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352 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars three greats
Three books that you MUST read are these: ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY, MIDDLESEX, and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. Now, that said, you need to be warned about all three since they are NOT what you'd normally find on the bestseller list. RUNNING is by far the most bizarre, and the homosexuality in it may turn some off, not because of the alternative lifestyle, but because of the age...
Published on Jan. 8 2007 by Betty F.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Conflicted reader
Well, after having this book recommended to me, I really started re-evaluating my relationships. Not only because this book makes one really look at the ties that bind, but also because I was shocked that this was recommended to me in the same breath as a David Sedaris book. Burroughs' style is similar to Sedaris, however, never once did I laugh out loud (something that...
Published on July 1 2004 by Sarah


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars three greats, Jan. 8 2007
By 
Three books that you MUST read are these: ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY, MIDDLESEX, and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. Now, that said, you need to be warned about all three since they are NOT what you'd normally find on the bestseller list. RUNNING is by far the most bizarre, and the homosexuality in it may turn some off, not because of the alternative lifestyle, but because of the age difference in the two characters. But if you think that's disturbing, wait until you get a load out of the doctor who "adopts" poor Augusten. The house he gets placed in is one completely loony bin, and some of the characters, while unbelievable, still ring true within the context that Burroughs places them. My only complaint with this book, and hence the lack of a five star rating, is that some of the more interesting characters weren't given more page time. Other than that, it's probably the oddest book I've ever read--a good break from classical fiction. Also would highly recommend ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY as it is TOTALLY funny without being too deranged.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you find yourself laughing at inapproprite times..., Feb. 2 2004
By 
Maggie Flynn (AL United States) - See all my reviews
This book may be for you. If you're easily offended by graphic depictions of gay sex, abuse, bodily functions & mental disorders, I'd advise you to stay away. You'll be more horrified than amused.
A good friend bought my this book as part of a package of things that reminded him of me. I'm so glad he did. My childhood feels positively normal compared to this boy's.
This ia a graphic, hilariously dark tale of child abuse, neglect, addictions, craziness, homosexuality, and of surviving. There were parts of the book I was appalled at, parts I empathized with, and parts that I couldn't read because I couldn't quit laughing.
However, if you can see past the surface of things, you may just empathize a bit with this confused, bright, resiliant, neglected & abused boy.
There were chapters that horrified me when I realized that these things actually happened. On the flip side, there were scenes that had my laughing hysterically. His obsession with his & everyone's elses hair, and the episodes of the dying cat, and the many messages from God are both disturbing and funny.
If a young boy could survive & thrive after living though this hopefully untypical childhood, it gives me hope that things may work out ok after all. I can't wait to see what happens next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charmingly disarming, Jan. 3 2005
Memoirs or memoir-style books are now all the rage. And most manage to turn that genre on its pretty little head. Books such as Tatum O'Neil's "A Paper Life" and even the shocking and gorgeous "The Children's Corner" by McCrae. But Augusten Burroughs has a special place in the memoir section. This guy has really been through a little everything and the fact that he's survived to write about it, albeit humorously, is just a plain miracle. The fact that he's survived to write ANYTHING is remarkable, much less something as funny, powerful, harrowing, and real as RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. This is my first Boroughs book, but it certainly won't be my last.
I would also recommend two other books that are remarkable in the stories they have to tell. Tatum's A PAPER LIFE is a little more grounded but not as hysterical as this book, and the shocking and hilarious THE CHILDREN'S CORNER by Jackson McCrae--extremely well written and guaranteed to drop your jaw. Cheers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's All About Relationships, July 12 2004
By A Customer
Ok. There are some shocking scenes in this book. But it's good. Isn't that what counts? This is a book about relationships. There is Augusten's relationship with his increasingly crazed, would-be-poet, lesbian mother. There is Augusten's relationship with his increasingly crazed, pedophile boyfriend. There is Augusten's relationship with his increasingly crazed, perscription drug addicted psychologist turned guardian. If you enjoyed "My Fractured Life" (Rikki Lee Travolta) and that kind of frank but humored presentation of tainted relationships and off balance nature, you will love "Running With Scissors." In the words of Bill Cosby, 'if you're not careful, you just might learn something.'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, March 20 2004
By A Customer
Twila Downing,
This is a well written, though sometimes edgy and imaginative look at child abuse/molestation and the twist and turns the human mind will take as it makes the journey through life looking for wellness and serenity. Though many of the reviewers found this book 'Over the edge', I think that is what is captivating. Oh dont get me wrong it does deal with severe issues and yet, there are moments of laughter in the midst of the sadness. I think the author did a great job in penning this memoir. I rate it up there with the reality/gut wrenching and courageous healing 'NIGHTMARES ECHO', and the sad yet all telling look at abuse with a Christian approach of healing in 'BEAUTY FOR ASHES'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Memoir, Dec 14 2004
By A Customer
This is one of the best Memoir/Autobiographies I have read. Fits in with other memoirs I have read such as NIGHTMARES ECHO and DRY. The interior is filled with emotional ups and downs. There is tears and laughter. The look inside the self as to why someone does the things they do. to be brought up in an-for lack of a better word-Eccentric life is at times abusive and yet this author finds humor in his own unhappiness. Great memoirs that each tell a story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, Dec 12 2006
I had difficulties putting this book down simply because I was too good to be set aside. It is a unique and quite as bizarre story. Nevertheless, I consider this book to be memorable, highly disturbing, touching, fascinating and quite very funny. However, for mild, strong or weak stomachs who love good reads, I recommend THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES. I recommend it to those with strong stomachs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Savoring Every Piece, March 6 2005
By A Customer
Savoring every piece-and I use that literally as in trying to save a broken down coffee table.
