Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present - as only he could. With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.
©2009 Island Road, LLC. (P)2009 Macmillan Audio.
"Burroughs is a natural storyteller... as brilliantly witty, waspish and self-deprecating as ever." (Daily Mail)
I admit I laughed out loud many times in the car while listening to this book. If you are a fan of Augusten Burroughs (as I am), you will enjoy these stories (and you will be prepared for the total insanity that is his childhood.) The downfall is his narration. It seemed as though he was trying something new ,and I'm not sure it worked. Burroughs last book "A Wolf at the Table" was markedly different in style and voice than his previous books. He carries a bit of that into this book as well. His reading can feel stilted and disjointed. Long spaces where you don't expect them. It's much more enjoyable when he begins "telling the story" as opposed to picking the words out one by one as if he's not sure what he wants to say. All in all,though, this is a funny book and a nice addition to my library.
I agree with Leigh. Better not cry may in fact be a great book but the narration is painful. Pace is poor, timing is poor. This is the first audible title I did not listen to through completion.
I will make a trip to the local library to see if the paper version is better.
I had to listen to this one at 1.5 speed. Unlike his other, which didn't bother me, this narration sounded like he was a) high as a kite, b) having a seizure, or c) so enamored of his own writing and voice that he wanted to marinate in it by reading at a snail's pace. The stories can be interesting but for overall, I'd skip it.
Horrible narration. He narrates like he has cerebral palsy. He's no David Sedaris... And after this book, I'm not going to waste my time (or my Audible credits) on another book of his.
I am a fan of Mr. Burroughs and have read most of his books. I could not get through the first chapter of this audiobook due to his narration. It is painfully hard to listen to. I will try again on a more patient day, perhaps, but would suggest trying out the sample before purchasing to see if you can stand it. I am going to have to read this book in print form.
I really do like Augusten Burroughs. I admire that he has made a mostly original name for himself in a genre that is dominated by David Sedaris, and I admire even more that he has the guts to put out a Christmas book when Sedaris's own holiday writing is so widely praised. But that's where the love ends. 'You Better Not Cry' is full of ponderous, meandering pieces that never really evolve into the gems that some of them really ought to become. Even the best, most memorable images--Burroughs biting off the face of a wax Santa, Burroughs waking up in a hotel room with a jolly old French Santa--get lost in a thicket of dull and pointless prose. But the worst thing about this book is the narration. Burroughs himself reads this book, doing so with a serious poet's stilted cadence that turns the entire audiobook into a completely unlistenable mess. This is the worst narration of any of the hundreds of audiobooks I have listened to, by quite some margin--distractingly slow and stacatto, the delivery here makes you wonder if Burroughs hasn't had a stroke. I was able to make it through the whole book one way: I set my iPhone to double-speed playback and then marveled at how, even at 200% of his original pace, Burroughs still sounded too slow. All I want for Christmas is for Burroughs to get his considerable talent back on track.
I have all the other audiobooks by this author, and I love them. But in this one, the narration is painfully slow ( I tried to adjust the speed but it sounds funny).
I'm going to erase it from my library and try the printed version instead.
Give Augusteen at least a coffe before the recording sesion starts
Absolutely Augusten Burroughs. Often awkward, painful and then hilarious. I have been reading him for ten years and I love this one. Not as serious as Not as serious as
To begin with, I adore anything Augusten writes. I have also thoroughly enjoyed his previous works with him telling the story as only he can. However....I have to say I'm confused over this last reading of his and have to wonder if he read so slowly to make the audible version longer. What else can it be? And this is why I have to give 3 stars vice 5. Augusten, if you read our reviews, please consider changing your style for your next book. Your work is too precious and unique to be messed up with the dead slow, often frozenly disjointed way you read this last one. On the other hand, the stories in this book were priceless, especially the one with George. Yes, I cried. I also cried with Shirley and the lost treasure of her singing. This book touched me. Thank you for sharing these memories with us. I look forward to the next book, so get to work :)
The listeners who loathe Augusten's narration fail to realize that his delivery is part of what makes the stories so humorous. Only a narrator who's lived this life of dysfunction can tell it in a way the listener can truly appreciate and laugh at, especially because he's still here to tell the tales and has made a very good life for himself. Can't wait for his next book, and hope it's longer.
"Buy the book, skip the audiobook."
I always prefer it when authors, especially my favourites, read their own works, so I was surprised at how badly this was read. There's no natural flow, which is sad, because the stories are genuinely entertaining and the author's voice is pleasant. It was as if the entire book was broken down into haiku form and then read as such.
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