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Magical Thinking: True Stories Hardcover – October 5, 2004
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It begins with a Tang Instant-Breakfast Drink television commercial:
"Yes, you, Augusten. You were great. We want you." I can now trace my manic adult tendencies to this moment. It was the first time I felt deeply thrilled about something just a fraction of an instant after being completely crushed. I believe those three words "We want you" were enough to cause my brain to rewire itself, and from then on, I would require more than other people....- from Magical Thinking's "Commercial Break"
A contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady. The execution of a rodent carried out with military precision and utter horror. Telemarketing revenge. A different kind of "roof work." Dating an undertaker who shows up in a minivan. This is the fabric of Augusten Burroughs's life: a collection of true stories that are universal in their appeal yet unabashedly intimate, stories that shine a flashlight into both dark and hilarious places. With Magical Thinking, Augusten Burroughs goes where other memoirists fear to tread.
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He’s brutally honest about his failings, and doesn’t mind sharing embarrassing moments. If you decide to read this collection skip over the one about how he killed a little white mouse in his bathtub.
The author at times seems to have the sensibilities of a serial killer. The next time I buy one of his books, it goes on the fictional shelf.
True fans and new readers alike will enjoy this book. It reads as both a novel and short story. Love love love you Agustin.
liked "Dry" slightly better than that. Perhaps "the third time is the charm," since his latest book provides a better insight into his personality, including his mindset when writing those last two works.
"Magical Thinking" (named after a psychological profile in which one attributes to one's actions something which they could not have anything to do with ... such as believing that one can *will* bad or good things to happen to someone.) is actually a collection of 29 brief (averaging less than 8 pages) musings by the author, some of which had previously appeared on Salon.com. The author comes across as a gay, slightly psychotic Dave Barry in some, satirically looking at consumer resistence to advertising, design-it-yourself custom homes, getting revenge at telemarketers, and a few other topics. In others, the more-than-slightly-off-center author's voice comes through, in talking about his envy of transexuals, having sex with
several priests, studying to be a model, gay men's devotion to
steroids, and various "boyfriend from hell" stories. He also
provides some additional insight into his childhood, his motivation to write the earlier two novels as well as his first book (Sellevision), and openly discusses his relationship with a slightly older man he sometimes affectiionately calls "The Schnauzer." They are generally amusing and well-written, but the random nature of the stories makes the book seem rather disjointed in total, and unlikely to be anywhere near as successful as his last two attempts. However, if his earlier books did arouse your curiousity to know more about this rather unique individual, you may (as I did) find this volume useful for that purpose. I may even go back and read his "Sellevision".
I just cannot even put into words how much A.B. can make me laugh and cry and enjoy every wild moment. I am doing this review a huge disservice in fact , but if you like quirky true stories like I do, consider reading this one!
As with all his books, if you just read the titles of the chapters you can almost know you are in for a wild and hilarious ride!
My favorite one of all, I'd have to say (because it brings to light so much about myself; I mentally traded places with him here & I just know, I would have had similar results) is the Mouse in the Bathtub scene......awful/hilarious/must read to appreciate !!!
Yes he includes sometimes gory details and/or sexual exploits but not in a way I can't handle. I am a straight middle aged female; Augusten's life is so different than my own and I appreciate the chance to come along for an E-ride with him.
Though he is a gay male, you'd think we don't have anything in common but like the mouse in the tub, I see that we have tons in common on how we think and deal with things.
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