This book shows you the horrors of his life, but yet, he is witty and uncanny in doing so. This is a fabulous book, similar in ways to "DRY", yet between the two books,"RUNNING WITH SCISSORS" stands out above the crowd.
Other Reads: NIGHTMARES ECHO,A CHILD CALLED IT and DRY
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling? Yes. A Guilty Pleasure? Yes., Nov. 13 2006
This is a strangely entertaining, even perverted "memoir." My favorite purchase, after the odd underground novel, "The Loser's Club" by Richard Perez, which others have mentioned. The characters depicted in "Running With Scissors" are bizarre and off the wall, to put it mildly. Let's start with the Augusten's mother, who is more than a little out of touch with reality. A narcissist blindly in search of self-discovery, she abandons the boy at the home of her shrink. Then things get even more bizarre. In fact, every single person in this book seems out of touch with reality. Is it funny? Humor, like everything else, is subjective. Many will be disturbed by much of it -- if it is taken literally. But I personally believe much of it is either fabricated or exagerated for the sake of "entertainment" or perhaps the truth, as Augusten remembers it, needed a perverted telling. So, taken as fiction (even as exploitative entertainment, a la Jerry Springer and so-called reality TV), I would recommend it to my open-minded friends. I personally enjoyed it, but still felt a bit unsettled by it. I mean, a doctor who reads his own feces as if they were tea leaves? Children who are allowed to function as they please, without boundaries? Pedophilia? Not exactly cheerful stuff, if taken literally. Funny, but only in a morbid way, under the presumption that it's fiction and with the author's gift for satire. Augusten Burroughs makes it all creepily amusing, because the true weight of his feelings may be a bit overwhelming and the truth is always more drab, so he relies heavily on distortion and humor. It's like he needs to constantly make fun and lampoon himself and his past in order to deal with it. In any respect, I must confess I enjoyed this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, can't tell you, Sept. 8 2005
I had heard a great deal about this book and was eager to tackle it. That, and the fact that it had a great cover. People DO judge a book by its cover, you know. At any rate, I dove right in. Nothing could have prepared me for what came next, and next, and next. I was riveted to every page. About my only complaint is that the writing style could have been a little more, oh, up to snuff, but the story itself is fantastic. I was reminded at times of the writing of Bukowski as in his POST OFFICE, or possibly the creativeness and humor of some other books, such as McCrae's KATZENJAMMER or the hilarious and ever-popular ME TALK PRETTY by David Sedaris. Still, this book is in a class by itself. RUNNING WITH SCISSORS begins with a scene in which seven-year-old Augusten watches as his mother, an insane housewife dedicated to writing confessional poetry, gets ready for a reading. Augusten helps by handing her a box of maxi-pads to use as shoulder pads. This is just the beginning of a story that gets weirder and weirder as Augusten's mother goes crazy and gives him away to her psychiatrist Dr. Finch, whose house is filled with free Valium, an old electroshock machine, and a thirty-something-year-old pedophile. The story is kept fresh and interesting by Burroughs' pervasive use of description and details most people wouldn't notice, like the fact that the Finches' ceiling "wasn't smooth...it was bumpy, like the backs of a woman's legs. The ceiling had cellulite." Another example of Burroughs' use of detail is his description of his mother's insanity, in which he specifies that she is "not crazy is a let's paint the kitchen bright red! sort of way. But crazy in a gas stove, toothpaste sandwich, I am God sort of way," and that her eyes "scared [him]. They looked radioactive." If you've read this book and liked it (then you know what I'm talking about), I strongly suggest you try the follow-up, which, in my opinion is much better written but equally as thought-provoking-DRY.
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Running with Scissors: A Memoir
Running with Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (Hardcover - July 10 2002)
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