Annams, December 30, 2011 (view all comments by Annams)
The author's memoir, Running With Scissors, is a personal account of his life growing up with his mother's psychologist. At twelve years old, Augusten Burroughs, formerly known as Chris Robinson, finds himself living with this unorthodox family after his mother tells him she must focus on her writing rather than be a good mother to her 13 year old son, who she believes is distracting. Despite the slightly horrifying stories that make up this memoir, Burroughs' writing style is interesting and humorous, making this a great read.
Some readers may find that this memoir is full of grotesque stories that could appear to be made up, and according to the lawsuit filed against Burroughs in 2005, they are. However, by looking past this and instead focusing on the author's growth as a writer and an individual, it is clear he has become a free thinker who is confident in his notions about life. Initially, he was a young boy obsessed with his dreams and his hair, but by the end, he is an adult who is aware that he has the ability to make his own decisions.
I found this memoir to be extremely riveting. Yes, the stories within the story are often disgusting and sad, but overall, I thought it was a fantastic book. The author reels you in from the opening chapters and continues to engross you in his childhood tales. I often asked myself while reading, “Did that really just happen?” This book is definitely for a mature audience, but anyone falling into that category can enjoy it.
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conneroz, January 19, 2010 (view all comments by conneroz)
Excellent book. Full of experiences that are twisted to the point that many people can actually relate to them. A nice change from the banal cookie cutter life that doesn't really exist and few can ever connect with. Great work as usual from Augusten Burroughs.
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ameliajustice48, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by ameliajustice48)
This book is great. Well written, compelling, and funny as hell. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to laugh, cry, and realize that their family is not as crazy as they think.
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Picador USA -
by Carolyn See, The Washington Post,
"[H]ilarious, freaky-deaky, berserk, controlled, transcendent, touching, affectionate, vengeful, all-embracing."
by GENRE magazine,
"If you love Sedaris, you'll fold over laughing with Running with Scissors, a witty and hilarious memoir."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"Burroughs rises above the standard...by making all these people, cuckoo clocks that they are, human and knowable."
by Publishers Weekly,
"Beautifully written with a finely tuned sense of style and wit...this memoir of a nightmarish youth is both compulsively entertaining and tremendously provocative."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"A memoir that is both horrifying and mordantly funny....[It] just might be the most aptly titled book ever written."
by Los Angeles Times,
"[A] hilarious and horrifying memoir."
by Gillian Engberg, Booklist,
"Edgier but reminiscent of Dave Eggers' Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, this is a survival story readers won't forget."
by Library Journal,
"Burroughs has written an entertaining yet horrifying account that isn't for the squeamish: the scatological content and explicit homosexual episodes may limit its appeal. Recommended for the adventurous seeking an unsettling experience among the grotesque."
by Elle magazine,
"[A]n American Grotesque....[T]hat the tale is true only adds to the hilarity — and the horror."
by New York magazine,
"[S]howing off a dark wit that often rivals that of David Sedaris."
by Kurt Andersen, author of Turn of the Century,
"Burroughs has produced a memoir that's funny and sharp, but also humane...as charming as it is revealing."
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