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Running with Scissors  By  cover art

Running with Scissors

By: Augusten Burroughs
Narrated by: Augusten Burroughs
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Publisher's summary

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of 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 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 got 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 chronicles an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Running with Scissors acknowledgments:

Gratitude doesn't begin to describe it: Jennifer Enderlin, Christopher Schelling, John Murphy, Gregg Sullivan, Kim Cardascia, Michael Storrings, and everyone at St. Martin's Press. Thank you: Lawrence David, Suzanne Finnamore, Robert Rodi, Bret Easton Ellis, Jon Pepoon, Lee Lodes, Jeff Soares, Kevin Weidenbacher, Lynda Pearson, Lona Walburn, Lori Greenburg, John DePretis, and Sheila Cobb.

I would also like to express my appreciation to my mother and father for, no matter how inadvertently, giving me such a memorable childhood. Additionally, I would like to thank the real-life members of the family portrayed in this book for taking me into their home and accepting me as one of their own. I recognize that their memories of the events described in this book are different than my own. They are each fine, decent, and hard-working people.

The book was not intended to hurt the family. Both my publisher and I regret any unintentional harm resulting from the publishing and marketing of Running with Scissors.

Most of all, I would like to thank my brother for demonstrating, by example, the importance of being wholly unique.

©2002 Augusten Burroughs (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a Division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic reviews

  • 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)

"Bawdy, outrageous, often hilarious." (The New York Times)

"Sharp, riotous humor...deeply affecting...this is a survival story readers won't forget." (Booklist)