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It would be tempting to call these highly personal and uninhibited essays painfully honest, except that Burroughs (Running with Scissors; Dry) is so forthright about his egocentricity that the revelations don't appear to cause him much pain. He approaches his material with a blithe tone that oozes sarcasm and crocodile tears. But the palpable humor of the writing itself endears listeners to him enough that they won't be completely repelled by even Burroughs's ugliest moments (which include his less than gallant reaction to accidentally stepping on a toddler's fingers in a store). His performance is off the cuff, but even when he's at his least humane, he still comes across as all too human. He adopts the same openness that made his previous memoirs—dealing with his bizarre upbringing and battle with addiction—so successful; now, however, he's focusing on less serious subject matter and displaying failings that are more vain. Burroughs excels in his personifications of others, whether portraying a domineering cleaning woman or an overbearing boss. While some may secretly wish for the death of such a boss, though, Burroughs admits openly and proudly that he believes he can will it to happen. That attitude, which is accentuated by his reading, makes this audiobook a true guilty pleasure.
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*Starred Review* Like fellow essayists David Sedaris and Jonathan Ames, Burroughs possesses a mind-set best described as superlatively disturbed. Following his two unnerving best-sellers, Running with Scissors (2002) and Dry (2003), the self-described "alcoholic, high-school dropout raised in a cult by a crazy psychiatrist" unleashes a brand-new collection of deliciously lurid true tales. In "I Dated an Undertaker," a steamy sexual act is performed in the onetime viewing room for Rose Kennedy's wake. "Telemarketing Revenge" reveals a raunchy solution for relentless nocturnal callers. And in "Debby's Requirements," a diminutive, passive-aggressive cleaning lady takes the unsuspecting author to court. Burroughs is a proponent of "magical thinking," the belief that a person can control the world with his mind. (It's like a grown-up version of "Step on a crack and break your mother's back.") In the title story, his wish for the demise of a moody, expletive-spewing boss is granted, though not by means of a moving bus, as he would have liked. Steroid-induced cleaning sprees; prickly encounters with priests; a nerve-shredding session with a sadistic dentist's drill--brimming with bawdy language and bodily fluids, this volume by a man "made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions," offers an irresistible display of sanity hanging by a thread. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
He is a master of introducing you to his quirky past. I like his style and the way he is open about his past experiences.Published 22 months ago by Helen Williamson Alexander
Having read RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, I was eager to embrace the author's other attempts at writing. DRY was next, and then I found this book-------MAGICAL THINKING. Read morePublished on June 30 2005 by Percy Grainger