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on May 28, 2016
This is either a collection of short stories or a collection of personal essays. The author wants you to think they are true stories, but I don’t buy that. Perhaps the word is magical thinking. He might actually think that if he says it is true, it might be.
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.
3 people found this helpful
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on December 20, 2011
I read 3 books by Burroughs ("Running With Scissors", "Dry", "Wolf At The Table") before this bunch of stories. And all plots were familiar for me, but another thing seriously disappointed me - these stories are very shallow - I wrote such things in my diary during teens, but I never thought about selling them, 'cos' they are so common, we live our lives, we meet different people, but to sell such diaries in such a pathetic way - no, thank you please, it only makes me sneeze.
8 people found this helpful
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on November 7, 2017
This was one of my favorites of Agustin’s books, another hilarious but touching peek into his life filled with love and flashbacks into his past that only he described the way he does.
True fans and new readers alike will enjoy this book. It reads as both a novel and short story. Love love love you Agustin.
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on February 24, 2018
Loved it! Augusten is one of my favorite authors and this book doesn't disappoint.
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on October 11, 2016
funny, sad, thoughtful. It was terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the book (except the rat one).
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on November 2, 2004
I would not call myself a fan of Augusten Burroughs, though nobody can argue with the mainstream success he had with his last two novels. I found his "Running With Scissors" more disturbing than amusing or entertaining, and I only

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".
2 people found this helpful
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on October 30, 2017
A gift.
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on August 9, 2011
OMG I loved this book. I love just about anything he writes, though. I liked Running with Scissors much less than this...FYI.
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.
2 people found this helpful
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on March 7, 2006
Has the core of modern humanity ever been so clearly delineated by any one author? I think not. Burroughs has done a beautiful job here. The mere existence of this book (to say nothing of it's place on the best seller lists,) restores my faith in our civilization, truly drives home the point missed (by me, anyway,) in all those mind numbing buddhist texts. We all ARE truly connected. From the universal dating truths and human foibles, such as those portrayed in "Beating Raoul," to the author being taken conversational hostage in the store parking lot by the perfect grandma in a Jackie O suit confessing to the author a horrific childhood replete with Dr. Pepper enemas...few books will stick with me as long as this. Like Beef Bourguignon for the soul. Thanks Augusten Burroughs.
One person found this helpful
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on July 22, 2017
Speedy delivery & an amazing author! He will get anyone out of their funk!
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