Running with Scissors

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Customer Reviews:

  • Wonderful read for good laughs
    A little awkward during some sections, but funny/ witty throughout its entirety. If you like reading about things that seem crazy, this is a MUST read for you....more info
  • Partly entertaining, partly just sad
    This memoir focuses mainly on the early teen years of author Augusten Burroughs. After his parents divorce, Augusten's mother begins intensive treatment with a somewhat unconvential psychiatrist, Dr. Finch. The more Augusten gets to know Dr. Finch and his family, the more unusual they seem. However, given that his mother is becoming more and more unstable, Augusten is forced to spend more and more time with the Finches, eventually getting to the point where his mother signs over his guardianship to Dr. Finch. Although Augusten is initially resistant, over time, he finds that everything, no matter how bizarre--eg, showering with a turkey, having a permanent hole in the kitchen ceiling, keeping the Christmas tree up until June, watching Dr. Finch examine his bowel movements, being involved in a gay affair with a man 20 years his senior, etc.--well, you just...get used to it.

    Although this book is entertaining at times, I actually would've found it more amusing if it HADN'T been true. Assuming that Burroughs is telling the truth about the events which occured, much of what happened to him (as well as the others in the Finch family) was outright child abuse. Sure, Burroughs' writing style is witty and engaging, but that doesn't change the fact that he is writing about some pretty horrible events. Ultimately, reading this book felt kind of like watching a train wreck: although you can't turn away, afterward, you kind of wish that you had....more info
  • Nearly a masterpiece of white trash literature
    This is a memoir (and a painfully sad one at that) of an boy ill-raised and neglected by a wildly irresponsible mother and psychologist-friend. Such brutal neglect is when a 33 year old pedophile molests him (a 13 year old boy then) on a regular basis and masks the relationship as "doing what lovers do". The mother and psychologist-friend see nothing wrong with the "relationship" and turn a blind eye. Another is when the psychologist-friend instructs his daughter to scoop out his feces from the toilet to let sunbake in the backyard. Although Burroughs presents this as a dysfunctional family at it's wierdness, there is obviously something more sinister going down, which Burroughs fails to see or present. On the upside, the author's wit and humor transcends his personal horror stories. There are moments in the first part of the book that are so shocking and funny, it's like nothing you've ever read before. Half way through the book the reader may find themselves tortured by a long yarn of people actiing dysfunctional. Rarely, if ever, does the book bother to go to any level deeper than freak story after freak story. Surely there are readers out there who would find the morbid humour in this book a masterpiece of the white trash literature. I certainly did, and after about 1/2 way through the book I decided I had enough fun....more info
  • Great Read
    This is a great book, it's a faced paced book, an easy read that you become somewhat addicted to the plot and characters. He's a great writer and his comparisons and images are amazing....more info
  • Pure Trash
    Augusten Burroughs should be ashamed of himself for writing such trash. It was neither funny...I can't beleive anyone would laugh at it, nor entertaining, nor horrible, because I don't for one minute beleive it was a true story. I read the first half and then threw it in the trachcan. ...more info
  • Satisfying on many levels
    I bought Running With Scissors despite all the bad reviews, and thank God I did. Yes, there are some horrifying details. However, I'm only fifteen and I laughed throughout the whole book. The underlying message is universal and the book was deeply satisying on many levels. I didn't find it disburbing; I think despite the pure insanity in this book the reader gets a very real perspective. Amazing book. ...more info
  • David Sedaris writing Hotel New Hampshire??
    I was looking for something "like David Sedaris writing The Hotel New Hampshire" (which was a review included on the back cover on my book). This book isn't it. Both David Sedaris and John Irving can spin a tell a tale that is both disturbing and terribly funny. And now I've spent some time thinking about why Running with Scissors falls far far short of the claim on the back cover. Sedaris and Irving offer characters that have redeeming qualities, no matter how horrible they might be, there is something in them that is quite human. Augusten Burroughs, instead, populates this memoir with paper cut-outs that you don't get to know, understand, relate to, or care about at all. They are not even charicatures. They are nothing but obscene. So there is nothing about the stories to make them funny because there is no humanity in them. The stories and people in them are flat, terrible attempts to perhaps please a voyeuristic audience.

