Customer Reviews: You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas
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on December 12, 2009
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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on October 31, 2009
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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on May 22, 2013
Burroughs writes once again about his childhood as it pertains to Christmas memories. Unlike his other works, which are often funny and/or poignant, this collection is simply grotesque. The author makes all of his characters, including himself, out to be the most odious people on the planets. The childhood Burroughs comes off as mentally challenged and slightly unsound. He paints an unsympathetic picture of his mother as drugged up and disgusting. There is none of the reflection or humor of his previous writings. Everyone else in his life is either drunk or dim-witted. These stories are a far cry from his thoughful, moving, and humorous memoirs and essays.

The book is not helped by Burroughs' reading of his work for the CD. He apparently attended the School of Pretentious Acting to prepare for this audio book. He does a great job reading his earlier works, and I still enjoy them and marvel at what a good writer he is. This collection, however, along with "A Wolf at the Table", is so overly emoted and annoyingly smug that it undermines any good writing that may have snuck through his catty attitude.

I advise any person new to Burroughs to avoid this work. I highly recommend "Running with Scissors", "Dry", "Magical Thinking", and "Possible Side-Effects". "Wolf at the Table" and this collection are not his best, and especially stay away from the audio editions. If you are already a fan, just know that these stories are a major disappointment.
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on June 10, 2014
Because he makes you feel like like they really are true. But this book is very contrived-feeling, with some stories that because they don't feel like they come from life, just feel offensive. He can really get away with telling us some horrific stuff when it feels like we join him in a journey about life, about being human, about truths. But there are stories in here that are inflicted upon us, about attention seeking lies, about lying gratuitous vulgarity, about false and beautiful icing pretending it's not on a sh*& cupcake. I'm dissappointed. Someone needed money and wrote this piece of crap knowing it would sell because some of us out here are loyal to _Augusten Burroughs_. What a letdown.
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VINE VOICEon December 31, 2011
My book club always chooses a Christmas themed book for December. It's what we do. We've read everything from warm and heartwarming books like Christmas Jars to the weird and raunchy like Holiday with a Vampire. Someone chose to read this book this year and I was excited as I'm a big Burroughs fan.

This book is, of course, Christmas themed. More importantly, it doesn't disappoint from his previous work. There's the complete laugh-out-loud pee-your-pants stories. But there's also a lot of introspective and real-life stories that show a side of Augusten that warms my heart.

This was actually my second favorite book from this author, my favorite being Dry. Both because of how he opens his heart and life to the readers but also because he truly knows how to make me laugh. His humor is not for everyone (a few of members disliked it - a lot), it's very wry and more than a little dark.

The stories all wonderful in their own way.

Highly recommended for fans of humorous memoirs or those that can "get" that humor that is Augusten Burroughs.
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VINE VOICEon January 6, 2010
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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on December 16, 2015
One of my favorite holiday reads. I think there are about 8 short stories I read one every night 8 days before Christmas. Burroughs truly inspires to appreciate Christmas with out the all the glitter and glam after all all that shimmers does fade and he brings the perfect balance to the table on this. Read it 2 times now
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on December 13, 2013
I wanted a book with some stories set at Christmastime, not for religious reading but for humorous reading. Having read Augusten Burroughts's "Dry" and "Running with Scissors," I had a pretty good idea of the kind of humor I would get--dry, witty, ironical, maybe sometimes cynical. I read it early in the holiday season, about 2 weeks after Thanksgiving. I also have David Sedaris's "Holidays on Ice," which I'm saving to read the week before Christmas--or I should say "reread," as I've read it nearly every year since it came out and loved it just as much each time as I did the first time I heard him read part of one of his narratives on NPR.
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on December 18, 2011
I didn't know whether Burroughs was going to disappoint me this time. He has made me laugh and cry in the past but I don't consistently love every word that comes from this author's pen.

I will say that I didn't laugh or cry although I did get a little misty on the last page. As usual, I was fascinated by Burroughs' stories. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a talented writer and as has happened before with Burroughs' books, I read this in one sitting.

These aren't the kind of stories that are going to give you a warm fuzzy feeling about Christmas, but they might stay with you longer than more traditional heartwarming Christmas stories. They speak of the human condition--failed dreams, terminal illness, and lonely times. There is nothing like Christmas to make people who are alone, temporarily or permanently, to feel even more isolated, courtesy of the canned Christmas music everywhere.

But there is love here--amazing, breathtaking love. I found these stories to be bittersweet. Burroughs does bittersweet very well.
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on August 27, 2014
I have really enjoyed all of Augusten's other books. He changes how you see life and experience, which is a great gift for a writer to give. However this book should only be purchased to have the 'complete works of Augusten Burroughs'. Just not up to the level of his other writing.
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