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)
I expected this memoir to be entertaining. (I had heard the author in various radio interviews and had heard brief excerpts.) In that respect it lived up to its promise. What I did not expect was for it also to be such a poignant tale of childhood and adolescent survival. The occasional graphic descriptions of the author's experience with scatology, sex, neglect, filth, and behaviors of mental illness are sometimes shocking, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes touching. Read this uplifting story of survival. Highly recommended!
When I first read the back of the book at Borders, the story looked morbid and sad. I immediately put it down, even though I knew the book had good buzz. Then I saw the trailer for the movie version that is coming out this October and it looked amazing. Based on the trailer, I bought the audiobook. It is funny, poignant, and with hilarious pop-culture references and self-aware irony. I was listening at the gym and laughed out loud while on the treadmill. I never wanted it to end. Excellent narration by an excellent author. I just bought his next book, "Dry." Enjoy!
This guy has lived a tough existence. It's good in a way to listen and relate to Augusten's experiences; especially about his parents who were volitile and psychotic. I can't wait to listen to the author's next book.
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.
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