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Running with Scissors Audiobook
Running with Scissors
Written by: 
Augusten Burroughs
Narrated by: 
Augusten Burroughs
Running with Scissors Audiobook

Running with Scissors: A Memoir

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Publisher's Summary

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of being Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain.

Suddenly, at age 12, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian house in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules. There was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things went dull, there was always the vintage electroshock-therapy machine under the stairs...

Running with Scissors is at turns foul and harrowing, compelling and maniacally funny. But above all, it is a truly amazing chronicle of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.

©2002 Augusten Burroughs; (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a Division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Non-Fiction, 2003

"Beautifully written with a finely tuned sense of style...this memoir of a nightmarish youth is both compulsively entertaining and tremendously provocative." (Publishers Weekly)
"Sharp, riotous humor...deeply affecting...this is a survival story readers won't forget." (Booklist)
"Bawdy, outrageous, often hilarious." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (1204 )
5 star
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3.8 (412 )
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4.0 (411 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    James Denton, TX, USA 02-18-07
    James Denton, TX, USA 02-18-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "From the Real Side"

    As a psychiatrist who has treated two people in my metropolitan area who lived with their psychiatist in the 60's, this is not fiction. It is told with Burroughs' tough, but funny humor. He has found a way to transform his tragic circumstances in a way that others can understand, using the with and humor that must have been part of his survival!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Plainfield, VT, United States 11-25-06
    Rebecca Plainfield, VT, United States 11-25-06 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for me"

    I read a previous review about this book being gross, and thought the reviewer was maybe a little narrow minded. Congratulating myself on being worldly wise, I pressed the download button, but you know what this book really is gross. I am not sure if I was more disturbed by the unhygenic kitchen conditions or the authors 'supposed to be amusing description's' of his 14 year old self being coerced to have anal sex with his much older boyfriend. This could have been a very heroic portrayal of triumph coming from an abusive childhood - but the author tried write humorously about some things that just arent humorous however clever the prose. Before downloading this book I had already listened to Magical Thinking, which was enjoyable. If you like David Sedaris consider downloading Magical Thinking, but personally I would suggest you give Running with Scissors a miss.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JackiKRN 06-03-16
    JackiKRN 06-03-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Only You Think Your Life Is Rough..."

    Incredible story. Mr Burroughs brings some timely memories to the foreground. The smells of Dippity Do, More cigarettes and a household when trash is only removed once in a while, were alive. The visual recall of gold etchings on mirrors, fireplaces that went throughout his home and auditory sensation of listening to a needle scratching an album or attempting to accurately hear the lyrics to a favorite song were full of life. (My intense listening was to Crocodile Rock)
    Hearing the author read his own story, memoir, all the inflections of voice are exactly where they are supposed to be. Looking forward to his next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebeccah Anne Central Coast, CA USA 04-10-16
    Rebeccah Anne Central Coast, CA USA 04-10-16 Member Since 2016
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    "So hard to listen to"

    Those poor kids! This was such a hard book to listen to. I couldn't finish it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-11-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disturbing but Well-written"

    I struggled to finish this book because the story is so bizarre and quite sad

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHERYL 01-07-16
    SHERYL 01-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Very different"

    Not sure if I liked it or I didn't. If you find humor in extremely dysfunctional families, this is the book for you! I found it enjoyable at times, and disturbing at times. I guess if a book can evoke many emotions, like this one did for me, I would say it was worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Mendez 11-14-15
    Rick Mendez 11-14-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Weird but very interesting book"

    We had to read this book for Composition 101 and it was very interesting. It was sad to see that this is what happened to this man and how he lived. It was very graphic but overall a good book. The movie was horrible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ohio Reader 11-05-15
    Ohio Reader 11-05-15

    Elderly, bookish person, omnivorous reader, only bothers to review books she considered worth reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "hmmmmm"
    Would you try another book from Augusten Burroughs and/or Augusten Burroughs?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Augusten Burroughs again?

    No


    Have you listened to any of Augusten Burroughs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did Running with Scissors inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, inspired me to return the book to Audible.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't enjoy Catcher in the Rye or The World According to Garp and I didn't enjoy this book either. If you did enjoy the first two, you may love Burroughs's book; it's the same type except raised to maybe the tenth power.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JustMeDawn Northwestern Wisconsin 10-14-15
    JustMeDawn Northwestern Wisconsin 10-14-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heart wrenching"
    What did you like best about Running with Scissors? What did you like least?

    I will carry this story with me for a long time. His childhood abuse was so heart wrenching that it made me cry. It is amazing that he could survive this and be able to write about it with humor and brush it off like "eh, it made me who I am today" Good for him for having that ability; I just want to scoop up the child he should have been and hug him.


    What could Augusten Burroughs have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Been dealt a different mother.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the piece of $hi! doctor losses his license.


    Could you see Running with Scissors being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, please no.


    Any additional comments?

    My heart goes out to you Austen, you deserved so much better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristy 06-26-15
    Kristy 06-26-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstandingly Awkward --- Loved it!"
    What did you love best about Running with Scissors?

    This is just an unbelievable awkward, entertaining, story--- one crazy thing after another, I could not stop listening.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Running with Scissors?

    Every chapter!


    What does Augusten Burroughs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Just a great listen--- energy in it -- not dull at all---


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Its name is about right---


    Any additional comments?

    Not for children at all---- but for liberal adults with a twisted sense of humor ---- great!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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