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Magical Thinking: True Stories

by

Magical Thinking: True Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the number-one bestselling author of Running with Scissors and Dry comes Augusten Burroughs's most eagerly anticipated collection yet: true stories that give voice to the thoughts that we all have but dare not mention.

It begins with a Tang Instant-Breakfast Drink television commercial:

"Yes, you, Augusten. You were great. We want you." I can now trace my manic adult tendencies to this moment. It was the first time I felt deeply thrilled about something just a fraction of an instant after being completely crushed. I believe those three words "We want you" were enough to cause my brain to rewire itself, and from then on, I would require more than other people.... —from "Commercial Break," in Magical Thinking.

A contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady. The execution of a rodent carried out with military precision and utter horror. Telemarketing revenge. A different kind of "roof work." Dating an undertaker who shows up in a minivan. This is the fabric of Augusten Burroughs's life: a collection of true stories that are universal in their appeal yet unabashedly intimate, stories that shine a flashlight into both dark and hilarious places. With Magical Thinking, Augusten Burroughs goes where other memoirists fear to tread.

Review:

"A psychological term, 'magical thinking' describes the belief that one exerts more influence over events than one actually does. Burroughs, who spent childhood days stepping on cracks to see if his mother's back would break, possesses a wealth of magical thought. Like Dry and Running with Scissors, this collection showcases Burroughs's sharp, funny and sometimes brilliant writing. Burroughs views his life through a lens of self-deprecation, and the result is pieces like 'My Last First Date,' describing the first time he met his current boyfriend. After only a short conversation, he fumbles into joking about his life, to the horror of his date, and realizes, 'I must ease people into the facts of me, not deposit large, undigested chunks of my history at their feet. Too much of me is toxic.' Fortunately, his companion has a high threshold for toxicity, and most readers will, too. Burroughs's smooth prose, peppered with charming and awkward moments, is occasionally reminiscent of David Sedaris and David Rakoff. But he's no imitator of those essayists. Rather, Burroughs ambles toward insight in a continual state of self-examination and just happens to have peculiar adventures along the way, like drowning a mouse in his bathtub, attending the Barbizon School of Modeling and complaining that the 'new gay thing in Manhattan' is adopting babies instead of buying shar-pei puppies. Agent, Christopher Schelling. (On sale Oct. 5)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Like fellow essayists David Sedaris and Jonathan Ames, Burroughs possesses a mind-set best described as superlatively disturbed....[A]n irresistible display of sanity hanging by a thread." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Perhaps it is Burroughs' versatility — he can write about love without being cloying, he can describe being an alcoholic without being boring, he can write about his demented family without self-pity — that makes him such a delight to read." USA Today

Review:

"A gifted satirist, Burroughs offers hilarity in the face of despair, and loyal readers of his earlier best sellers will welcome this new collection. Recommended..." Library Journal

Review:

"Burroughs' deft approach to weaving the wildly absurd and strangely touching moments of his life into sharp literary snacks makes for an entertaining afternoon on the couch, memoir in hand..." Boston Herald

Review:

"Augusten Burroughs shows why he is the memorist-of-the-moment with his harrowing and laugh-out-loud new essay collection, Magical Thinking." Vanity Fair

Review:

"(R)uthlessly funny...deliciously perverse...he extracts something funny from every shred of his own warped experience. Magical Thinking indeed (Four out of four stars)." People

Review:

"Magical Thinking is finely-honed and addicting....Burroughs deserves to be on the top shelf of any writer's — or reader's — bookshelf." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"There are few writers as outrageously magical or as surprisingly thoughtful as Augusten Burroughs." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

"As creepy and unacceptable as many of Burroughs' stories are, he's so good with the turn of a phrase or nailing down an entire subculture with one sentence that readers will nod their heads in recognition." Oregonian

Review:

"Augusten Burroughs' new memoir, Magical Thinking, explodes like a Chinese rocket in the face of the unsuspecting reader....Open the book anywhere, and chances are good you'll be hooting, if not grinning, by the end of a chapter..." Denver Post

Synopsis:

From the #1 bestselling author of Running with Scissors and Dry comes an outrageous collection of true stories.

