When The Naked and the Dead was published in 1948, the word "naked" still had shock value. Mailer's novel was followed by books with such titles as The Naked Society, The Naked Ape and the moderately oxymoronic Naked Lunch. It wasn't long before shock devolved into cliche. The publishing world has now transformed itself, at least as far as book titles are concerned, into an enormous, sprawling colony of nudists. Amazon lists over a thousand books in English with "naked" in the title. A reader interested in religion may choose from The Naked Christian, Naked Buddha, Naked Buddhism, The Naked Soul, The Naked God, The Naked Church, Naked Angels, Naked in the Promised Land and Praying Naked. The Naked Parish Priest may imply more than is strictly proper and Buck-Naked Faith suggests that ordinary nakedness isn't enough. For the button-down corporate world, there's The Naked Corporation, The Naked Consumer, The Naked Employee, The Naked Investor, Naked Imperialism, The Naked Entrepreneur, Naked Marketing, Naked Imperialism, Naked Economics, The Naked Capitalist, Naked in the Boardroom, The Naked Manager, The Naked Trader, Naked at the Interview, The Naked Factory, and Work Naked. There's hardly an area of interest that hasn't been touched by the advent of naked titling. Politics?: The Naked Empire, Naked Liberty, Naked Justice, The Naked Communist. Geographical?: The Naked Tropics, Naked Sun, The Naked Island, Naked Heartland, The Naked Mountain, The Naked Tree, Naked Savages, The Naked Airport, Naked in Baghdad, Naked in Da Nang, Naked City, The Naked Tourist, Naked Wanderlust, The Naked Jungle, Naked Germany, even Naked in Cyberspace, wherever that is. Social?: Naked Conversations, Naked Bitch, The Naked Leader, The Naked Duke, The Naked Marquis, The Naked Warrior, Naked Ambition, The Naked Roommate, Naked Conversations, The Naked Crowd. Gastronomical?: The Naked Chef, Naked Chocolate, Naked Fruit, Eat Papayas Naked, The Naked Martini. Anatomical: The Naked Face, The Naked Neuron, The Naked Chiropractor, The Naked Quack. Domestic: Naked Rooms, The Naked Wall. Artistic?: Naked Clay, Naked Vinyl, Writing Naked, The Naked Cartoonist, Naked Poetry. Athletic?: Naked Skydiving, The Naked Rower, Swimming Naked, The Naked Runner, The Naked Hunter, The Naked Pilot, Naked Weightlifting. It's disappointing to find nothing in the arena of naked basketball, despite Dennis Rodman's expressed desire to play his last professional game naked-- to which the NBA commissioner is supposed to have responded, "it would definitely be his last." Other professions: The Naked Therapist, The Naked Detective, The Naked Bird Watcher, The Naked Spy, The Naked Civil Servant, The Naked Counselor, The Naked Anthropologist. The field of dance has produced a series of related titles: Dancing Naked Under Palm Trees, ...in the Mindfield, ..at the Edge of Dawn, ...in Front of the Fridge, ...in the Material World, ...on the Floor, ...in the Sun. There's a whole genre of books for people whose tastes are more specialized than mine. A sample: Naked Hairy Jocks. Nearly Naked is refreshingly modest. As might be expected, naked has its parodists. The faux-romance Naked Came the Stranger was followed by Naked Came the Manatee and Naked Came the Sasquatch. Naked and the Undead is bloody good, and Naked Brunch is, I think, delicious. The most exquisite parody: Rita Rudner's Naked Beneath My Clothes. I'm staking my claim to Naked Came the Nudist. I was entirely wrong to jump to the conclusion that The Naked Mole Rat was a parody; it's a serious study of Heterocephalus glaber by an academic zoologist.