    I usually enjoy reading memoirs because I like to see how others have worked things out in their lives, how they understand the course of their lives, the choices they have made, and circumstances they can't control. This book definitely does not offer any of that. ...more info
  • Entertaining
    While skimming through the reviews for Running with Scissors, I noticed that readers either loved it or hated it. I think that it depends on how you look at the book. If you are expecting to be entertained by the bizarre stories that Burroughs tells throughout his memoir, I think you will love it. If you are expecting a great piece of literary work, not so much. Burroughs is comparable to David Sedaris, and although I have not read any of Sedaris's books, although I do own a few, I know that they are lightly written, you don't have to think while reading them books. I loved the book, I thought it was bizarre and hilarious, and I think that is all the reader is supposed to get out of it. So my opinion is that you will either love it or hate it depending on what your expectations of the book are....more info
  • A Disturbing Childhood
    I didn't find this book funny at all. It was certainly shocking, not to mention disgusting and plainly horrifying in parts. Unlike _Magical Thinking_, this didn't have the feeling of David Sedaris' writing at all. This was hard to believe, and mostly just sad. I just didn't enjoy reading it. It was hard to put down though, in the same way it is hard to speed past a crash site....more info
  • reader beware
    yes, I'll agree that Augusten Burrough's is a good writer- that seems to me the only good that came out of his highly dysfunctional upbringing! Had I known I was going to be reading about very graphic homosexual incidents, I would have left the book at the store- disgusting! A lot of people call this book funny... I found it tragically sad- I only wish Augusten would have had a hero that intervened for him, but I suppose that doesn't always happen. :(...more info
  • Not in the same league
    To compare David Sedaris to Augusten Burroughs is to compare Woody Allen to Adam Sandler....more info
  • The memoir that requires a suspension of disbelief
    Midway through Burroughs' memoir, in a demonstration of perfect dramatic irony, the character Natalie suggests, "You really should write all this stuff down," to which the narrator replies, "Even if I did, nobody would believe it" (173).

    Indeed, the entire book reads like a troubled tug-of-war between suspending one's disbelief and reminding oneself, disconcertingly, that these stories are actually based on real events. Each page contains a tale or anecdote slightly more disturbing than the next, until you eventually find yourself dwelling alongside the author in a demented world that bears only minimal resemblance to what was previously considered reality. Several of the narratives in this book are intriguing and even humorous, but in order to experience them you must also be willing to enter the sick and twisted parallel universe of Burroughs' childhood.

    A word of warning to prospective readers: most of the chapters in this book will leave you with a squeamish or even outright dirty feeling; you certainly won't want to read it and eat something at the same time. And although I am glad I read Running With Scissors and enjoyed the writer's style and perspective, I'm not in any hurry to jump into the sequel.
    ...more info
  • Good but leans on humor too much
    Good but I feel as if Humor too much of a theme and doesn't focus much on the overall story. Its really jsut a crutch. Aside from that its good....more info
  • Disturbing, but hilarious!
    This book took me only a few hours to read. Although the story is much to stomach; believe me, this novel will have you engrossed the entire time....more info
  • Disturbing but enjoyable read
    I read this book a few years ago. While dark and heavy, I couldn't put it down. I have to give kudos to the author. Based on his book, if I lived his life I would truly be wicky-in-the-wacky-woo....more info
  • An epic of family disfunction
    This book got a huge amount of attention. It is a pretty shocking and disturbing read, but one that is packed with a fair amount of absurd humor. I can't say that I really got to like this author, or his voice, or the people he grew up with, but I did have a few good laughs, even as I found some of these supposedly true stories a little hard to accept as unbiased truth. Burroughs (born Christopher Robison) was the son of an emotionally disturbed female poet and her college professor husband. His mother was in serious psychiatric care with an eccentric doctor named Finch. My name is Burrows, and when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my best friend's family, the Finches, whose pater familias was an eccentric but brilliant professor. This all took place around the same time (but in a different place), so I was struck by some of the connections between my life and his. However, the similarities end there, fortunately for me. Because Augusten Burroughs endured a teenhood full of epic disfunction and craziness.