Synopsis:

Augusten Burroughs's break-out bestseller Running with Scissors reinvented and redefined the memoir. Dry proved that he could do it again. And now, with this collection, he sets a new standard for the personal essay. Whether he's describing a contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady, the simultaneous thrill and self-disgust that comes from killing a rodent in your home, or the instinctive desire for fifteen minutes of fame in a Tang commerical, these stories give voice to thoughts we all have but dare not mention. What makes the collection so original is Augusten's sharp-eyed observations about things that are unique to him, but somehow universal to us all. Magical Thinking is contagiously funny, heart-warming, shocking, and absolutely magical.

Synopsis:

Praise for Augusten Burroughs

"A wrenching, edifying journey...with the added benefit of being really entertaining."

- The New York Times Book Review on Dry

"Beneath the quick-flowing, funny-sad surface of Burroughs's prose lurks considerable complexity."

- Time on Dry

"A great read."

- Chicago Sun-Times on Dry

"Dry is more than a heartbreaking tale; it's a heroic one."

- People on Dry

"Laughter on the road to sobriety...for aficionados of outrageous black comedy."

- The New York Times on Dry

"Bawdy, outrageous...insanely funny (quite literally)...a William Burroughs situation comedy."

- The New York Times on Running with Scissors

"Running with Scissors, as a memoir in the current conventional sense, makes a good run at blowing every other contender out of the water."

- The Washington Post on Running with Scissors

"Outrageously amusing...wait until you get a load of this guy's material.... He can consider this a fan letter. Grade A."

- Entertainment Weekly on Running with Scissors

"As funny as it is twisted."

- GQ on Running with Scissors

Synopsis:

From the number-one bestselling author of Running with Scissors and Dry comes Augusten Burroughs's most eagerly anticipated collection yet: true stories that give voice to the thoughts that we all have but dare not mention.

It begins with a Tang Instant-Breakfast Drink television commercial:

"Yes, you, Augusten. You were great. We want you." I can now trace my manic adult tendencies to this moment. It was the first time I felt deeply thrilled about something just a fraction of an instant after being completely crushed. I believe those three words "We want you" were enough to cause my brain to rewire itself, and from then on, I would require more than other people....- from Magical Thinking's "Commercial Break"

A contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady. The execution of a rodent carried out with military precision and utter horror. Telemarketing revenge. A different kind of "roof work." Dating an undertaker who shows up in a minivan. This is the fabric of Augusten Burroughs's life: a collection of true stories that are universal in their appeal yet unabashedly intimate, stories that shine a flashlight into both dark and hilarious places. With Magical Thinking, Augusten Burroughs goes where other memoirists fear to tread.

