bluebugdream, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by bluebugdream)
Never has a journey through a narrator's dysfunctional family life sparkled with such naked candor and wicked humor. Easily my favorite read from the last decade.
crowyhead, July 2, 2008 (view all comments by crowyhead)
A lot of people have told me this memoir is "hilarious." This kind of makes me wince. Yeah, parts of it are funny, but for the most part, it's funny in that "if I don't laugh I'll recognize the true horror of this situation" sort of way. Well-written, but nauseating.
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Madeline, October 15, 2006 (view all comments by Madeline)
Burroughs' book is remarkably funny. But, given his upbringing, it could almost only be funny. A life story such as the one told in "Running With Scissors" will either be hilarious or tragic, and Burroughs chose hilarity. That's to his credit - the story is too ludicrous to be believed as a tragedy. Burroughs' writing is compared to David Sedaris', but their accomplishments are not the same. Sedaris is probably the better writer, because his family is so apparently normal. Burroughs' "family" are anything but. You don't have to search very hard to find the humor inherent in the situation.
That said, the narrative voice is entertaining. Burroughs manages to keep the reader compelled and interested in his faintly repulsive cast of characters. He even manages to make them sympathetic human beings most of the time. All in all, an imperfect book, but one still worth the money.
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Tracy, October 1, 2006 (view all comments by Tracy)
I could not put this book down. Augusten Burroughs tells the true story of his disfunctional childhood in a way that makes you feel that you are right there next to him. It is fortunate that they are making this into a movie (for those who don't read). But if you are on this website, you obviously DO read, so don't miss out on this book!
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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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