    One can sympathize with the young Burroughs. He had to deal with a lot, and do a lot of his growing up on his own. As a teenager, he had an intense sexual affair with a man in his thirties, the adopted son of Dr. Finch. One of the doctor's daughters was sent to live with a well-off older guardian, and they became lovers. As a teen, Burroughs once walked into his mother's house and was treated to the sight of her receiving oral sex from her best friend, a minister's wife. Much of the book dwells on the eccentric Finch clan. Burroughs joins in the family shenanigans, like eating dog food, tearing the kitchen ceiling down, putting all the living room furniture on the front lawn and living there for a while, and doing "Bible dips" - i.e. randomly opening the Bible to a passage when one is uncertain about something. Back at his mother's place, she is too busy writing poetry, getting involved with other women, smoking More cigarettes, eating candles, and generally going insane to pay much attention to raising her son. His alcoholic father seems to have emotionally checked out of the picture. Burroughs sparks things up with cute anecdotes and references to consumer products from the 1970s, like Taster's Choice coffee and Jean Nate cosmetics.

    Generally Burroughs portrays himself as a passive victim, a nice gay boy surrounded by craziness, yet he seems to have little empathy for the suffering that the other characters are experiencing, and he felt all right about putting their personal problems on display for the world to see (which he got sued for doing). His writing style also did not win me over. Most of his descriptions are pretty facile. He favors devices such as paragraphs made up of one declarative sentence, for added dramatic effect. His prose is of the general type one might find in a mainstream magazine. Still the book has a cumulative impact, and an affecting portrait does eventually emerge. The story of Burroughs's teen years is an interesting one, and he is the kind of writer who would not have been heard from in previous decades.

    ...more info
  • Junk
    Crap. What a waste of time. I am actually embarassed to say I read this one. The good thing was it was a quick read, due to the simplicity of his vocabulary. This was due to his poor education, which was due to his own lack of motivation. The worst thing about this book and his story, is how he turns on the family who essentially adopted him. This family treated him like one of their own, yet he seems to be much more forgiving to the Child molestor he had an affair with. Plain garbage....more info
  • An Attention Grabber!
    While reading this book I was taken aback by certain events that took place, I think to appreciate this book you have to have the type of personality that is easy going and you definitely have to have a warped sense of humor.
    I really enjoyed this book, it was funny and appalling at the same time, it keep my attention the entire time. I can't wait to read, "Dry" and "A Wolf at the Table."
    ...more info
  • Good but not great
    I read this book within 24 hours, which shows that I took this book for what it is, an entertaining read that takes a relatively lighthearted approach to some darker subject matter. I've read Sellevision (also by Burroughs) and found Running With Scissors the weaker book of the two. If you're looking to read Burroughs, start with Sellevision....more info
  • Certainly Isn't Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
    If even just half of the instances in Mr. Burroughs' book are true, none of these characters should ever raise children until they get their acts together. The story is funny, very quirky, extremely disturbing and labeling these people as excessively dysfunctional is putting it waaaaaaaay too mildly. The book will not give you any warm fuzzies, that's for sure. If it does, you need psychiatric help. Mr. Burroughs is a wonderful writer with excellent comic timing. But please be warned, some of this stuff is brutal and troubling to the point of almost making me ill. Talking with someone who works with such families, these kind of idiosyncratic qualities are not that uncommon. Well worth reading, but be prepared....more info
  • It sucks
    Total waste of 4 hours of my life. I kind of have to believe that anybody who enjoys this book probably doesn't read very many GOOD books. Or, perhaps, they just don't usually READ. ;(
    It was an easy read.. Around page 130something I finally felt a little bit interested. A lot of it is kind of depressing and I laughed maybe 3 or 4 times out loud when someone said something kind of funny. I don't see anything really funny about his life or what went on. There are just so many awesome books out there that are more deserving of your time.. Right now I am reading 'Kite Runner' and I just started reading it but it's already much better. ...more info
  • Run from this book...or take your scissors to it.
    The reviews on the cover of this book were wildly misleading; I found no pleasure or humor in reading this tragic and twisted memoir. I actually felt sickened and violated after being exposed to the author's graphic depiction of his first and abusive sexual experience. I actually wish the toxic memory of this book could be erased from my mind. As a result, I will NOT donate this book to Goodwill to pollute anyone else's will go straight to the TRASH where it belongs....more info
  • Blaugh! Glad it was 1/2 price
    Ok, I understand it was a memoir, but please...I can't imagine for a moment that the doctor was for real. It would have been pretty good but for so much silliness at the doctor's house. Some good parts, true, but for the most part, I was disappointed. I'm glad I didn't pay full price.
    Linda...more info
  • Running With Insanity
    Augusten Burroughs takes you into the uber-insane world of his teen years. He writes of the unthinkable with humor that comes through on every page. But buyer beware: this book is not for the faint of heart or those easily - or even NOT so easily - offended. The reader is immersed in Augusten's teenage world of insanity, and, at times, the horror and the reality is intense. It's worth a second, even a third, read, just to allow the humor to come through once the reader has gotten past the shock of the horrible reality. I highly recommend this book. The subject matter is NOT for anyone who grew up in a Norman (Normal?) Rockwell painting and would rather not have that image shattered. The book is better than the movie, but viewing one before the other will not spoil a thing....more info
  • Dreadful
    I borrowed this book to read on a flight and after persevering through half of it I slipped it into the seat pocket in front of me for the next passenger. Written clearly to shock and amuse it basically catalogues a series of highly improbable and mostly disturbing incidents, sprinkled with scenes of unnecessarily gratuitous sex. The psychiatrist patriarch was a character of interest and the main reason, along with misleading praise on the back cover, for my bothering past the second page....more info
  • Weird
    Yes, this book was bizarre. VERY bizarre. And there is a lot of homosexual sex in it along with loads of mental illness and somethings that will make you want to puke. I'm serious. All in all. It wasn't horrible but it made me think my life is pretty damn normal and this guy belongs on Jerry Springer....more info
  • ?
    talk about WEIRD childhood....reading this book left me blank....i don't know if i hate it or love it.....this is weird because i usually feel strongly one way or another....i guess that what makes this book controversial....i am going to watch the movie and see how the director "sees" the book.....i am sure it will be interesting to watch....more info
  • genius
    More entertaining in a fascinating way than hilarious but still worth every minute spent reading. I couldn't put it down. I disagree with people who say this book is offensive; i'd rather read one of Augusten's books than watch any U.S. news channel anyday - at least his work displays intelligence and compassion.
    ...more info
  • Disturbingly funny
    In this memoir, we follow the coming-of-age of Augustin Burroughs, a budding homosexual with narcissistic parents. His mother is a self absorbed amateur poet who thrives on her own inner chaos and his father is pretty much absent. Early on, he abandons Augustin and won't accept any of his collect phone calls. His mother, not only narcissistic, but bipolar and prone to fits of drama, gets into an unusual relationship with her shrink, a character even more outrageous than either of the two parents. Boundaries get blurred and Augustin is sent to live in a bizarre communal environment created by the psychiatrist, Dr. Finch and a collection of his patients and his own biological children. The remainder of the book details the various relationships between teenager Augustin and members of the Finch household, including his affair with a man 20 years his senior.

