never been there, it would be a stretch for anyone living outside of France to visualize the actual ambiance of the place.
But again, “applause, applause” for putting himself out there (including a somewhat daring photo at the end!) and telling the whole story, beginning to end. I would hope many will find inspiration in the candor and simplicity of the entire saga. And for 99 cents, simply reliving the memories of riding to the market for the morning baguette, or walking the forest path to the beach, was well worth the read. And in the end, he made yet one more case for the altruism of the naturist cause. It all seems pretty simple, because in the last place, it is!