Augusten Burroughs is one of the most entertaining writers on the current scene. After reading his RUNNING WITH SCISSORS and accepting the fact that it was truly a memoir (ie, he really DID have that childhood!), most of us who loved that book couldn't wait to see if he would be able to maintain his particular level of genius dry humor. Well, here it is. DRY is the continued life of this amazing writer. It is one of the most hilarious books around - Burroughs candid observations written sotto voce without quotation marks could be the dialogue for the best standup comedians on any stage. And he is not kidding!
A book about alcoholism, or rather about any kind of addiction (crack cocaine, alcohol, sex, heroine, etc), is not the expected basis for a comedic book. But Burroughs takes us through blitzkrieg drunkeness, living at the bottom of the toilet, commiting to rehab, then the whole process of AA meetings and therapy and manages to make us laugh uncontrollably. His cast of characters includes his co-workers in his successful career in advertising, his pre-rehab friends, his acquaintances from his gay rehab group, his assorted roommates and quasilovers, and his real devotion to Pighead, a would-be lover now dying of AIDS. Doesn't sound funny, does it? But life has its own way of offering perspectives in bizarre focal fields and Burroughs knows just how to make it all work. His life is a fantasy trip, and a dangerous one at that, but through all his highs and lows he keeps us on his side, and we willingly laugh and cry right along with him. This is a superb second book. Read them both - and then take a little time for introspection about how we all interact, knee deep in our foibles.