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Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man: 03/19/08
I wasn't sure what to expect from Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man but I was hooked and laughing myself silly half way through the first chapter. The book was written midway through Home Improvement (1991-9) but only mentions the show in passing. The book is mostly a memoir told as a series of stand-up routines.
Allen begins the book by explaining why he's a comedian. He points the finger squarely at his last name (Dick). I had to giggle there not because of the many penis tangents he takes but because I've heard these jokes before. I have a BookCrossing penpal whose last name is Dick and I've heard the same complaints from her that Tim Allen makes in his first chapter. That strange bit of synchronicity was what sold me on the book.
From there Allen goes through childhood as a series of lessons, on through the teen years, his relationships with women, his time in jail (and how being funny was a survival technique) and finally onto his marriage and life as a father (to a daughter).
Don't be confused by Tim Allen's character, Tim Taylor. Although Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man is packaged as another humorous take on Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Allen is better read and more philosophical than his Taylor counterpart. For many of stereotypical examples of men versus women he mentions, Allen comes up with a counter example to balance things out. He never goes so far to say all men are this way and all women are that way. Rather he plays out the examples of his own life to their silliest possible conclusions.