From the million-copy best-selling author of Running with Scissors comes Augusten Burrough's most provocative collection yet.
©2006 Island Road, LLC; (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"No one is funnier or more perceptive." (Publishers Weekly)
"Irreverence done to an amusing turn." (Booklist)
But wow, what a let down. The publishers summary was more cleverly written than the book itself. I really should have read the reviews and not just checked the rating before forking out the audi-credit for this one.
I had a friend download this for something funny to listen to one night during a long car trip. After 2 short stories and several half-stories that we just couldn't make it through, we decided instead to drive the rest of the radio-waveless wilderness in complete silence. It was that bad. Eventually we found a garbled classic-country music station and both felt better about the whole experience.
To start off, the author states that Some of the events happened as stated, others were expanded and changed. Some of the individuals portrayed are composites of more than one person and many names and identifying characteristics have been changed as well. I wasn't sure if this was just dry humor but with those restrictions up front, I thought, This has to be an outrageous book! This author is published and successful and because he is making something up out of nothing or almost nothing, I expected a lot more than I got. The stories I listened to reminded me of a conversation with a pathological liar talking about what 'interesting' (i.e. boring) and nearly unbelievable chain of events happened to him last weekend. I can enjoy a book about the nothings of life, but this was ridiculous.
I have a couple years worth of titles from Audible.com and so far this is the only one that if I could, I would ask for a refund. This is also the first one I've ever written a review for, but maybe it will help someone.
I did not make it through the whole book! This is my opinion after listening to a little less than half the book. There may be some gem in there that I missed. If you read it and love it, please write a review.
The cover claims not to listen while you operate machinery, etcetera, etcetera, and the book actually lives up to its dust jacket. It was as entertaining as it claimed to be, though it wasn't packed with hilarity it was entertaining and moving in some part. I had no idea when I bought it that it was a collection of short stories and I usually don't get into books like that, but once I got into listening to this book, I thought it was definitely worth the price.
I didn't know what to expect with this book and what I got was the rambling of a gay alcoholic hypochondriac. Fortunately alot of it was very funny and interesting. I found the beginning a bit slow but it got better a few chapters in stayed that way for the remainder.
I was somewhat disappointed in Augusten's latest collection. There didn't appear to be any unifying factor to the pieces, and some seemed to be repetitive of earlier offerings. Still, a less than perfect August Burroughs pleases the senses more than many first rate hacks of modern storytelling.
This book was especially enjoyable with the author's personal deadpan delivery. I did think that at the end of some of the essays, the punch line or conclusion was a little unsatisfying. But nevertheless the last piece was flawless and the last line totally worth the wait.
I have never heard an author read his own work more poorly. I could only listen to the first 5 minutes due to the choppiness of his reading. This book must be a better read than is a listen.
I really enjoyed this book, the way he writes is so funny and his melodramatic statements make you love him ('was this special premium extra-ply tissue? No? it seemed British people ALWAYS use tissues this soft!') as do some of the stories he tells (his fear of the tooth fairy). I also liked that each chapter was a pretty much unrelated story so dipping in and out meant you lost no continuity.
The only downside is that the narrator sounds bored when he reads, which detracts from the clever writing. Shame, since he's the author too and should have been more enthusiastic
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