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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.
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.
Finding yourself having a crap day? Pick yourself up by reading this great story. Very funny, sad and really hits home. Read morePublished 23 months ago 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