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A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father Paperback – Bargain Price, March 31, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
It seems as if only the other day I read Burroughs' last book, Possible Side Effects. Yet, I just discovered this book was published and immediately ordered it. I received it this afternoon and finished it this evening.
Not having read any of the reviews at all, I wasn't sure what to expect but I immediately noticed that this book was entirely different from all his previous books. This isn't humor-- this is an incredible memoir of living with a sociopathic parent. In his past books, he talks about his mother's mental illness, but glosses over his father's. If you read this, you can understand why. He had to be ready to write this. I imagine that writing this book must have been unimaginably painful. Some people would have NEVER been ready to write this.Read more ›
Most of the events described in this book took place early in Augusten's life, before he turned 12 years old. If you've read any of the author's previous books, you know that his family life gives a whole new meaning to the word "dysfunctional." Augusten has written in detail about his mentally disturbed mother and her crazy therapist (who ended up being Augusten's legal guardian for a while). Until now, Augusten never went into much detail about his father, except to say that he was an alcoholic who would often engage in violent fights with his wife. In "A Wolf at the Table," Augusten describes his lifelong desire to connect with his father, who always seemed to wear a mask of complete indifference when it came to his son. Not only was Augusten emotionally neglected by his father, but he was also abused...just not usually in the physical sense. Yes, there were times when Augusten's father hit his son so hard that little boy could barely walk for days, but those incidents don't even begin to compare to the twisted emotional games Augusten's dad (or "Dead," which is how Augusten pronounced "Dad") would play.Read more ›
Another memory from the book that stands out for me after I've finished the book is when Augusten, maybe he was 7 or 8 or somewhere around there, took some old clothes from his father's closet and added some of his father's cologne and other scents familiar to his father, then stuffed the clothes into a semblance of a person. Then the child Augusten climbed into the forbidden lap of his created father and would fight not to fall asleep for fear of the consequences.
All of the questions Augusten asks his dad (which are very rarely answered), the child's hunger for not just food, but for knowledge and understanding and his place in the world (and dealing with the fear, even as a child, that he will grow up to be like his father) just made me ache.
I found nothing whiny about the details of the memories/stories told: They just felt brutally honest and told from the memory of a child: I don't know too many children who wouldn't cry or be scared when threatened, or faced with constant loss of well-loved pets or the myriad other experiences he was forced to face. The writing grabbed me and held me firm from beginning to end. I've not read a Burroughs book yet that has disappointed me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not made easy to read because of all the hurt not typically made more entertaining by humor. It was heart wrenching to live and to tell and took courage to 'say.'Published 1 day ago by babs
The book was interesting but I feel like it only touched the surface of what his life was like; more detailed experience would have been preferredPublished 26 days ago by Yvette G.
A complete and thorough tour of one ring of hell, as experienced by the son of two very damaged people...I'm glad he lived to grow upPublished 1 month ago by Pamela Piper Yeung
Read this a long time ago and loved it. Bought this copy for a friend.Published 1 month ago by Kathleen Roman
ELA IV - Berchick
Book Review/Narrative Analysis
After exposing the troubled life of a teenage boy in Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs shows... Read more
A book that was sometimes very difficult to read because your heart was breaking for the young Augusten. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Casey Fairbairn
The rating was fair.I. liked the book,didn't love it ! Couldn't decide if the boy was really afraid of his father or just wanted his approval and love,no matter the risks. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dianne Kemerly McMahan