Running With Scissors: A Memoir

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9781843541516: Running With Scissors: A Memoir
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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:

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

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Augusten Burroughs
Published by ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 1843541513 ISBN 13: 9781843541516
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Book Description ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the Brady Bunch on Viagra. it is impossible not to laugh at all the jokes; to admire the sardonic, fetid tone; to wonder, slack-jawed and agog, at the sheer looniness of the vista he conjures up Rachel Cooke, ObserverThis 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 lunatic into the bargain. The doctor s bizarre family, a few patients and a sinister man living in the garden shed completed the tableau. The perfect squalor of their dilapidated Victorian house, there were no rules and there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer and Valium was chomped down like sweets. And when things got a bit slow, there was always the ancient electroshock therapy machine under the stairs. This true story is a match for the strangest. Running with Scissors reads like an extremely well crafted and crazed sitcom, a mix of Jerry Springer and Seinfeld. Funny, moving and extraordinary Christina Patterson, Independent Twisted, hilarious and relentlessly bizarre. It single-handedly redefines the term fucked up childhood Sleazenation Bawdy, outrageous, often hilarious. so flippant and so insanely funny New York Times A story so strange, it could never be fiction. deftly written, smart and funny GQ Burroughs will be hard pressed ever to better this, his debut effort. It s one you ll never forget Alice Fisher, Time Out Dave Pelzer with a whoopee cushion attached. Genuinely memorable Observer Top 50 Cultural Events of the Season. Seller Inventory # AA99781843541516

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Augusten Burroughs
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Book Description ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the Brady Bunch on Viagra. it is impossible not to laugh at all the jokes; to admire the sardonic, fetid tone; to wonder, slack-jawed and agog, at the sheer looniness of the vista he conjures up Rachel Cooke, ObserverThis 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 lunatic into the bargain. The doctor s bizarre family, a few patients and a sinister man living in the garden shed completed the tableau. The perfect squalor of their dilapidated Victorian house, there were no rules and there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer and Valium was chomped down like sweets. And when things got a bit slow, there was always the ancient electroshock therapy machine under the stairs. This true story is a match for the strangest. Running with Scissors reads like an extremely well crafted and crazed sitcom, a mix of Jerry Springer and Seinfeld. Funny, moving and extraordinary Christina Patterson, Independent Twisted, hilarious and relentlessly bizarre. It single-handedly redefines the term fucked up childhood Sleazenation Bawdy, outrageous, often hilarious. so flippant and so insanely funny New York Times A story so strange, it could never be fiction. deftly written, smart and funny GQ Burroughs will be hard pressed ever to better this, his debut effort. It s one you ll never forget Alice Fisher, Time Out Dave Pelzer with a whoopee cushion attached. Genuinely memorable Observer Top 50 Cultural Events of the Season. Seller Inventory # AA99781843541516

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Book Description Atlantic Books, 2004. Condition: New. Augusten Burroughs's jaw-dropping memoir, out now in paperback: 'Adrian Mole scripted by Hieronymous Bosch' Fiona Hook, The Times Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; 2AB; BGA; DSBH; DSK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 25. Weight in Grams: 260. . 2004. Paperback. . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781843541516

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Book Description Atlantic Books. Condition: New. Augusten Burroughs's jaw-dropping memoir, out now in paperback: 'Adrian Mole scripted by Hieronymous Bosch' Fiona Hook, The Times Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; 2AB; BGA; DSBH; DSK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 25. Weight in Grams: 260. . 2004. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781843541516

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