    The characters in this soap opera are unforgettable. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a memoir, not a novel. These crazy people actually exist. And therein lies the thrall of this particular read. These are characters that should be paraded around on a Jerry Springer show, if for no other purpose, than to watch someone throw a chair at the entire lot of them. I would have felt better then. Alas, the only justification for any of this mayhem, is that Augustin exposed them for the pathetic batch of loonies they are. Oh, and Dr. Finch loses his license. But I would have rather seen him get pelted in the head with a chair....more info
  • Aren't memoirs supposed to be true stories?
    First and foremost, I'm insulted. Insulted that Burroughs expected me or any other reader to accept this work of fiction as a memoir. Would it have been so bad to just say from the outset that it is fiction? After all, John Irving made a living out of writing fiction with eccentric characters in absurd circumstances. Calling this book a memoir does a professional disservice to writers who do write memoirs. I won't be adding it to my "biographies/memoirs" bookshelf.

    That said, the book was OK. Although it was largely unbelievable, it was amusing and the characters were unique and original to say the least.

    I would like to know what percentage of the book is based on actual fact. I may have to read Burrough's brother's memoir and compare the two accounts to find some measure of reality.

    If there ever was a shrink that did the things and acted the way that Finch did, I hope he lost his license and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    (How does a boy who didn't attend school become a writer? He must've had some awesome editors.)

    C.A. Wulff, (author of a TRUE memoir)...more info
  • Waiting for the musical
    Where's the humor? This book is not funny, it's ridiculous. If you are the type of person who can find humor in a grisly train wreck, then you'll love this book. If there's any truth to the story at all, I believe it's been embellished until it's unrecognizable. I didn't finish the book - I'm waiting for the musical, or perhaps the comedy channel will pick it up. The same people who laugh uncontrollably at a 12-year-old in a movie who blurts out gratuitous, vulgar expletives will find this story to be an over-the-top, knee-slapping hoot....more info
  • Didn't care for it
    After hearing so much praise for this book, I finally read it and was very dissapointed. I thought it was just downright weird and not funny. The characters struck me as very sad and distorted to say the least - but not funny. I'm sorry to say I found nothing redeeming....more info
  • Disgusting!
    This book was absolutely disgusting and I don't believe even half of it actually happened....more info
  • This book is too easy to read
    If it was not for the overtly sexual and disturbing subject manner i would have thought this book was written by a ten year old boy. I got this book because it was at the dollar bookstore and i wanted a change a pace from the English Literature i have been reading lately.

