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
"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)
This poignant memoir reminded me of the incredible psychological resilience of children, and the huge variety of human experiences behind seemingly "normal" people.
Somewhat sad and disturbing, "Running..." reassured my that things could always be worse, and even so, we all manage to get through somehow.
I would recommend this for those who enjoy seeing behind the scenes of others' lives, but include a caveat for timid listeners of Burroughs' matter-of-fact descriptions of his experience with child neglect, family mental illness and pre-teen homosexuality.
I really enjoyed Augusten Burroughs' original style and outrageously funny story line. It was a real bonus to have the author as narrator, too.
I really like this author. He writes like an angel and reads his own stuff very well. The language sounds just wonderful read aloud. Very uplifting, funny stuff in the most bizarre and potentially depressing of circumstances. Very observational and psychologically minded. Even though the context is highly unusual, at least for me, the author seems to write about the feelings and needs of all of us. This said, if you feel the least bit quesy about the context, start with "Dry." I admit that from time to time, if I thought about what it must have really been like for this author growing up, it sort of freaked me out. He seems to have come out of it quite the deep, complete, introspective, optimistic, philosophic human being, but it makes me angry that any kid would have to endure that kind of environment growing up, without stable adults around to help him through it. Again, though, I emphasize that this is far from a downer of a book. It is very funny and pretty darn uplifting.
I don't know what I find more frightening.....the fact that some publisher read this mindless drivel and spent money to publish it.....or all the positive reviews (which influenced my selection of this "novel") here at Audible this horrible rubbish inspired. I feel like a just unwittingly walked into a UFO convention! Where are my people? Not recommended for any reader with a mind and any taste!
Having myself grown up is a rather crazy household, I was totally captivated by Augusten's narrative of life in the good doctor's home. I think his writing is honest, straight forward and it held my attention. After listening to it, I went right out and bought the sequel, "Dry" and read it in a day. Maybe if you can't relate to a hugely dysfunctional environment, you might not like the book. I can also see where some might be offended by some of the graphic descriptions.
Hilarious book while being both sad and sentimental. I could not stop listening to it and went right to his next book.
Some of the sexual content is quite graphic, but not gratuitiously so.
I can't wait to find out what happens to Augusten now.
I realize that this is based on a true story - but a horrific story, I would say. I had to stop listening to it as it was not what I would call entertaining. It frequently uses the "F" word, glorifies sex abuse of minors and the disrespect of adults. Adults in the story tolerate homosexuality and truancy in their children, help them cheat and lie, etc. I feel extremely sorry for anyone who had to live this life, but I could not listen to it.
I got this book because of the description and the title, both of which sounded great. Once I got into it about 1/4th of the way though, I found myself unable to really immerse myself enjoy it. It just wasn't as dangerous or exotic as the marketing made it sound. While the story may be original, it doesn't compensate for the writing style seeming mechanical and unimaginative. Maybe I gave up too soon (about 1/2 way through) and missed the part where it got really exciting and original and worth reading but I doubt it...
A story is told of the insane lives of everyone around the author. Be warned, the author is just as crazy as any of them but he doesn't seem to recongnize his own insanity. The discriptions of homosexuality is far too graphic. I feel cheated that none of the discriptions of the book did not disclose that.
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