Augusten Burroughs is the #1 "New York Times" bestselling author of "Dry, ""Magical Thinking, " and, most recently, "Possible Side Effects, " which were also "New York Times" bestsellers. Augusten has been named one of the fifteen funniest people in America by "Entertainment Weekly." He lives in New York City and western Massachusetts.
As fiction, novelist Burroughs's memoir might not have ascended to best-seller status, but as autobiography it sanctions rubbernecking at the scene of madness and X-rated relationships. The author's coming of age begins at 12 when his divorced mother sends him to live with her psychiatrist (one longs to verify this crackpot's diploma), his wife and children, and a few live-in mental patients. Neither wacky nor beguiling, this unwholesome coven exposes Burroughs to sodomy, child abuse and endangerment, animal cruelty, roaches, filth, and an abundance of feces. Like watching someone else's child running with scissors but being unable to intervene, the listener feels compelled to escort this cheerful child to the safety of the last page. Read by Burroughs, who understands the best placement of inflection and nuance, this work is highly recommended for most libraries.-Judith Robinson, Univ. at Buffalo, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Nobody ever told me what to do, so why did I always feel so trapped?" questions Burroughs (Sellevision), in this flawless audio adaptation of his alternately riotous and heartbreaking memoir. At age 11, when the mood of his family home changed from one of "mere hatred to potential double homicide," Burroughs found himself abandoned by his unemotional, professor father and chain-smoking, wannabe-poet mother. Dumped at his parents' psychiatrist's roach-infested Victorian home, which contained enough confusion to keep his mind off the fact that his parents didn't want him, the author recalls in a voice as mutable and unique as his unconventional childhood the bizarre details of daily life in a home where bowel movements were seen as messages from God, staged suicides were a means of quitting school and sexual relationships between boys and middle-aged men were deemed acceptable. Infusing each character with personality, Burroughs most brilliantly captures his mother's distinctive Southern inflection with a voice that sounds like its been through a curling iron and the booming, deep voice of the shrink who adopted him. Despite the often heavy content, Burroughs alleviates this gravity with his unwavering sarcasm and humor, further enhanced by his knack for employing kitschy cultural references to the 1970s and '80s. Based on the St. Martin's hardcover. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
""Running with Scissors" is hilarious, freaky-deaky, berserk, controlled, transcendent, touching, affectionate, vengeful, all-embracing. . . . It makes a good run at blowing every other [memoir] out of the water."--Carolyn See, "The Washington Post" "["Running with Scissors"] promotes visceral responses (of laughter, wincing, retching) on nearly every page. . . . Funny and rich with child's-eye details of adults who have gone off the rails."--"The New York Times Book Review" "It is as funny as it is twisted."--"GQ" "A hilarious and horrifying memoir."--"Los Angeles Times" "The anecdotes can be so flippant, and so insanely funny (quite literally), that the effect is that of a William Burroughs situation comedy."--"The New York Times" "Burroughs defies the 'woe is me' stigma of modern memoir with a raucous recounting of his loony teenage years."--"Entertainment Weekly" (grade: A) "A memoir that is both horrifying and mordantly funny."--"San Francisco Chronicle" "Wickedly, ridiculously funny."--"Boston Herald" "Reads like David Sedaris writing "The Hotel New Hampshire.""--"The Boston Globe""" "Burroughs has memorialized his bizarre childhood, showing off a dark wit that often rivals that of David Sedaris--while telling a true story that would make even Sedaris cringe."--"New York" "Screamingly funny . . . In the end, the book celebrates Burroughs's resilient, upbeat spirit, which helps him surmount one of the weirder childhoods on record."--Deirdre Donahue, "USA"" Today" "["Running with Scissors"] will transport you."--"Vogue"" ""Irreverent, scurrilous, profane, licentious, horrific, and vile. It'll warp your mind, upset the neighbors, and lower your standing in the community. In other words, it's funny as hell."--"Elle "(Nonfiction Book of the Year) "Written with humor and clear affection for its oddball characters, "Running with Scissors "is a story of shocking discovery and unlikely survival."--"The Onion"" """Running with Scissors" is Dave Peltzer with a whoopee cushion attached . . . you're just thankful to read a memoir that's genuinely memorable, not mawkish."--"The Observer "(London) ""Running with Scissors" is a story so strange it could never be fiction . . . a huge critical and commercial success . . . deftly written, smart, and funny."--"GQ" (UK) "A lasting treasure a gorgeously written true-life story destined to be cherished and quoted long after its last page is read . . . bravely stands as a life-affirming survival guide for all the misfits of the world."--"The ""Tampa"" Tribune"" ""It's gross, it's shocking and its humor is blacker than a thousand midnights . . . But this hilarious, provocative, and oddly touching book draws you into a bizarre world and keeps you rooting for its unusual narrator to survive, thrive, and break free."--"The ""Hartford"" Courant"" ""Brutal, disturbing, and often wildly funny . . . a stirring testament to a boy's strength in an environment of unfathomable heartache and dysfunction."--"Star Tribune" "A surreal and entertaining trip through a young life most readers will thank God wasn't theirs . . . Burroughs never lets his readers forget that stuck in the middle of all the madness is a confused boy."--"The Plain Dealer "(Cleveland) "Bound to please fans of dark humor . . . Burroughs's account, full of frightening and hilarious images, is an entertaining, moving tale of an unconventional 1980s coming of age. It could be the one book you remember reading this summer."--"Fort Worth"" Star-Telegram"" ""If you love Sedaris, you'll fold over laughing with "Running with Scissors.""--"Genre"" ""Burroughs tempers the pathos with sharp, riotous humor . . . Edgier, but reminiscent of Dave Eggers's "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, "this is a survival story readers won't forget."--"Booklist"" ""Beautifully written with a finely tuned sense of style and wit . . . This memoir of a nightmarish youth is both compulsively entertaining and tremendously provocative."--"Publishers Weekly"" ""A grotesque comic merger of John Waters and David Sedaris."--"Kirkus Reviews"