    I also got sick of all the pop culture references thought out the book. I also don't believe a lot of what in this memoir is true. The most appalling thing about this story is that all of the characters in this book felt it was ok for him to be sexually active when he was 13 and to have a 33 year old pedophile as a boyfriend. I gave this three stars because it was readable. Another thing that bugs me about this book is the way it is published. The words on the pages are too big and there is way too many spaces between the lines. This makes the book like 300 hundred pages. But if it was mass market paperback it would only be like 150 pages. With the enviorment in a state of decline i felt it should have used less paper. The only reason they made the book this way is too make it seem like it is a bigger book then it really is. If i paid the retail price for it i would have be livid....more info
  • Running with Scissors: A Memoir
    I loved this book. I have read it numerous times and I still Laugh my butt off. Way better than the movie, but the movie does hold it's own. I look forward to reading this book for years to come.
    ...more info
  • Embarrasingly shallow, immature, and fabricated...
    There seems to be a very disturbing trend in memoir-writing where the modus operandi isn't to recount one's life and experiences so much as to fire loaded mental cannons chock-full of wildly exaggerated and fictionlized "events". Thus, the memoir's goal isn't to inform, but to shock. Not to provide insight into one's life, but to be a sickening and horrifying account of a life that resembles a car wreck more than anything else.

    Yes, kids. We're not here to dig up painful/repressed memories and place them in the proper context. We just wanna be "edgy" and sell books.

    It's no surprise when the factual foundation holding up these memoirs crash like a house of cards when held under a scrutinizing microscope.

    First there was James Frey, who told wildly fantastical tales of crack abuse, alcoholism, assaulting cops, fugitive status in three states, incarceration, and ultimately redemption.

    Then we found out that James was yet another privileged poser who did no jail time and whose arrest record was a standard frat-boy public drunkenness beef during his college days.

    Let's not forget J.T. Leroy, the child prostitute-turned-HIV-positive-transexual whose childhood memories were a White Trash Roadshow full of truck-stop pedophilia and religious freaks. Except Leroy doesn't actually exist.

    Or how about Margaret B. Jones, the half-Cherokee gang-banger from South Central, or rather, the affluent Valley Girl who concocted her non-existant "street cred" out of thin air? Or maybe Diablo Cody, the college-educated journalist who got bored of working in a cubicle so she decided to take up stripping for a couple of months?

    And on and on.

    And now we come to Augusten Burroughs, whose "Running With Scissors" re-counts his childhood days living with a bizarre psychiatrist and his Family of Freaks. It's a book that is so sickening (and its vignettes so widly unbelivable), that you're half-tempted to forgive the sins of the above-mentioned authors.

    The first thing you notice in the first several chapters is that Burroughs, at 37 (when he published this book), doesn't seem to have much mature life experience (and he doesn't...he dropped out of 7th grade).

    Granted, not everybody who forgoes a formal education at an early age is doomed to a life of immaturity; hell, there are PhD's out there who are just as regressive. But there's definitely a pattern among some grade-school drop-outs who simply never mature past the age they left school. From childhood on they're looking at the world through the same-colored lenses and never bother to adjust because they never learned how.

    In Augusten's case, it's that of a petulant, self-obsessed, and condescending 12-year-old. And right away the bombs start dropping. Right away we've got the obsession with neatness and pressed-and-primped clothes. We've got the aloof, pretentious mother right out of a Bunuel film, who gets progressively crazier as the tome continues. She's an "artist" you see, and a paranoid one at that. She fears for her son's life (his father is "homocidal"), so she ships precious Augusten off to live with the crazy psychiatrist.

    "Augusten". Another one of the book's unforgivable sins. The author whose legal name was Christopher for the first 35 years of his life is referred to by his pen name throughout the book. Did someone forget to tell Burroughs that you can't retroactively change your name? Muhammed Ali didn't beat Sonny Liston for the Heavyweight Title. Cassisus Clay did. But moot point. Moving on...

