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Showing 1-10 of 323 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 452 reviews
on November 7, 2015
For me it is great advice. I have much experience with typical therapy and already know the ropes. This Is How, really gets right to the nitty gritty , with absolutely no B.S.
Having been a huge fan of his other books , and loving his irreverent humor, I was not expecting this straight forward no nonsense advice.
It is not always easy to hear the truth but I give advice to people who ask for it, I feel it is a disservice to them to sugar coat things. This book is like that.
If you would rather someone hold your hand and pat you on the back while you enjoy feeling sorry for yourself, you not care for the advice.

I myself may not always want to hear that I am capable , and should, do what I know I need to do..
I do not want to make it sound like he is being brutally truthful. There is still some tasteful humor, but the better thing to point out is he is gentle with you as he explains how to recognize dysfunctional things you may be allowing in your life and not even realize it.
It feels like a sensible manual for life. For example he talks about common phrases such as I just want to be happy.
But points out things ways in which we tend to keep grasping at things , thinking that will make the happiness come while all the while we seem to have blinders on and don't even have a good idea of what happy is to us.

I am paraphrasing all the that. It is simple , helpful , direct advice and in a very easy to digest format.
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on April 7, 2016
This isn't your typical Burroughs novel, but it is great. This Is How is a self help book with an infusion of Burroughs' classic senility and recognizable voice. He encourages you to feel what you feel and not let others influence your emotions. Through various scenarios, Burroughs offers blunt insight and advice that is surprisingly effective.
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on September 14, 2013
Wise advice from one who's suffered, simply amazing.

I don't agree 100 percent with everything, like his criticisms of AA, which I believe in based on what I've read and been told by those I respect. But then he's the alcoholic who's been there, not me, and this is a book of personal truths. So maybe I ought to give it five stars. But there's the AA stuff that while personally true for him feels kind of irresponsible too. That's the book's memoiristic aspect, for better and possibly in this instance for worse.

A five-star book in this genre is Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, and Burrough's advice about letting go of the past is the same. Everyone kind of says the same thing over and over. So why the need for more? Because we need to keep hearing it. And because the way someone says something might be finally the way you need to hear it to finally get it. Maybe Tolle prepared me to know that Burroughs is right, as did my failing to change to the depth that Tolle says is possible. Burroughs' advice and precepts may seem more doable to me because they don't come from a glowing saint but from someone who fell repeatedly and who is still flawed, damaged, sad, maybe feels a bit broken himself.

This is How is Uncle Augusten's gift to the world. For instance, here he is on loss:

"As it happens, we human beings are able to live just fine with many holes of many sizes and shapes.

"And pleasure, love, compassion, fulfillment--these things do not leak out of holes of any size.

"So we can be filled with holes and loss and wide expanses of unhealed geography--and we can also be excited by life and in love and content at the exact same moment.

"Though there will always be days, like the weather, when the loss returns fresh and full and we will reside within it once again, for a while.

"Loss creates a greater overall surface area within a person. You expand as a result of it."

I sat right up, reading it, very quiet, intent and amazed. A gifted writer's blazing truths will do that to you.
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on April 29, 2016
Okay, so I literally couldn't put this book down. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about when I could get back to it. Burroughs has such a candid way of writing. He's full of humor, insight, and I felt like he was sitting right next to me chatting. I do understand why the long title now as he took on so many different topics, the topics that matter most in life. For me, the chapters on disease and dying were the best I've ever read. Others on race and relationships, or emotions such as shame, resentment, and anger were all top notch. Here's a couple of small quotes I loved, "The past does not haunt us. We haunt the past," or "Try to see the therapist as more like a hooker." Seriously, you could throw away every self-help book, or actually the self-help industry would die with one reading of this book. Yup, I loved it!
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on December 16, 2012
"This is How" is a book that at times speaks to our darker natures, and I don't think that is a bad thing. On page 9 Burroughs writes, "The truth is humbling, terrifying, and often exhilarating. It blows the doors off the hinges and fills the world with fresh air." I find this statement profound, and there are moments in this text where the book succeeds at doing just that.
First off, I would not recommend reading this book straight through like one would a novel. I would read it a chapter at a time, taking a couple of days break in between. I recommend this because there are so many complex issues addressed in the book that to read it as one unit is to detract from some of the parts that deserve your attention and thought after you have read them. I was not enjoying the text until I broke my reading of it up into bits and pieces.
A problem I have with "This is How"' is that there are parts of the book that are too targeted to a specific subgroup to be all that interesting to the general reader. The chapter he writes on being skinny, with a heavy focus on anorexia, leaps to mind. Only if you have lived through this disease would you be even mildly interested in what he writes there. Other detractions in the text are the hackneyed moments where he creates imagined dialogues to illustrate whatever point he is making. They are mostly not good, and especially terrible is his imagined rant from an old racist. It reeks of bad television writing.
The worst chapter of the book is his chapter on abuse. It is didactic, too broad in its assumptions, and just very self serving. I would skip it.
However, I think the book has much more helpful parts than bad. The chapter entitled "How to live unhappily ever after" is by far the best chapter in the book (pages 167-170). Mr. Burroughs argument for being simply "content" with your life is profound! Also very good is the chapter "How to feel sorry for yourself" (pages 56-59). It is a complex idea very simply and succinctly stated.
Some reviewers have said that Burroughs is too harsh. He is harsh at times, but I disagree that this is a bad thing. The chapter on "dreams" (of the follow your dreams, etc. variety) is harsh and very honest. It is as honest an assessment I have ever read of this esoteric concept. In the same vein, when he writes about how to "get over" the past he is saying some powerful things that many readers may resent, but he is right.
I would recommend this text, and leave this review with some additional thoughts. The ideas on regret in this book come from the author's personal experience and spoke to me even though I don't share similarities with his situation. I think they will speak to a lot of readers. There is also a lovely digression on pages 217/18 about what miracle humans are. It is excellently done, and is an excerpt I will turn to again and again in the future.
Regardless of what you feel about the book after reading, it will have made you think and therefore I believe it is worth your time to read.
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on January 8, 2013
I had never read anything by this cat. I'd heard his name a few times, and knew of Running with Scissors.

