Dry: A Memoir Paperback – Apr 1 2004
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Fans of Augusten Burroughs's darkly funny memoir Running with Scissors were left wondering at the end of that book what would become of young Augusten after his squalid and fascinating childhood ended. In Dry, we find that although adult Augusten is doing well professionally, earning a handsome living as an ad writer for a top New York agency, Burroughs's personal life is a disaster. His apartment is a sea of empty Dewar's bottles, he stays out all night boozing, and he dabs cologne on his tongue in an unsuccessful attempt to mask the stench of alcohol on his breath at work. When his employer insists he seek help, Burroughs ships out to Minnesota for detoxification, counseling, and amusingly told anecdotes about the use of stuffed animals in group therapy. But after a month of such treatment, he's back in Manhattan and tenuously sober. And while its one thing to lay off the sauce in rehab, Burroughs learns that it's quite another to resume your former life while avoiding the alcohol that your former life was based around. This quest to remain sober is made dramatically more difficult, and the tale more harrowing, when Burroughs begins an ill-advised romance with a crack addict. Certainly the "recovered alcoholic fighting to stay sober" tale is not new territory for a memoirist. But Burroughs's account transcends clichés: it doesn't adhere to the traditional "temptation narrowly resisted" storyline and it features, in Burroughs himself, a central character that is sympathetic even when he's neither likable nor admirable. But what ultimately makes this memoir such a terrific read is a brilliant and candid sense of humor that manages to stay dry even when recalling events where the author was anything but. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
None of the many readers of Burroughs's mordant memoir debut, Running with Scissors, would doubt that its entertainingly twisted author could manage, by page 41 of his new installment, to check himself into America's frumpiest alcohol rehab facility for gays. Burroughs has a knack for ending up in depraved situations and a vibrant talent for writing about them. Asked to sign reams of legal forms before entering rehab, he notes, "the real Augusten would never stand for this. The real Augusten would say, `Could I get a Bloody Mary, extra Tabasco... and the check?' " Alas, Burroughs's co-workers are tired of him embarrassing clients by spraying Donna Karan for Men not only around his neck but also on his tongue to mask the tangy miasma of alcohol, and they insist he seek help. Initially repulsed by his recovery program's maudlin language and mind-numbing platitudes, Burroughs eventually makes a steadfast, equally incredulous friend in rehab, finds his own salvation and confidently re-enters society. But when he falls for a wealthy crack addict and his best friend begins to succumb to AIDS, the support he'd enjoyed in rehab begins to crumble. One of the many pleasures of Burroughs's first book was the happy revelation that despite the author's surreal, crueler-than-Dickensian upbringing, he managed to land among a tribe of fellow eccentrics. Burroughs strains here to replicate that zany tone and occasionally indulges in navel-gazing, but readers accustomed to his heady cocktail of fizzy humor and epiphanic poignancy won't be disappointed.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Sometimes when you work in advertising you'll get a product that's really garbage and you have to make it seem fantastic, something that is essential to the continued quality of life. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
It's nowhere near bottom, and though that eventually becomes part of the problem, that's what passes for an addict's epiphany in Augusten Burrough's DRY, his sharpest, saddest, most focused book, an honest retelling of his wobbly recovery from alcoholism and his eventual, total relapse (telegraphed through the entire narrative) that's more intense and devastating than his original tour of addictive duty. When Burroughs finally gets to the bottom of his self-destructive impulses - his attraction to similarly damaged souls and his almost intrinsic narcissism - he completes a surprisingly effective, witty testimonial for day-to-day recovery.
Sent to rehab when his agency thinks his addiction finally overwhelmed his creative abilities, Burroughs zips through his time at the clinic without tremendous discomfort before returning to an apartment pocked with empty bottles, trash and rotted food. He steps right back into the ad world while a best friend/lover, Pighead, struggles with AIDS and a friend from the clinic, also in recovery, moves in.Read more ›
This book is a wonderful piece of literature. It is hard to put down and you are given the lessons to understand addictions in its raw forms. Addictions of any kind, take a toll on the person. This author does well to tell us his story and to make us understand what it is like to walk in his shoes. You also are shown 'HOW' this addiction comes about. The abuse is abuse...is abuse theory. That people live what they are taught in so many ways. What a compelling piece of work. I would also like to mention here a few other Memoir style books that have captured my attention the way that 'DRY' has. They are: 'NIGHTMARES ECHO,MY FRACTURED LIFE and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. Read 'DRY'!!!
After he checks out of rehab, Augusten has to attend group therapy with other addicts, which is where he meets a really handsome fellow named Foster. Augusten seems to fall for him, against his better judgement, if not just because the guy is, well, REALLY GORGEOUS. Throughout all this, the story of fighting addiction is intertwined with his story about his relationship with "Pighead", whom you may remember referenced to in some of Augusten's other books. Things aren't going so well for Pighead in terms of his health but Augusten is just so wrapped up in his attempt to stay sober, Foster, and his job.
Eventually, he falls off the wagon. However, the reason for why he does ultimately stop drinking is really endearing and will bring a tear to your eye, an ache to your heart.
This book shows the ups and downs of the on-going battle of sobriety. It's full of funny, endearing, sad, etc moments, in a book full of interesting characters and anecdotes.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Finding yourself having a crap day? Pick yourself up by reading this great story. Very funny, sad and really hits home. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2013 by not one more
I read running with scissors a few years ago and decided to pick this one up.
I was hooked from the very first page. Read more
I literally read this book in one sitting. It was so well written that I was completely engrossed in the story. Its graphic, real, and heartwrenching. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2007 by A. John
Read "Running with Scissors " first. Dark, funny and sad. It was appallingly funny in spots. A good , but disturbing read.Published on July 4 2007 by Mary Ellen
... and thought that since it was a hardcover and selling for two bucks on final clearance, I'd give it a try. Read morePublished on March 10 2007 by Anthony Famularo
I can't say enough about this book. It is brutally honest and touching and deals with many issues that many will find difficult to deal with e.g. alcoholism, homosexuality, AIDS. Read morePublished on June 28 2005 by John Vanerknute
Augusten is a lucky bum. In his life, he's given chance after chance, blows it again and again -- yet somehow makes it through. Read morePublished on June 4 2005 by Larry Koeken
I raise a toast to Augusten Burroughs for "Dry." This is a brilliant account of alcoholism. Read morePublished on March 1 2005