    What follows is an absolutely, eye-rollingly laughable account of dysfunctional suburban living. To say Burroughs' memories of the "Finches" stretches credibility is to say that cigarettes are a tad harmful to your health. UNDERSTATEMENT!

    It remains unclear if Burroughs was going for straight-up satire or was just continuing the rich boy trend of condescending to everything and everyone around him. We expect a bland, white bread psychiatrist's family. What we get instead is White Trash Paradise: A band of freaks right out of John Waters who act out all of Burrogh's twisted fantasies about lower-class life.

    There's the gutter-trash sisters too busy eating dog food and playing with electrolysis machines to wash their hair or clothes. There's the 6-year-old brother with a jelly-smeared mouth and some wicked foot odor who not only roams the house naked but defecates in the living room.

    Then there's the Howard Hughes-esque Joranne, who displays every obsessive-compulsive and schizophrenic tic Burroughs could find as he was skimming through those mental illness pamphlets.

    You get the sense that this is how Burroughs thinks lower-class families really live: in roach-infested squalor where girls leave their dirty underwear in bathroom sinks and where little boys receive oral sex from dogs. Burroughs juxtaposes this with Fern's squeaky-clean family of well-groomed/mannered children.

    This is where Burroughs shows his hand as a self-hating rich boy. He laments that he can't imagine Fern's Rockwellian family being able to last 5 minutes in the Finch household. He compares the preppy family to zoo animals, and scoffs disdainfully at the preppy schools he eventually drops out of.

    Context? Hell no! Burroughs is still trying to show the reader what an amazingly awesome and crazy childhood he had with that wacky, white-trash Finch family! And like the spoiled little brat he (still) is, he's using tales of graphic sexual abuse and wild, unchecked family eccentricity to score hipster points. Burroughs thinks the edgier he can make this tale, and the more controversial of a back-story he can unleash onto the unsuspecting reading public, the cooler everyone will think he is for having lived to sell the tale, while still feeling bad for him.

    But after reading this deliberately trashy memoir, the only thing that deserves sympathy is Burroughs' undeveloped mind. Since the publication of the book, the real family depicted in the book has come forward to shoot down all of Burroughs' ridiculous claims. In interviews, they come across as bland and unexceptional as you would expect a psychatrist's children to be; hardly the motley crue of in-bred freaks Burroughs makes them out to be.

    And once you realize that Burroughs pulled most of his memories about the family out of his rear end, it's probably a safe guess that the sexual abuse he suffered as a 13-year-old probably never happened; just another retroactive, narcissistic fantasy in this pitiful and ultimately boring tale of self-myth-making (wait till you read how Burroughs describes his abuser's roommate).

    And then you realize what a self-serving hack Burroughs is for writing such an obviously fabricated memoir. In this age of quirk over content, we can easily forgive a feel embellished details. But taking such careless dramatic liberties with a family that took him in as a vulnerable child is simply unforgiveable.

    In that light, you can almost forgive Frey, Leroy et al for their fabricated memoirs. After all, you can't libel someone who doesn't exist, so you certainly don't have to worry about a lawsuit. But Burroughs went so far above and beyond simple "creative license" with such a mean-spirited and condescending depiction of his caretakers.

    And like any emotionally-stunted memorist trying to score hipister points, street cred, and sympathy all-in-one, Burroughs rode his Rich Boy's Runaway Train all the way to the bank, before the Truthiness Express finally went off the tracks with the real family's lawsuit.

    It's obvious that this poor little rich boy spent his entire privileged life doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, carrying around his b.s. sense of entitlement and crying "why me?" whenever anyone dared tell him no (how many kids do you know who were allowed to drop out of GRADE SCHOOL simply because they didn't feel like going?!). Hopefully the fall-out of this lawsuit grounded this petulant brat and took him out of his self-absorbed cave for a few minutes.

    But then Burroughs headed back into his well of self-obsessions once again, digging around his obviously uneventful life for more made-up events that he can spin into money-making reality.

    But if you manage to make it through this memoir without having repeated urges to throw it into either the Fiction section or the garbage disposal, you'll have a better sense of what a self-loathing cretin this poor little rich boy really is.

