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Publisher's Summary

Millions of listeners have been flat-out astonished, profoundly moved, and massively entertained by the writing of Augusten Burroughs. Now, with A Wolf at the Table - his first full-length memoir in five years - Augusten returns to his literary roots as one of the most famous memoirists of our time, yet he makes a quantum leap forward into untapped emotional terrain: the radical pendulum swing between love and hate, the unspeakably terrifying relationship between father and son.

A Wolf at the Table is the story of Augusten's relationship with his father, John Robison, Sr., a man only briefly touched upon in Running With Scissors. Told with shocking honesty and penetrating insight, A Wolf at the Table is more than the companion volume to Running with Scissors - it's a story of stunning psychological cruelty and the redemptive power of hope.

Featuring exclusive, all new original songs by Patti Smith, Sea Wolf, Ingrid Michaelson, and Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara.

©2008 Island Road, LLC (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"There are books that were born for bells and whistles, and Augusten Burroughs's A Wolf at the Table is one....This fifth memoir of abuse and excess is read, bleated, rumbled and, at times, tearfully shouted by the author himself. The audio book...breaks new ground by presenting four songs written expressly for the production." (The Washington Post)
"Intense, sincere, and passionate, Burroughs offers a deeply felt, intimate portrait of the most disastrous period in his life. He holds nothing back, and in fully giving voice to his emotions, he makes each moment immediate for the listener." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    54
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Story

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  • Overall

Embarrassingly Bad

As someone who has read all of Augusten Burroughs books and loved his style and wry observations, this mess came as a shock. It's bad beyond belief, and seems to be written by someone other than the careful and witty author we've come to know. Mr. Burrough's self-pitying has lost its charm. Perhaps he's tapped dry his own life as his major source of literary acumen. He definitely needs to get a grip. Hopefully, he will move on to greener fields. His sharp sense of human frailties needs new targets. His family deserves a rest.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

perfect

this book is perfect, beautiful...i had a hard time with the first few minutes because it's not what i expected - but, i continued on an was mesmerized.

try his brother's book: "look me in the eye" if you liked "wolf at the table". it will fill some of the gaps.

i hope that if the author himself reads any of these reviews he can see that he has at least touched one reader with the audio version, and certainly the book itself.

perfect.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Get Ready...

Be ready for a very intense experience.... I will remember this book every time I think back about a less than perfect, verging on dysfunctional childhood, and note that, compared to this one, mine was mild! Many Thanks to this author for an honest account of a truely dysfunctional childhood... None of us can really use our chidhood as an excuse to fail, now can we......

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barbara
  • Silver spring, MD, United States
  • 11-23-08

This book should come with a Warning

I couldn't get through it and got stuck at the horror show of his pet experience. No need to terrorize yourself if you are a lover of animals and small children.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

WOW

I really liked this book. I actually read Running with Scissors and I could not get into it (I saw the movie too and was not that interested in it either). My sister was telling me about this book so I decided to try it out. WOW, I was enthralled with the story as it unfolded and it clarified A LOT of what happened in Running with Scissors.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Deeply Disturbing

It took me a while to buy into the tone and premise of this memoir, with its haunting sound edits and frankly disturbing musical accouterments, and the dirge-like pace of the author's narration. Agreed, this is not the funny, witty, ironic Augusten we have come to know and love, the Augusten who has over the past few years or so managed to make lemonade out of lemons.

But after staying the course with Augusten there was much relatable material, and the narration of his terrifying family life resonated deeply within.

Additionally, I found that AB's pushing the limits of the audiobook format to be a refreshing and unexpectedly valid use of the medium. I did feel that he could have dialed down the drama in his narration, however, and picked up the pace somewhat, as his words speak so eloquently unassisted. That is the only reason for my "3 out of 5" rating.





5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Egad

I've enjoyed his writing style and comedic take on a painful upbringing - up til now. This is apparently his memories from being the most embellishing, whining child on earth. it doesn't feel as if there's any humanity or understanding just the view of a child who by all description isn't very likable or seeing the whole truth. Self pitying. whining. And I have to say, sadly disappointing perhaps because it's through his own voice that it feels disingenuous. Not something that truly presents the "monster" or the "victim" of a cruel childhood - just a lot of words.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A narcissist looks back

The only thing more appalling than the horrific family events Burroughs recounts is the cloying, narcissistic, self-cherishing way Burroughs narrates. Every word is lovingly wrapped in self-admiring cotton ("I wrote this word!" "I chose this word!" "I can't believe myself!"), which is not only tiring: it breaks the flow of narration. I was finally able to accommodate myself to this unnecessarily drawn-out style of speaking, and the book manages to come through as a sad, frightening and sympathetic self-portrait.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Ugghhh, I Just Can't Take It -- It's Torture

I've listened to all his other books in order up until now, and though I thought Sellevision was fairly weak, and Possible Side Effects was just fairly pointless stories with supposedly pithy or twisty endings that were neither, this one is interminable.

I tried. I just can't take the unnatural cadence of Mr. Burroughs' delivery. He went from being naturalistic in his previous books to bad acting for effect in this one.

I had to quit after trying the first few chapters over and over for weeks. Just couldn't get into it.

I look forward to what he does in the future, but this is a definite one to skip.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Regina
  • Park Ridge, NJ, USA
  • 11-24-08

Exciting Listen With Great Narration

This audiobook was a well executed production. The author's emotional narration was intense and capatavating. Great supplement to Running With Scissors. The epilogue explaining the original music used in the production was also very interesting. I highly recommend this listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Sergiu Pobereznic (author)
  • 09-14-15

Brilliant

It was an extremely powerful memoir told in a manner that was unlike anything I have read before. Admittedly it is dark, even sinister, but this is his story, his account, with his own unique perspective. He has a recognizable 'author voice' and I like that he does what he does.
I really enjoyed the work, in a weird way, (if you can say that reading about severe injustice against children is an enjoyable thing to do). It also remained very interesting throughout. There were no lulls in the narrative for me.

The events he speaks of have happened, do happen and will continue to happen. His father may not be there to argue his own case, but that is not to say it didn't happen. And anyway, he would never admit even if asked, upfront. They rarely ever do, if ever.
Some may find it hard to believe the truth behind his story, but what if he had never made a success of himself and he was telling his story to a psychologist while strung out on a concoction of drugs and suicidal? Would his story have any more gravitas, or veracity?
Let's not forget that sometimes truth is much weirder than fiction. MUCH WEIRDER. This may just be the case in question.
For me, the book was seemingly honest, sometimes absurd and, surprisingly, peppered with dry humour from time to time. A good device for giving the reader a rest, which is sometimes necessary. Mr. Burroughs knows how to pace his reader.
I hope you are reading this, because you deserve to know all this and feel good about putting your life out there for the world to experience.
Well done.
Sergiu Pobereznic (Amazon author)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful