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Showing 1-10 of 88 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 206 reviews
on October 9, 2011
I'll probably hold onto this book for a while just because it has a few of those precious, shocking, funny, and disturbing moments which I learned to love in Running with Scissors. For me, it wasn't a "can't put it down" book but it wasn't "a lingering bad taste" book which I found Magical Thinking to be. No strictly gratuitous profanity that I can remember--just an excellent story about the tooth fairy and Jesus which made me empathize with the boy who learned his vocabulary from his parents.

Absolutely loved Wonder Boy--more and more I'm seeing his mom in both a sympathetic light and a humorous light. Her belief in his psychic powers--very funny--and then so poignant when he attempts to get her out of a depressed mood with one of his tricks.

I loved Peep and even in this chapter where he admits to spying on people he reveals his tender side--he wanted better for the woman victimized by the king of the quickies.

I adored the chapter about broken escalators. I wondered if it were just I who, at 64, trudges up broken escalators as though I were climbing mountains. So often young people fly by me. So Burroughs too finds them nearly impossible to scale. How comforting!

I absolutely loved Little Crucifixions and this tale of a visit to an unusual dermatologist made me sob. Burroughs has the talent of making you laugh uproariously one moment and in the next minute you're sobbing uncontrollably. He can cut you to the quick.

Fetch was an interesting, cute, and shocking chapter. I'm so glad he got his puppy, but his way of manipulating his mom was beyond belief.

I'm about to finish Burroughs' brother's book Look me in the Eye. I was halfway through it when Running with Scissors arrived and so was waylaid. I will say that between the two of them they gave their parents some horribly distressing times, but I will say that they had a pair of wild and crazy parents. Quite a family!

Every parent should be aware that some talented children possess the best weapon of all--the pen. The pen is mightier than the sword! Keep writing Burroughs! You're great. Originally I gave this book three stars and then just had to change to four. It had its flat and boring moments, but the great moments were superb. Burroughs is like a husband you've grown to love. Sometimes he bores you, sometimes he exasperates you, and sometimes he shocks you beyond belief, but some of the time he's endearing, amusing, and loveable, and you know that you don't want to give him up. I'm already thinking about ordering my next book by Burroughs--maybe I'll give myself a Christmas present and get his Christmas stories.

Thank you, Burroughs, for moving me to both laughter and tears once again.
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on May 16, 2016
As a fanatic of David Sedaris and all of his memoirs, I was looking for an alternative, after reading all of his novels...twice. Augusten Burroughs delivered. And thensome! I've since moved on to his latest, "Lust and Wonder" and as with all of his novels, I'm going to be sad when I finish it. He's lived a life that seems unbelievable, which is what makes it all the better. And whether you believe it's genetic and he inherited his phenomenal writing abilities from her, or he worked for it. Either way he's got it!
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on October 5, 2012
Another witty, laugh-out-loud, cringe-worthy work by Augusten Burroughs.
I read "Running With Scissors" and "Dry: A Memoir" by this author before I read this book, but it is not necessary in order to appreciate this work of vignettes about the author's life.
Having lived a bizarre childhood and a more than difficult transition into adulthood, he tells his stories with such
wit and humor that bad situations make you cringe and smile at the same time.
His style is endearing and contagious, as is witnessed by the fact that I was compelled to read 3 of his books...so far!
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on April 20, 2016
In my opinion, this book is not close to being as entertaining as his other books, even though it seems like it has great potential. It starts out wonderfully, but reading on, I found it to become humorless, to the point of being even dull. I gave 4 stars because there were places where it is extremely funny.
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on July 14, 2006
The pieces in this latest collection by Augusten Burroughs seem to be from various points in his life and reflect his lost childhood, dysfunctional years as an alcoholic creative for an ad agency, and his less than perfect efforts as a person in recovery to figure out how normal people make life decisions and navigate human relationships (and pet ownership). While the pieces (which I want to call "stories") are uneven, all are marked by Burroughs' trademark wit and indifference to political correctness. As with his previous books, his harshest criticisms are directed toward himself. At times this can be draining; sometimes, even creepy (as in "Team Player" where he talks about stealing a Harvard tee shirt from a hotel room, or in "Peep" where he reveals his tendency toward voyeurism). The most hilarious story in this collection is "Mint Threshold" where he describes the nadir of his advertising career, working on the Junior Mint account. The most touching story is "The Forecast for Sommer," about the suicide of one of his mother's proteges. In this story and in some of the other pieces, his mother comes across as more fully human than in RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. She seems to have authentically loved her son and to have believed him to have great potential, something that never comes across in the previously published material. She remains a deeply flawed and tortured individual, but Augusten seems to have more compassion for her plight and a more nuanced understanding of her essence than before. Perhaps this is his way of making amends to her--a sign that he is working his recovery.

One interesting thing to note is the disclaimer that appears at the front of the book (and I guess all post-A-Million-Little-Pieces memoirs will have something similiar): "Some of the events described happened as related; others were expanded and changed. Some of the individuals portrayed are composites of more than one person, and many names and identifying characteristics have been changed as well."
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on August 18, 2016
"Possible Side Effects" is another bold, honest and well written memoir from Augusten Burroughs. It is told in a series of short accounts that happened in his life. The accounts are not in the order they happened, which is fine. They each stand alone. I recommend this book to you.
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on November 20, 2016
Augusten Burroughs is one of my all time favorite authors - I absolutely love him. His short stories (like Possible Side Effects) are fantastic. They are all woven together thematically and are so entertaining. I will read anything Augusten Burroughs writes!
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on February 15, 2010
This is the perfect book for people who thought they hated short stories. I prefer novels, myself, but after I read Dry I thought Burroughs was so good I'd get everything he wrote, so I did. Now when I can't quite face starting a new book, or cracking open something that I have 200 pages left to go in, I open up this book and invariably end up laughing my ass off. When I'm in a particularly bad mood and find that I've been obsessing about work or life or money or something really tedious, I find that Burroughs -- like Sedaris -- has just the right touch of insanity to restore my balance. Be forewarned: Burroughs invokes "crazy person laughter" -- I often find myself laughing so hard on the train that it's almost embarrassing; that kind of busted-out-before-you-knew-you-were-going-to-laugh-hyena-laugh. The laugh that makes you realize how tense you were til you read whatever story the book opens to.
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on March 18, 2014
If you've read his other works, you'll fall in love with the same wry wit, dry humor, and absurd perspective that catapulted Augusten to fame - and the hearts of millions of readers.

If you haven't read his other works, this is a wonderful introduction to the beautifully broken, but wonderfully hilarious author that is Augusten Burroughs. Highly recommended - but come prepared to embrace your bipolar tendencies. You'll be crying in one page and guffawing in another.
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on November 18, 2015
Well written, funny, and interesting. If you like Augusten Burroughs' books in general, you will like this book. I was very proud of all that the author has battled and triumphed over. He is very likable and extremely talented. I was entertained throughout the entire book. I would buy another book by this author.
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