I'm a huge fan of Burroughs. Like most, I first discovered him through his mega-selling "Running with Scissors." I quickly devoured his hysterical novel "Sellevision." I was less impressed with his memoir "Dry," but fell in love all over again when I read his true story collection "Magical Thinking." "Possible Side Effects" is more dry than magical, and shows the author at a crossroads. Though consistently amusing, many pieces in this new collection seem forced and find the author overreaching for a laugh, while still others feel deriviative of those previously published, or rather they seem as though they may have been leftovers - stories that didn't quite make the "Magical" cut.
Still there are many rewards in "Possible Side Effects." My two favorites in this collection were: "The Georgia Thumper," which focuses on the troubled relationship between the young Burroughs and his paternal grandmother; and "The Forecast for Sommer," which is some of the strongest prose writing yet from this author. Deeply felt, though unsentimental, "The Forecast for Sommer" betrays the author's talent for dramatic, melancholy writing and provides a promising glimpse into his future and better things to come.