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You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 27, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 27, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Burroughs's holiday-themed memoir lacks the consistent emotional intensity of his earlier work, despite a few gems. Arranged roughly chronologically, the vignettes begin with concrete Christmas memories (preparing a detailed, multipart list of desired presents in Claus and Effect) and move toward musings on the spirit of the holiday (facing a flooded house with an atheist partner in Silent Night). While the childhood stories have Burroughs's trademark dry wit—he once gnawed the face off a life-size Saint Nick made of wax—they aren't particularly memorable. It's when he turns his attention to the less tangible essence of the holiday that the writing comes alive, especially in the final two pieces, The Best and Only Everything and Silent Night. In the former, Burroughs (Running with Scissors) remembers a long-ago Christmas spent with a former lover dying of AIDS and in the latter, which takes place a decade later, he describes dealing not only with a burst water pipe but also feeling ready to celebrate the season with a tree for the first time since the death of his old boyfriend. (Nov.)
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Review

"In his trademark wit and self-deprecating humor . . . Burroughs compiles his favorite Christmas memories. From gnawing the face off of a life-size wax Santa to waking up beside a naked real-life Saint Nick at the Waldorf Astoria, Burroughs spares no details describing why Christmas has always been his favorite holiday." --Vanity Fair

"For those who like their holiday spirit with gallons of vodka and a heaping portion of irreverence, You Better Not Cry is at times a laugh-out-loud read. . . . Burroughs is as frank and revealing as ever. . . . Fans won't be disappointed." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Burroughs succeeds best at evoking true holiday spirit, reminding us that whatever's left after the bulbs stop twinkling, the cookies are all eaten, and the trees lose their tinsel is what's most important." --Elle

"Terribly funny, in his tragically honest style . . . You may not cry, but you'll definitely laugh." --The Miami Herald
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312341911
  • ASIN: B003H4RE3W
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the author of the autobiographical works "Running with Scissors," "Dry," "Magical Thinking," "Possible Side Effects" and "A Wolf at the Table," all of which were New York Times bestsellers. "Running with Scissors" remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two consecutive years and was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film starring Annette Bening. His only novel, "Sellevision," is currently in development as a series for NBC. "Dry," Augusten's memoir of his alcoholism and recovery, is being developed by Showtime. In addition, Burroughs is currently creating an original prime-time series for CBS. Augusten's latest book is called "You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas."

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed reading Augusten Burroughs books for many years. I was thrilled to learn that he had a new book out. Being a bit of a scrooge myself, I knew this book would not disappoint. It is a compilation of several different essays. I really enjoyed reading the book and it helped pull me into the Christmas spirit.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of all of Augusten's books, but I found this one just a little disappointing. I read "You Better Not Cry" in two days...not because I'm a super speedy reader, but because it's a very short book. The page count is decent, but the size of the book is very tiny so the book is over before you know it.

That's my biggest problem with the book. It's just TOO short.

That said, it's an entertaining read. The book progresses chronologically through Augusten's past. The stories of his childhood are generally quite funny. Generally speaking, I actually like stories of his adult life better than stories of his childhood (i.e. I like "Dry" and "Magical Thinking" even more than "Running With Scissors"). This also holds true with "You Better Not Cry". My favorite stories in the book are of his adult life. My favorite story in the book is "Silent Night." This heart-warming little tale makes me really sad that Augusten and Dennis are no longer together.

I found his story titled, "The Best and Only Everything" terribly sad and it's the longest story in the book. But there are amusing stories, too. I really enjoyed the title story, "You Better Not Cry."

All in all, it's a worthwhile read. And with Amazon's discounted price, I'm glad I bought it. I just wish it were longer! Keep writing, Augusten. I just can't get enough of your words!
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be just like his others! Places in the book are witty, interesting, heartfelt...and then there's the other side-dark, sad, and unnnerving. But with all the other books I found this to be right up there in style and character. I enjoyed this small book of about 200 pages. It was quick to read in between the hustle and bustle of the holidays. For a Burrough's fan...this will be enjoyed!
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A Kid's Review on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
We waited at least two years for this? The title was great, catchy, made you think it was going to be funny but it wasn't. To me it seems like this book was thrown together because of some deadline, it didn't seem to have much heart. The stories were long and drawn out and couldn't keep my attention much as his work usually is so intense you cant put it down. I was also expecting more humor but it wasn't the case for this book. I was really, REALLY looking forward to this book so it's quite the disappointment. I guess I'll be camped out until the next one though as I still have a ton of faith in this man. Sorry Augusten but I'm being honest........
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Format: Hardcover
I feel bad leaving anything but a decadent review for something written by Augusten Burroughs. Long have I pimped out his treasure trove of memoirs, as well as "Sellevision," which seems to be tailored to his wild and crazy life a little bit more each time I pick it up.

Simply put, "You Better Not Cry" lacks the spark that Burroughs' previous books (and novel) contain. I eagerly hunkered down with the small tome during spurts of free time, eager to read about the author's caustic family and his almost alarmingly domestic adult life. Augusten's collection of Christmas stories is easy enough to follow, given time lines and events from previous books, but I felt like something was missing. All of the author's trademarks were there, but I wasn't being tugged in any particular direction emotionally. There was no pig's head statue moment like in "Dry"; no "toilet reading" scene, a la "Running With Scissors"; nor nothing particularly harrowing or painful to read, the way most of "Wolf At the Table" was. Bad (and sometimes, good) things certainly happen to Augusten at Christmastime, but he didn't make me feel them this time.

In addition, "YBNC" showcased a lack of cohesiveness, which is unusual for Burroughs. Upon waking up next to a French Santa, who may or may not have put the moves on him, Burroughs-the-character makes a list of all the guys he's ever known in the Biblical sense, in hopes of determining any patterns, a la a fetish for white-bearded old men. It's a funny moment, but there's a distinct lack of mention of Dr.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not at all what I expected to read ---. I had not known the author and had not realized he was gay. That didn't change my mind though as I read; it was truly fun and sad at the same time. I believe the hour you spend with this book will not be wasted --- obviously, it's heartfelt and I got a sense that Christmas was longed for, as it should be. The childhood glimpses were tough, sad and tragic. The flood was also extremely sad but brought the whole Christmas theme to light. Thank you
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been doing a fair amount of holiday-based reading. When I picked this one up, the first thing that struck me was the quality of the writing itself. Burroughs has wonderful stoires to share and he shares them in beautiful language. The stories themselves run the gamut -- humor, love, sadness, forgiveness, the essentials of all his works. I have never read a description of being in love like you'll find in this book. You better run out and grab this one!
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