Author: Papa CJ
Publisher: Westland Publishing
Genre: Autobiography, Non Fiction
First Publication: 2019
Book Summary: Naked by Papa CJ
When an award-winning comedian performs at gunpoint in South Africa and lives to tell the tale, you know it’s going to be an interesting one. Pranks both childish and reckless, nights of wild partying, a career repeatedly built and torn down, a roller-coaster love life, and risks you and I wouldn’t dare to take: Papa CJ is able to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. And then destroy it. Only to rise again like a phoenix.
As Papa CJ lays bare his life, from the streets of Calcutta to the University of Oxford and stages across the world, you will bask in nostalgia, laugh your guts out, feel your heart ache, and find a new lens with which to look at your own life. A lens that allows you, like Papa CJ, to always see the positive. And of course, the funny. Seize it. Enjoy it!
Book Review: Naked by Papa CJ
I didn’t quite know what to expect from this memoir, Naked by Papa CJ. I knew very little about Papa CJ prior to reading this memoir, only having seen one of his stand-up videos on Youtube (that too from suggestions from what I was watching). After reading this book and before writing this review, I watched almost all the videos (more than 5o videos from 82) available on Papa CJ’s Youtube Channel.
I’m a complete sucker for memoirs narrated by the authors themselves. This book is no exception. Papa CJ is absolutely hysterical with his self-deprecating sense of humor while still managing to be completely empowering as well as his candid talks about his life and ethnicity are totally amusing.
You can’t help but love that honesty. It’s straightforward and sincere and only helps to make us feel a little bit better about ourselves. It is what it is, people. Move along.
“You see, you can’t afford to mess with us Indians. You may have ruled us for 200 years… But you didn’t expect us to follow you back, did you!” – Papa CJ on The World Stands Up, 2005
While Papa CJ is widely known for being a Comedian, this book, Naked by Papa CJ, isn’t all fun and games. I would have adored this book from composed of nothing but only his side-splitting humor, I can understand why he took the opportunity to voice his opinions and include a few more insightful notes. And while he does clarify at the very beginning why he wrote this book (just for the prefix “bestseller author” before his name), there are still many lessons that can be learned from his words. He discusses in depth the amount of time and energy he spent to build his career from the ground up, to always stand up for who you are and what you believe in, and to learn to roll with the punches life throws at you with the determination that you will eventually come out of this.
The types of stories he shares though are widely varied going from hilarious recollections of his childhood to his recent stand up gigs. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, he tells us tragic stories about the broken relationship, about his regrets, own personal story of choosing stand up comedy as a career after graduating from Oxford University. While those entries aren’t funny, it’s a part of what makes Papa CJ.
He knocked it out of the park with his narration and I do so hope he writes more in the future. This book is all about Papa CJ and it glimpses most important times in his life, from childhood to adulthood. I definitely recommend Naked by Papa CJ to his fans and to those who—like me—didn’t really know who he was.