I stumbled across this title in Powell's Books in Portland, and I read it standing in the aisles. I liked it a lot. That's really all that matters, right? If you liked it? Many disappointed folks - but most of those had read every other thing he'd written, and were perhaps expecting something else. "All suffering comes from expectation," as Buddha said. How sad for them, 'cause this book is sharp, dark and funny. And insightful. Probably will not go down to smoothly for those of the T-Ball Generation - This book is about the hard work of facing yourself, warts and all.

I was inspired to read more of his works.

Well - I was inspired, period.
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on September 13, 2012
What can i say, this book is truly amazing--- i am a straight married woman-- and could totally relate to this astonishing man. He does get a bit "all over" with his descriptions but it doesn't detract--- it DOESNT. I recommended this to all my friends and they have loved it-- You may find this weird but if you have studied philosophy of J Krishnamurthi or Eckhart Tolle -- this actually isn't so different-- yes the voice IS different, but the message is the same. Think about it before you pass judgment about anything including long held social beliefs on things-like 12 steps etc)

I loved it and I recommend it. Many of my friends (while we differed on the parts we liked etc) enjoyed it as a whole. There are certainly going to be things not everyone can relate to or agree with, it gave me pause to think about "why" i have the beliefs i have or why i have constructed certain paradigms that i had knee-jerk reactions to (the 12 steps etc) I liked that the book made me think about some things I never would have, and also re-think about many things I have already read and try and put into practice.

This book tells us many of the same things that so many philosophers have covered in depth--but Mr. Aug as a messenger will be able to reach a number of people who haven't read a lot about these things-- and that's wonderful to get it across to so many more people. The caveat : he does not mince words or write in a certain "genteel" manner which some may prefer their messages. If you want to learn something read this. but if you care about HOW you learn, then you will find fault with the author and this book.
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on June 28, 2016
Not for those who want a self-help book and not for those who need a therapy. It's for those who are not affraid of a mixture of bluntness and kindness, and irony. It is for those who like the taste of things like Fight Club or Inherent Vice. For me, there were a few moments of slight irritation (the author sometimes asserts his views quite arrogantly, but – "oh well..." – it's his book and his right), but overall I liked it and found it insightful (it is precisely why this book may be of any help). It's more on the collection of essays side than on the prescriptive self-help side. And it's not always sunny.
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on February 20, 2017
This is the best self-help audio book I have listened to! I like listening to some self-help books because sometimes I need a boost and I feel like I learn about others as well as myself. THIS book is amazing! It's not a namby pamby listen - it's in your face and I think we sometimes need that. Augusten has a nice voice and is easy to listen to in that sense. But the way he describes certain events or feelings, is really eye opening. You may not agree with him or appreciate the point that he is trying to get a cross, but that's the point! I originally borrowed it from the library and loved it so much, I now own it! I listened to The Secret quite a few times which I used to think "grounded me", but this is my NEW Secret! I learned A LOT about life from this audio book! I highly recommend it!
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on April 18, 2016
This book has help me through so much. I have always liked Augusten Burroughs straight forward and blunt advice/approach to life. This book is not meant to be cruel and if your offended by it I feel as though you may be being to sensitive. He gives tough love and realistic advice when my god daughter died from a terminal illness at four her mother gave me this book because she said it was the only thing helping her through the day. When my brother overdosed in my mother's house September 1st 2015 I also referred back to this book and it helped me to survive along with my bible.and now as my younger brother battles a terminal illness I look to this book to know Imnotalone.I bought this for my mother in the hopes it will help her with my brother's untimely death. I believe it will. Can't thank this author for sharing his story and words of wisdom
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