In chronicling the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, Augusten Burroughs examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust & Wonder is an intimate and honest memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for.
©2016 Augusten Inc. (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
"Burroughs has lived this story, so his delivery perfectly matches the tone and pacing needed. Focusing on a series of failed relationships, Burroughs lets his voice rise in both tension and tenor as he analyzes the reasons, with help from analysis, that some relationships work and others are doomed by the personal quirks of both people." (AudioFile)
Let me preface this by saying that I was so excited to see a new Augusten Burroughs book coming out, that I actually put a note in my calendar to purchase this title on the release date. That said, this book was a huge disappointment. This book reads like a series of long journal entries, but not in an intimate or entertaining way. Rather, it feels like the author sits in front of his computer all day (he actually admits as much) and then writes down EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT that comes into his mind. Some of it is funny, mostly because the author is a very funny writer, but much of it feels like a big, "So what?" For example, long sections detailing conversations about nothing that go nowhere. Dog walks, boring dates, random thoughts -- all of these are given equal weight. Additionally, there is much too much here that is rehashed from previous books, notably "DRY."
Toward the end, he writes that he has squandered much of his fortune on online shopping. This is funny (for the reader) and also well within bounds for the Augusten Burroughs many of us have grown to love over the years. BUT long before he revealed his financial problems, I found myself wondering if this book was simply a way for him to make a quick buck. There is simply no story here -- nothing at all that needs to be told. The Brilliantly Offbeat New York Gay Writer Who Dates has been done much better by others.
The author also admits that he has not read a book in 10 years. Unfortunately for the reader, this lack of interest in anything other than himself and his endless navel gazing shows. His self-absorption has been done to great comic effect in past books, but now it just feels tired. For the first time ever in reading one of his books, I felt a bit sorry for the people in his orbit -- it's not his "crazy" that is tiring, it's his narcissistic self interest.
Augusten being AUGUSTEN has always been my favorite character...at least until now.
Augusten's performance is always good. He knows how to read his own writing and wring out the funny bits for all they are worth.
My opinions won't prevent die-hard fans from purchasing this title. That's ok, because die-hard fans will probably find something to love here (I did get a few laughs out of it). But if you are not already a fan or this is your first outing with Augusten Burroughs, I would suggest that you read almost any one of his other books first (though maybe not "Wolf at the Table").
Avid listener on my daily commute!
Man, can these two brothers (Augusten Burroughs and the author of Switched On, John Elder Robison) write! This book was my first Burroughs; I've never even read "Running With Scissors," although having enjoyed this one so much, I plan to listen to that book next. Burroughs has a somewhat snarky tone that takes a few minutes to get used to, and occasionally, although he's reading his own words, he reads as if unfamiliar with the material (listening at 1.25x speed helps). But once you realize how hilarious he is--sort of a cross between David Sedaris and classic hetero bad-boyfriend storyteller Matthew Klam--and see how many of his relationship issues and observations have universal applications we can ALL relate to, you'll love it. You'll laugh out loud, you'll cry, you'll hear a firsthand 9/11 story and a genuinely impossible-but-true happy ending, and above all, you'll never look at gemstones the same way again.
Other people have said it; it just sounds like he is rehashing his failed relationships over and over again. His personality, which I once found really quirky and funny, just came off as immature and bitchy.
I really liked Dry so was excited to try another Burrows. This one was tedious and made me want to shout "if you're so unhappy in this relationship just get out already!" I think there's only so much in one person's life that can be made into memoir. That said, I do like Burrows writing and will likely listen to another!
Open and precise, but never self-indulgent, a gorgeous, finely crafted portrayal of how who we are and what was done to us shapes how we love, and how we let others love us. Was delighted by the (happy) ending!
How can you not love Augusten's writing? In his narrative you'll laugh sometimes and cringe at others. It takes a truly gifted author to be able to bring out characters that remind you both of people you know and of yourself.
I hated when this book was over and look forward to what he gives us next.
Not sure I like this man, as "real" and self-actualized as he may be. He certainly makes some useful observations about life, but he is such a navel-gazer, it is difficult to imagine applying much of it to one's own life. Cautionary tale to be careful how you treat yourself and others if for no other reason than to avoid deluding yourself into believing you are really a good person just because you found "true love" after behaving abominably.
A reader of biographies, history, and other non-fiction
I loved Augusten's DRY which had a story and a point, but this latest opus is just stringing on words. He is a gifted wordsmith, but after a while you realize there is nothing there, no story, just a flow of words. Half-way through the book I began skipping forward - first by 30 seconds, then by 5 minutes, then by chapters.
Hearing him read his own work is very intimate. You feel like you just ran into an old friend after not seeing them for 20 years.
Augusten Burroughs' new novel is a treat for his longtime fans. It's his most personal and honest writing so far. It's not as lurid as Running With Scissors or as inspiring as Dry. It's meant for people like me, who love his voice and can't get enough of his writing. He narrated the audiobook so it makes it seem even more intimate.
Insightful. Entertaining. Inspiring.
Augusten, of course.
I have all of his audiobooks, so I suppose it's the familiarity of his voice. Aside from that, I love when he makes fun of an uptight/tedious person's take on things, like a couple taking an entire dinner party to describe opening a jar of pickles.
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