A Wolf at the Table is the story of Augusten's relationship with his father, John Robison, Sr., a man only briefly touched upon in Running With Scissors. Told with shocking honesty and penetrating insight, A Wolf at the Table is more than the companion volume to Running with Scissors - it's a story of stunning psychological cruelty and the redemptive power of hope.
Featuring exclusive, all new original songs by Patti Smith, Sea Wolf, Ingrid Michaelson, and Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara.
Listen to Running with Scissors.
©2008 Island Road, LLC (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
"There are books that were born for bells and whistles, and Augusten Burroughs's A Wolf at the Table is one....This fifth memoir of abuse and excess is read, bleated, rumbled and, at times, tearfully shouted by the author himself. The audio book...breaks new ground by presenting four songs written expressly for the production." (The Washington Post)
"Intense, sincere, and passionate, Burroughs offers a deeply felt, intimate portrait of the most disastrous period in his life. He holds nothing back, and in fully giving voice to his emotions, he makes each moment immediate for the listener." (AudioFile)
I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
I've enjoyed his writing style and comedic take on a painful upbringing - up til now. This is apparently his memories from being the most embellishing, whining child on earth. it doesn't feel as if there's any humanity or understanding just the view of a child who by all description isn't very likable or seeing the whole truth. Self pitying. whining. And I have to say, sadly disappointing perhaps because it's through his own voice that it feels disingenuous. Not something that truly presents the "monster" or the "victim" of a cruel childhood - just a lot of words.
I have listened to all of his books, and this one is quite different. The narration is a little heavy in the beginning, and I'm sure that will put a lot of people off. As the story of a boy trying to make sense of a crazy life and an unfortunate set of parents, it is extremely powerful. By the end, I was crying and the hair was standing up on my arms. I can tell you that I gave my own son an extra big hug that night! I'm very glad I stuck with it.
A Wonderful World
If someone wants to they can write a book about anything they want to. A publisher, if they want to, can publish whatever book they want to. A consumer can purchase, if they want, whatever book they want to. That is how things come to be sometimes. This is a book that should never have been written, should never have been published and I should never have purchased.
The subject matter attracted me to the book since I lived with a real Wolf at the Table. Many reviewers warned that this book was not worth buying. I thought to myself, I just had to read it to see if it was like what I went through with my father. Also, I wanted to see if it was as bad as some had written or if they just did not understand. I do not mind the authors writing style, how he reads his material or the songs. In fact, I liked all of those things. What I did not like at all and was actually offended by, was Mr. Burroughs interpretation of a bad father and his interpretation of how bad his father was towards him.
Let me explain. Suppose there was a scale to measure a fathers parenting and supposes the scale ran from -10 for an extremely bad father to 10 for the best of fathers. On that scale I would rate Mr. Burroughs father as a 1 and I would rate my experiences with my father as a -6. I know living with my father was horrendous but I also know that some people have suffered far greater than I did. I at least have some perspective on this subject, Mr. Burroughs has none or he would have been too embarrassed to write this book. Too embarrassed because so many others have suffered so much more. It would be like a soldier whining about the terrible desk job he had to suffer through during the war while others that actually saw battle had all their limbs blown off along with their balls. It is sad when anyone suffers but Mr. Burroughs comes across as a spoiled whining brat. Oh if he only truly knew of what he speaks, he would never have spoken.
The tempo and pace of the book is unusual but warranted. Burroughs matches a childlike wonder with curiosity, and utilizes appropriate timing and dictation to accentuate necessary and deliberate points.
Burroughs has written a masterful memorial of his childhood in relation to his father, and you can feel the pain, missed opportunities, and longing from his voice.
A wonderful work.
The writing is fabulous. The content is horrifying.
My most memorable moment was when I couldn't stand the story any longer and had to quit listening. It's beautifully written, but I couldn't finish the book because it was breaking my heart and scaring the blazes out of me.
The story here is very heartbreaking as it is true life. The songs at the end we're good. Sometimes the narration was hard to listen to especially in the beginning. Good book!
Listening to an audio book narrated by the author, in the tone in which it was intended, is an interesting experience. In this case, I found it essential. The author takes us through his childhood, a very honest and raw perspective. This was my first experience with Burroughs, and it is certainly far from my last.
I have to mention the cover design, by Chip Kidd, is such an accurate reflexion of the tone of this book. Very powerful.
I am an avid reader of Augusten's works, many of them I've enjoyed multiple times, and this one shifted my entire perspective. This novel was haunting and riveting, an amazing performance by the author and the other artists involved. Incredible!
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