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You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

by

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas Cover

ISBN13: 9780312341916
ISBN10: 0312341911
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Excerpt

Its not that I was an outright nitwit of a child. Its that the things even a nitwit could do with little or no instruction often confused me. Simple, everyday sorts of things tripped me up. Stacking metal chairs, for example. Everybody in class just seemed to know exactly how to fold the seat up into the back and then nest them all together like Prin­gles potato chips. I sat on the floor for ten minutes with one of the things as if somebody had told me to just stare at it. Concentrate hard, Augusten, try and turn it into an eggplant with your mind. You can do it! The other children appeared to be born with some sort of innate knowledge, as though the action of fold­ing and stacking child-size metal school chairs was gene tically encoded within each of them, like finger­nails or a sigmoid colon.

I seemed to lack the ability to comprehend the obvi­ous. From the very beginning there had been warning signs.

Like every kid just starting school, I had to memo­rize the Pledge of Allegiance—something that would in many towns today be considered prayer and therefore forbidden; akin to forcing a child to drink the blood of a sacrificial goat or unfurl a Tabriz prayer rug and kneel barefoot on it while facing Mecca.

While I managed to learn the words, memorizing isnt the same as understanding. And of course I was never tested on the meaning of the pledge. It must have sim­ply been taken for granted that even the dimmest child would easily grasp the meaning of a phrase such as I pledge allegiance, especially when that phrase was spoken while standing at strict attention and facing the Ameri­can flag, hand in a salute above the heart. There was so little room for misinterpretation. It was the Pledge of Allegiance, not Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret.

Still. If one of the teachers had asked me to explain the meaning of those words—which I chanted parrot- minded and smiling each morning—they certainly would have been shocked to hear me admit that while I didnt know exactly what it was about, I knew it had something to do with Pledge, the same furniture polish my mother used and that always, inexplicably, made me feel sunny. So each morning as I spoke those hallowed words, it was the bright yellow can with the glowing lem­ony scent that I pictured.

 
Excerpted from You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs.

Copyright © 2009 by Island Road, LLC.

Published in November 2009 by St. Martin's Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction

is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or

medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Denise Morland, December 21, 2009 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
This is my favorite Augusten Burroughs book yet! I was a little skeptical at first. The book starts with some of his darkest stories from his childhood and early days as an alcoholic. They are fascinating in the way a train wreck is, you just can't bring yourself to look away. Slowly, as you work your way through the book, the stories begin to change as Augusten's idea of Christmas evolves. There is the Christmas a group of homeless people take him in, look after him, and teach him to accept help from others. The book ends with two truly heartwarming stories about taking care of an HIV positive boyfriend and dealing with a flood. Make no mistake, the hilarious, sarcastic humor is still there, but added is a real love for himself and the people around him. There was more depth of feeling and true emotion in some of these stories than I've ever seen in Augusten's other books. You Better Not Cry is the perfect holiday collection - you will definitely laugh, you might even shed a tear or two, and you'll end feeling strangely better about Christmas and what it means.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312341916
Subtitle:
Stories for Christmas
Author:
Burroughs, Augusten
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Novelists, American -- 20th century.
Subject:
Burroughs, Augusten
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
American wit and humor
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20091027
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 CDs; 6 hrs
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.12 x 4.63 x 0.655 in

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You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas Used Hardcover
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$5.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312341916 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Burroughs's holiday-themed memoir lacks the consistent emotional intensity of his earlier work, despite a few gems. Arranged roughly chronologically, the vignettes begin with concrete Christmas memories (preparing a detailed, multipart list of desired presents in 'Claus and Effect') and move toward musings on the spirit of the holiday (facing a flooded house with an atheist partner in 'Silent Night'). While the childhood stories have Burroughs's trademark dry wit — he once gnawed the face off a life-size Saint Nick made of wax — they aren't particularly memorable. It's when he turns his attention to the less tangible essence of the holiday that the writing comes alive, especially in the final two pieces, 'The Best and Only Everything' and 'Silent Night.' In the former, Burroughs (Running with Scissors) remembers a long-ago Christmas spent with a former lover dying of AIDS and in the latter, which takes place a decade later, he describes dealing not only with a burst water pipe but also feeling ready to celebrate the season with a tree for the first time since the death of his old boyfriend." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The popular Burroughs (A Wolf at the Table) returns with a collection of seven short stories tied together by the Christmas season that ring with his signature dark comedic style."
"Review" by , "Another winner from a master of comic timing and poignant reflection."
"Synopsis" by , In this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection, Burroughs recounts Christmases past and present as only he can. With gimlet-eyed wit and illuminated prose, the author shows how the holidays bring out the worst — and sometimes the very best — in people.
"Synopsis" by ,
With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, the very, very best.
"Synopsis" by ,
Youve eaten too much candy at Christmas…but have you ever eaten the face off a six-footstuffed Santa? Youve seen gingerbread houses…but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? Youve woken up with a hangover…but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.
"Synopsis" by ,
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER about Christmases past and present from the #1 bestselling author of Running with Scissors, Dry, and A Wolf at the Table

At eight years old, Augusten Burroughs profoundly misunderstood the meaning of Christmas. Now proving himself once more "a master of making tragedy funny" (The Miami Herald), he shows how the holidays can bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very best. From the author described in USA Today as "one of the most compelling and screamingly funny voices of the new century" comes a book about surviving the holiday we love to hate, and hate to love.

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