We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
Running with Scissors: A Memoir | [Augusten Burroughs]

Running with Scissors: A Memoir

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.
Regular Price:$23.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

3.6 (1030 )
5 star
 (313)
4 star
 (285)
3 star
 (226)
2 star
 (103)
1 star
 (103)
Overall
3.7 (261 )
5 star
 (97)
4 star
 (68)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (28)
Story
3.9 (261 )
5 star
 (107)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Arthur Held Missoula MT 04-25-03
    Arthur Held Missoula MT 04-25-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "NOT what I was expecting"

    This book takes you on a journey of growing up and discovery from a child's point of view. It's an "adult" tape, (definitely not for children - I wouldn't want to explain parts to my 8 year old son, but its not salacious either). It has kept me fascinated for the 40 min. drive home every day for a week. Its like discovering parts of my own family from the viewpoint of one of my younger relatives.

    Sometimes previews and marketing do a book a dis-service trying to lure people in. I found this to be true - the value far exceeds what I expected.

    The reader is outstanding, bringing each individual character to life with a voice that seems to match the author's words exceedingly well.

    37 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Charleston, SC, USA 05-31-03
    Kelly Charleston, SC, USA 05-31-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Hilarious! And a little sad..."

    Excellent book - I've read some reviews of Burroughs work where they compare him to David Sedaris (who I adore), but other than being gay and funny, comparison stops there. He is so open about his life - painfully so at times - and it really drew me in to his story. With a lot of humor and a gift for communicating the grotesque in a light handed way, Burroughs is an amazing writer. I listen in my car on MP3 player and found myself sitting in parking lots, outside of my house, etc. just so I could keep listening before I had to stop the player.

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 01-06-14
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 01-06-14 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    521
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    265
    109
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    101
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Way better than the movie"

    I saw this movie a few years back and wasn't too impressed - I'm glad I decided to give the book a chance. This is one of those pieces that grabs you early and doesn't let go - although gruesome at times, it gets into your head and makes you want to find out what insane thing can possibly happen next. The dialogue comes across as authentic which is just as important to a book as the events that take place - bad dialogue can ruin an otherwise perfect story. Augusten Burroughs is amazingly talented at both writing and narration - I will definitely be listening to his other titles.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phyllis C. Philadelphia, PA United States 04-20-04
    Phyllis C. Philadelphia, PA United States 04-20-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Disturbing at best, not worth saving to CD"

    I've waited a month to write a review because I hoped I would like this disturbing and compelling book more than I did. This boy is surrounded by dysfunction and it's a miracle that he survived at all. As much as I disliked it however, I felt compelled to finish as I was pulled along by the ever more disturbing plot. In that, it was excellent, by I certainly wouldn't save it to disc as I would never want to read it again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Abingdon, MD, USA 12-25-03
    Glenn Abingdon, MD, USA 12-25-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Dysfunctional Overload"

    I give credit to the narrorator (the author himself) - 50% of an audible book's enjoyment is a narrorator you can stand to listen to. I did like the narraration. One reviewer likened the book to David Sedaris - while there are similarities- Augusten is much darker and is not as funny (it is funny in only a very perverse way). His whole life is surrounded by severely dysfunctional people and at the end I was depressed and felt profound pity for the man. The book is very graphic and many will find it offensive. I usually love dark comedies, but this goes over the edge. If this story is really true (even half true) some of the real-life characters need to be put away for the safety of the public.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tpixie 02-25-07
    tpixie 02-25-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Disturbing"

    I found this very disturbing. I have a hard time recommending this book. I would have put it down if it were an actual book and not an audiobook. I did appreciate the "What are they doing now" part at the end. I have not seen the movie. I do wonder how/why it was chosen to become a movie. This is my opinion and I might be the lone ranger of this opinion.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily San Francisco, CA, USA 04-07-05
    Emily San Francisco, CA, USA 04-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Slightly better than okay"

    It certainly doesn't leave you feeling good. The characters are hard to relate to and hard to embrace. The story is often disturbing. The writing isn't terrible but isn't exceptional. I'm sorry that this author is being compared to Sedaris, Eggars, and Keillor -- he pales in comparison to those guys.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Covington, WA, USA 12-30-04
    Richard Covington, WA, USA 12-30-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Not humor, tragedy."

    There are funny moments in an "oh my that's awful" sort of way, but why would I want to read about bodily fluids of all types in excruciating detail set in a home ruled by people with no control over their lives. If you want a voyeuristic appreciation of abysmal human behavior than this is for you, all wrapped up in nervous laughter.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Worthington Bonney Lake, WA United States 05-30-04
    L. Worthington Bonney Lake, WA United States 05-30-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    228
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Unusual, entertaining, mildly offensive and superb"

    Not for the easily offended, this book is crass, bawdy but highly entertaining. The author is so open and honest, sharing frighteningly intimate thoughts and portraying the actions during his pre-teen and teenage years. I had to remind myself many times that this book is a memoir, not fiction. It is so out there, the things that happened in the author's life and the people he is surrounded by that it's almost hard to believe at times, although, I've met some people who aren't too far away from the characters in the book, which make it even more fascinating. The characters are so well developed throughout that you almost know what they look like and can imagine meeting them in real life. This is a book that stays with you for a long time after you read and leaves you wondering. I can't wait to read more from Augusten Burroughs - a fantastic writer.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Albuquerque, NM, USA 11-24-03
    Debra Albuquerque, NM, USA 11-24-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Great story (but not for everyone)"

    This is a fabulously funny tale of the author's unbelievably wacky up-bringing. Wild beyond belief at times but anyone who has been unfortunate to have met the type of shrink that his family ran into can relate. Some of the lower ratings numbers probably come from the fact that the author openly discusses his own homosexuality and describes some male/male sex scenes.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 62 results PREVIOUS127NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.