The only thing more appalling than the horrific family events Burroughs recounts is the cloying, narcissistic, self-cherishing way Burroughs narrates. Every word is lovingly wrapped in self-admiring cotton ("I wrote this word!" "I chose this word!" "I can't believe myself!"), which is not only tiring: it breaks the flow of narration. I was finally able to accommodate myself to this unnecessarily drawn-out style of speaking, and the book manages to come through as a sad, frightening and sympathetic self-portrait.
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