About the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the New York Times bestselling author of Dry, Running with Scissors, and Sellevision. He is currently finishing his next collection of essays, while working on a holiday book. In the summer of 2004, Augusten signed a new contract with his current publisher, ensuring many additional future books. Assuming, of course, a wayward bus doesn't come along with other plans for the author. He lives in New York City and Amherst, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312315948
Subtitle:
True Stories
Author:
Burroughs, Augusten
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Novelists, American
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
General Humor
Subject:
Novelists, American -- 20th century.
Subject:
Burroughs, Augusten
Subject:
Form - Essays
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
October 5, 2004
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 CDs, 9 hours
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.6 x 5.68 x 1.11 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Magical Thinking: True Stories Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312315948 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A psychological term, 'magical thinking' describes the belief that one exerts more influence over events than one actually does. Burroughs, who spent childhood days stepping on cracks to see if his mother's back would break, possesses a wealth of magical thought. Like Dry and Running with Scissors, this collection showcases Burroughs's sharp, funny and sometimes brilliant writing. Burroughs views his life through a lens of self-deprecation, and the result is pieces like 'My Last First Date,' describing the first time he met his current boyfriend. After only a short conversation, he fumbles into joking about his life, to the horror of his date, and realizes, 'I must ease people into the facts of me, not deposit large, undigested chunks of my history at their feet. Too much of me is toxic.' Fortunately, his companion has a high threshold for toxicity, and most readers will, too. Burroughs's smooth prose, peppered with charming and awkward moments, is occasionally reminiscent of David Sedaris and David Rakoff. But he's no imitator of those essayists. Rather, Burroughs ambles toward insight in a continual state of self-examination and just happens to have peculiar adventures along the way, like drowning a mouse in his bathtub, attending the Barbizon School of Modeling and complaining that the 'new gay thing in Manhattan' is adopting babies instead of buying shar-pei puppies. Agent, Christopher Schelling. (On sale Oct. 5)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Like fellow essayists David Sedaris and Jonathan Ames, Burroughs possesses a mind-set best described as superlatively disturbed....[A]n irresistible display of sanity hanging by a thread."
"Review" by , "Perhaps it is Burroughs' versatility — he can write about love without being cloying, he can describe being an alcoholic without being boring, he can write about his demented family without self-pity — that makes him such a delight to read."
"Review" by , "A gifted satirist, Burroughs offers hilarity in the face of despair, and loyal readers of his earlier best sellers will welcome this new collection. Recommended..."
"Review" by , "Burroughs' deft approach to weaving the wildly absurd and strangely touching moments of his life into sharp literary snacks makes for an entertaining afternoon on the couch, memoir in hand..."
"Review" by , "Augusten Burroughs shows why he is the memorist-of-the-moment with his harrowing and laugh-out-loud new essay collection, Magical Thinking."
"Review" by , "(R)uthlessly funny...deliciously perverse...he extracts something funny from every shred of his own warped experience. Magical Thinking indeed (Four out of four stars)."
"Review" by , "Magical Thinking is finely-honed and addicting....Burroughs deserves to be on the top shelf of any writer's — or reader's — bookshelf."
"Review" by , "There are few writers as outrageously magical or as surprisingly thoughtful as Augusten Burroughs."
"Review" by , "As creepy and unacceptable as many of Burroughs' stories are, he's so good with the turn of a phrase or nailing down an entire subculture with one sentence that readers will nod their heads in recognition."
"Review" by , "Augusten Burroughs' new memoir, Magical Thinking, explodes like a Chinese rocket in the face of the unsuspecting reader....Open the book anywhere, and chances are good you'll be hooting, if not grinning, by the end of a chapter..."
"Synopsis" by , From the #1 bestselling author of Running with Scissors and Dry comes an outrageous collection of true stories.
"Synopsis" by , Augusten Burroughs's break-out bestseller Running with Scissors reinvented and redefined the memoir. Dry proved that he could do it again. And now, with this collection, he sets a new standard for the personal essay. Whether he's describing a contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady, the simultaneous thrill and self-disgust that comes from killing a rodent in your home, or the instinctive desire for fifteen minutes of fame in a Tang commerical, these stories give voice to thoughts we all have but dare not mention. What makes the collection so original is Augusten's sharp-eyed observations about things that are unique to him, but somehow universal to us all. Magical Thinking is contagiously funny, heart-warming, shocking, and absolutely magical.
"Synopsis" by ,
Praise for Augusten Burroughs

"A wrenching, edifying journey...with the added benefit of being really entertaining."

- The New York Times Book Review on Dry

"Beneath the quick-flowing, funny-sad surface of Burroughs's prose lurks considerable complexity."

- Time on Dry

"A great read."

- Chicago Sun-Times on Dry

"Dry is more than a heartbreaking tale; it's a heroic one."

- People on Dry

"Laughter on the road to sobriety...for aficionados of outrageous black comedy."

- The New York Times on Dry

"Bawdy, outrageous...insanely funny (quite literally)...a William Burroughs situation comedy."

- The New York Times on Running with Scissors

"Running with Scissors, as a memoir in the current conventional sense, makes a good run at blowing every other contender out of the water."

- The Washington Post on Running with Scissors

"Outrageously amusing...wait until you get a load of this guy's material.... He can consider this a fan letter. Grade A."

- Entertainment Weekly on Running with Scissors

"As funny as it is twisted."

- GQ on Running with Scissors

"Synopsis" by ,
From the number-one bestselling author of Running with Scissors and Dry comes Augusten Burroughs's most eagerly anticipated collection yet: true stories that give voice to the thoughts that we all have but dare not mention.

It begins with a Tang Instant-Breakfast Drink television commercial:

"Yes, you, Augusten. You were great. We want you." I can now trace my manic adult tendencies to this moment. It was the first time I felt deeply thrilled about something just a fraction of an instant after being completely crushed. I believe those three words "We want you" were enough to cause my brain to rewire itself, and from then on, I would require more than other people....- from Magical Thinking's "Commercial Break"

A contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady. The execution of a rodent carried out with military precision and utter horror. Telemarketing revenge. A different kind of "roof work." Dating an undertaker who shows up in a minivan. This is the fabric of Augusten Burroughs's life: a collection of true stories that are universal in their appeal yet unabashedly intimate, stories that shine a flashlight into both dark and hilarious places. With Magical Thinking, Augusten Burroughs goes where other memoirists fear to tread.

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