    You'll also realize that you can't really blame Augusten Burroughs for making up real life as he goes along. He's been doing it his whole life, and found a bunch of unsuspecting suckers to pay him to do it....more info
  • And You Think YOU Had A Rough Life???
    "Running With Scissors" is a must read for anyone who is not easily offended and may think they have had a rough life well, not much compares to this original memoir! Touching and yet, at times, disturbingly funny, this has to be one of the most shocking and entertaining reads I have had in years. Augusten has lived a strange life wth his mentally unstable mother and alcoholic father, until one day, he is GIVEN to his mother's shrink, Dr. Finch and his stange family and his life goes from disfunctional to complete and utter insanity! How he managed to survive all this is questionable, from gobbling prescription medications to playing with an electro-shock machine with the psychiatrist's daughter to having an affair at 13 with the psychiatrist's 33 year old pedophile stepson, yes, he survived and still sees the humor and light side of every siuation. An incredible and entertaining, fast-paced read that will have you laughing out loud and breaking your heart at the same time. Highly recommended! Read his other great reads such as Magical Thinking, Sellivision, Dry and the highly anticipated "Wolf At The Table" Excellent! A+++++++++++++...more info
  • Rambling around.
    I found the book rambling around, you need to have one month time to finish the book, for me it is too long of a read. But it got some interesting points in book....more info
  • awesome book
    ok, the bad ratings are a little ridiculous for this book so i had to comment.
    It's not a book for children and if you read the description- it's obviously a pretty messed up, way dark humor book and that would be so clear if you just read the description!

    really good book. easy read read it in two nights because i couldnt quit turning the pages. its so messed up its hilarious. touching and heartbreaking in some parts. its a really good read.
    also, i saw the movie the day after i finished the book...didn't like the movie as much! def. read the book first!
    ...more info
  • Disappointing and depressing
    This book was given to me as a gift based on the comparison to David Sedaris. I discovered nonfiction humor a few years ago, greatly enjoying Sedaris, Jill Conner Browne and others who have turned mishaps in life into tales that delighted.

    Life is disturbing and to be able to find humor in even the darkest moments is a gift. Burroughs has this gift, but these stories are too graphic, disturbing and depressing to make into humor. Mental illness and abuse are not funny. These are not mundane topics in which to find the light - there is no light.

    I found the writing to be simple, straight forward and descriptive (sometimes too descriptive); however the style helped me to feel the voice of Burroughs as a teen - I felt it was appropriate and well written in that respect. He's telling these stories as they happened (or as he remembers) and expects you to laugh.

    If you are able to find humor in funerals, traffic accidents and cancer, you may find it among these recollections, too. I did not and left hoping that he and all who were represented in the story were able to find help and heal. ...more info
  • Believable? Yes. Humorous? No.
    Some reviewers describe this as a book of humor. I wouldn't. Although there are moments of irony and the characters sometimes do or say ludicrous things, as a whole it is not a funny story.

    Unfortunately, the story is quite beleivable. Almost 40 years ago several friends of mine became involved with a therapist very similar to the pseudonymous Dr. Finch. They could have been twins. The guy I knew also performed bizarre therapies and brought patients into his household. He claimed his theories were based on "Transactional Analysis" and "re-parenting."

    Clients referred to the therapist and his wife as Mom and Dad. They were encouraged to act out their rage, shame or whatever they felt. Some were told to wear diapers and expected to pee and poop in them. Yes, it is a believable story, creepily so. For me, it was deja vu.

    Did every event in the book happen exactly as Burroughs describes it? The stories are based on twenty year old memories of an adolescent's understanding of the world around him. Remember that this adolescent was often whacked out on drugs and alchohol.

    Any five people who experience the same event will remember it differently. The family Burroughs lived with sued him for libel just before the movie came out. They did not win. The actual doctor did lose his license.

    If you don't think there are people as nutty as these roaming around, you need to get out a little more.

    ...more info
  • Don't be seduced by popular opinion.
    I can understand why this novel has received so many low ratings. Running with Scissors tells a story of someone who has had less than normal experiences throughout their childhood. Unfortunately, after a movie adaptation and popular media praise, this novel has entered the realm of literature frequented by a less receptive audience. Many people who read this book will think they're reading literature at it's most ribald. Many of these readers are people who have never even heard of "Beat Generation" authors like William Burroughs or Allen Ginsberg. I think it's unfortunate to see this book being criticized by people who aren't receptive to awkward sexuality.

    To those who are interested in this novel: Don't be turned off by some of the negative reviews. Anyone interested in reading this book with the proper mindset should be aware that there are far more disturbing topics to read about than a youth having uncouth homosexual experiences....more info


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