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Dry: A Memoir Paperback – April 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Twice named to Entertainment Weekly's list of the funniest people in America, Augusten has also been the subject of a Vanity Fair cover story and a Jeopardy! answer. His books have made guest appearances in two James Patterson novels, one Linkin Park music video, numerous television shows and a porn movie.
Augusten has been a photographer since childhood and many of his images can be seen on his website, www.augusten.com. He lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book often skewers the mental health system, replete with therapy-speak, AA meetings, and self-help lingo, However, Burroughs adopts a fairly benign, almost affectionate, tone toward mental health workers. Ultimately, DRY is filled with the kind of wit and attitude you've come to expect from Burroughs. I laughed out loud quite a few times, and I felt some real suspense reading to see whether he'd relapse.
Burroughs is quickly establishing himself as a quirky and talented writer. Although he may be pegged by some as a "gay author," his work is pretty universal and likely to appeal to many different audiences. I most highly recommend this book, and I look forward to reading more of his work.
*If you have not read too many other of Burroughs' books (some of the life details get repetitive)
*If you appreciate a cynical outlook and a dry sense of humor
*If you can handle raw, sometimes harsh details
*If you are alright reading about gay relationships and a few intimate details
*If you are moved by an honest struggle with addiction in life and want to get a glimpse of that struggle
*If you are not looking for flowery prose, but prefer direct, easy to read material that flows and doesn't linger on any one part of his life too much.
I started to give this book 4 stars, wanted to give it 3.5 (not an option) and settled on 3. It's a good, easy read - interesting and pointed. The reason I settled on 3 instead of 4 stars is that too much cynical gets tiring even for a cynical person. It is a rather dark read with some humor in the honesty of his arrogance and pride. Definitely a 3 1/2 star book.
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.
With sobriety, Burroughs must not only come to terms with his friendship with HIV positive Pighead, he must also make painful choices about new friends and lovers. Sober living is, of course, not without its temptations and Burroughs is honest that not all of his post-rehab decisions were good ones. But honesty is a key component in DRY; it is never lacking in this memoir. Powered by lots of coffee and fresh insight, Burroughs is just as hilarious in describing his navigation of a life clean and sober as he is in describing his drunken escapades. The supporting cast is full of similarly neurotic figures, which just goes to show you that everyone has an interesting story to tell. Burroughs, however, concentrates on his own and the book reads like a cross between a great tale told to close friends, a stand-up routine and, most often, a therapeutic catharsis.
DRY is simply wonderful.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved the cover, and the story.
by Sindhu S.
Author of Meantime Girl: a love story
This book will be of special interest to anyone who struggles with or lives with the effects of addictions, as well as to people who struggle either to find or maintain healthy and... Read morePublished 10 days ago by CJB
Years ago I read "Running with Scissors" and absolutely loved it! I was in college and drawn to the story and the dramatic life of young Augusten. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Carina Rodrigues
I've never laughed so hard reading a book. I've also never been able to relate to something so fully as I can Mr. Burroughs. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book! A great story written by one of the best story tellers! This is Augusten Burroughs's tale of his personal battle with alcohol addiction and his journey back to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Johnson
Augusten writes about the tough spots in life in ways that make you understand instead of pity his misfortunes. Read his other stuff - he's amazing.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer