Desmond Morris - The Naked Man
After the international success of 2004’s The Naked Woman, it now seems fitting for Desmond Morris (zoologist and author of best-seller The Naked Ape) to turn his attention to the male frame. However, he would have been better to steer well clear, as this study of the masculine body from head to toe proves to be clunky and ill-thought-out, taking scientific facts and twisting them to form sweeping statements which simply have no place in modern thought. Some of the most controversial include the idea that men are more prone to infidelity due to an inherent childlike playfulness and that men are ‘made gay’ because they retain juvenile characteristics when they reach adulthood.
Ham-fisted declarations aside, even on a purely stylistic level, The Naked Man is a disaster, its pages strewn with bland, dull depictions, cringeworthy clichés and an onslaught of fact and trivia, adding up to an exhausting and irritating experience. Keep well clear.