Running with Scissors: A Memoir

Burroughs, Augusten

9781843541516

ISBN 10: 1843541513 / 1-84354-151-3
ISBN 13: 9781843541516
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
This is the story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of grandeur) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa Claus and a certifiable lunatic into the bargain. Suddenly at the age of 12, Augusten found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian house in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients and a paedophile living in the garden shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules or school. The Christmas tree stayed up until Summer and valium was chomped down like sweets. When things got a bit slow, there was always the ancient electroshock therapy machine under the stairs.

Review:
There is a passage early in Augusten Burroughs's harrowing and highly entertaining memoir Running with Scissors that speaks volumes about the author. While going to the garbage dump with his father, young Augusten spots a chipped glass-top coffee table that he longs to bring home. "I knew I could hide the chip by fanning a display of magazines on the surface, like in a doctor's office," he writes, "And it certainly wouldn't be dirty after I polished it with Windex for three hours."

There were certainly numerous chips in the childhood Burroughs describes: an alcoholic father, an unstable mother who gives him up for adoption to her therapist and an adolescence spent as part of the therapist's eccentric extended family, gobbling prescription medicines and fooling around with both an old electroshock machine and a paedophile who lives in a shed out back. But just as he dreamed of doing with that old table, Burroughs employs a vigorous program of decoration and fervent polishing to a life that many would have simply thrown in a landfill. Despite her abandonment, he never gives up on his increasingly unbalanced mother. And rather than despair about his lot, he glamorises it: planning a "beauty empire" and performing an a cappella version of "You Light Up My Life" at a local mental ward.

Burroughs' perspective achieves a crucial balance for a memoir: emotional but not self-involved, observant but not clinical, funny but not deliberately comic. And it's ultimately a feel-good story: as he steers through a challenging childhood, there's always a sense that Burroughs' survivor mentality will guide him through and that the coffee table will be salvaged after all. --John Moe, Amazon.com

Review

Review:
‘One of the most compelling books you’ll find in the overstuffed childhood memoir section.’ -- Jane Perry, Observer

Review

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: 2004-02-12., 2004. Book Condition: New. Atlantic Books. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 320pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1681913

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Book Description: ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 196 x 126 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. This is the story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of grandeur) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa Claus and a certifiable lunatic into the bargain. Suddenly at the age of 12, Augusten found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian house in perfect squalor. The doctor s bizarre family, a few patients and a paedophile living in the garden shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules or school. The Christmas tree stayed up until Summer and valium was chomped down like sweets. When things got a bit slow, there was always the ancient electroshock therapy machine under the stairs. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9781843541516

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Book Description: ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 196 x 126 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. This is the story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of grandeur) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa Claus and a certifiable lunatic into the bargain. Suddenly at the age of 12, Augusten found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian house in perfect squalor. The doctor s bizarre family, a few patients and a paedophile living in the garden shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules or school. The Christmas tree stayed up until Summer and valium was chomped down like sweets. When things got a bit slow, there was always the ancient electroshock therapy machine under the stairs. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9781843541516

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Book Description: 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 197mm x 130mm x 192mm. Paperback. Paperback edition of this hilariously entertaining, if completely crazy, childhood memoir. The hardback sold over 10,000 copies. Bawdy, outrageous, often hilarious. so flippant and so i.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 0.294. Bookseller Inventory # 9781843541516

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Book Description: Atlantic Books, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New Book. Shipping: Once your order has been confirmed and payment received, your order will then be processed. The book will be located by our staff, packaged and despatched to you as quickly as possible. From time to time, items get mislaid en route. If your item fails to arrive, please contact us first. We will endeavour to trace the item for you and where necessary, replace or refund the item. Please do not leave negative feedback without contacting us first. All orders will be dispatched within two working days. If you have any quesions please contact us. Bookseller Inventory # V9781843541516

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Book Description: Atlantic Books, 2004. paperback. Book Condition: New. *** NEW COPY *** TITLE SHIPPED FROM UK *** Binding paperback This is the true story of a boy who wanted to grow up with the Brady Bunch, but ended up living with the Addams Family. Augusten Burroughs's mother gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa Claus and a certifiable. Bookseller Inventory # 1843541513

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