Farkas az asztalnál
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Farkas az asztalnál

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  18,189 ratings  ·  1,613 reviews
When Augusten Burroughs was small, his father was a shadowy presence in his life: a form on the stairs, a cough from the basement, a silent figure smoking a cigarette in the dark. As Augusten grew older, something sinister within his father began to unfurl. Something dark and secretive that could not be named.
Betrayal after shocking betrayal ensued, and Augusten's childhoo...more
224 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2008)
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tee
Burroughs is dramatic. He's a ranting, raving, immensely creative drama queen. Unfortunately his drama queen antics were too overboard this time around. There was a lot of could have, maybe, 'I think he might have', in this book. He writes well, but he made me cringe every couple of pages. The bright! he stared at the bright! when he was a year and a half old.

I think abuse of children in any form is horrid. That includes anything Burroughs' father may have done; whether it was making him feel u...more
Betsy
CAVEAT: This book is potentially triggering for survivors of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse, as well as animal lovers.

I heard Augusten Burroughs said, and I paraphrase, that Running with Scissors was a joyous romp compared with this book. Now that I have read it, I understand why. Running with Scissors does seem like a collection of insouciant anecdotes juxtaposed with the raw, unpolished emotionality that Burroughs unfurls in this narrative.

I've read doubts from others about what in...more
Will N Van

Augusten Burroughs is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and it has always puzzled me a bit regarding the debate as to whether or not the events in "Running With Scissors," and now "A Wolf at the Table," are ultimately word for word truth. Given the corroboration from his older brother who has written his own memoir, I would have to say that there is a good chance that much of what Burroughs writes is based on his actual experiences. I suppose if I were a character mentioned by him and fel...more
Melissa
I had to stop reading this because I was so infuriated by the first chapter. I'm sorry, but there is NO WAY Augusten Burroughs remembers looking at the mobile above his bed when he was not even a year old (and in such detail!), or what the bottle tasted like at that age (or being sad when it was taken out of his mouth!), or that he was thinking the moment his friend got lost at the seaside ("I just assumed he'd never return"... what toddler thinks like that?). After "Running With Scissors," I'm...more
K.D. Absolutely
Early this year, I read Augusten Burrough’s bestselling memoir about his dysfunctional family in Running With Scissors (2002). It covers the time that Burroughs spent living in the home of his mother’s therapist. I was enjoying it (after all, Augusten Burroughs ranks #15 in the Top 25 Funniest People in America according to a magazine's survey) until it came to that detailed oral sex scene between him and the other male character towards the end of the book. That threw me off not because I am sq...more
Caris
When I first read this book (back in 2008), it hit me hard. The subject matter hit too close for anything even faintly resembling objectivity. Fucked up parents are fucked up. And it fucks you up. Wolf at the Table was an easy five stars.

It’s been four years, and I'm on my second reading. It will be my last. My life has changed. While the shit my dad did to me still hurts, the pain has dulled. It’s bearable, I think. A full decade has passed. The wounds have scarred over.

Augusten Burroughs’ dad...more
Jan Kendrick
Wow.

This is a tough one... A tough review to write, a tough book to read.

Normally I like Burroughs' books, but I am truly torn over this one.

Things I liked: The description, the imagery. I truly FELT (not just UNDERSTOOD) what he was writing. I also liked the way the book flowed. It was chronological for the most part, which made sense, but it wasn't rigid. It wasn't a day-by-day diary of his life. That would've been too much. Finally, I liked the threads he wove throughout the book: his father...more
Paul
I like Augusten. In this post-Frey Scandal world, it seems anyone who writes memoir has suddenly become suspect and frankly, I resent it. No one ever screamed FRAUD at Truman Capote for fictionalizing his past – well, at least not to his face, I’d imagine. Anyway, much has been made of the fact that the quirky humor that has kind of defined his style thus far is missing from this book (and make no mistake: it is) but then the subject at hand, viz., his alcoholic and possibly psychotic father, do...more
Christine
Some of the "Average Joe" negative reviews of A Wolf at the Table that I've read online complain that author Augusten Burroughs' "didn't really know what it was like to be abused" or that Burroughs' mental anguish in the hands of his father's quasi-psychotic unpredictability "was boring, same day in day out" or that "it wasn't funny." Wow. What a bunch of self-centered, whiny turds.

A Wolf at The Table is what it is - a simple memoir of a son who spends a lifetime searching for the love of his fa...more
Jason Pettus
(Today's review is much longer than Goodreads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

I've mentioned here regularly the entire idea of there being an "underground-arts canon;" that is, that just like the academic community, what we call the modern cutting-edge arts has now been around long enough (arguably...more
Anita Dalton
I think this is a fine book but I have no idea if you should read it or not. If you don’t know what I know, maybe it won’t be worth it to you. Because I think, at its heart, this is less a memoir for me than a book of kinship, a description of what it is like to be small and terrified, held in thrall to a mentally ill and at times despicable parent, to never feel peace, to watch creatures you love die (or in my case disappear entirely without a trace) and have nothing you can do about any of it....more
Luke
If you've read and enjoyed Burroughs' 'Running With Scissors' then there's really no excuse for not reading 'A Wolf at the Table' - purely because it provides the other half of the story.

Let me clarify. While Burroughs' earlier memoir revealed what a uniquely torturous childhood he'd had, it also presented it in a very John Irving kind of way - horrible, yet camp and darkly fabulous. There were, amongst the freaky parenting and bizarre psychotherapy (wankroom, anyone?) moments of happiness there...more
Cat
god, it almost pains me to leave augusten burroughs a shoddy review but im sorry, this book bored me to death.

one of the things i most admire and apriceiate about A.B. is his outstanding humor and wit despite the traumatic events that have shaped his life. this book lacked the humor.

and when you take away the humor, you are left with a husk. a husk filled with crap.

another thing that really drove me mad, were all the seeming contradictions that i am left from all the other books hes written. in...more
malic
this book is terrifying. it's about a little boy who longs for love from his father, who in return psychologically terrorizes him.

This is Burroughs' third full-length memoir, and it takes place mostly before the time Running With Scissors was written about, with a couple of stories that take place in his adulthood. However, I think I would still recommend reading his books in order of when he wrote them.

A Wolf starts with a melodramatic tone, and then Burroughs jumps into his memories of being...more
Kristen
I read Running With Scissors and was alternately horrified and fascinated with the author's life. I read Scissors with a weird detachment, viewing it instead as a fictional memoir, because it was too difficult to read, imagining that what he described actually happened to him.

But, I did enjoy his writing style, the wit, and his sense of humor. I wouldn't describe his books as "funny" but there is a certain dark biting humor to them.

I started out reading this book, already mentally prepared, hav...more
Jeanette
Burroughs tells the story of his relationship with his father up until early adolescence, at which point his parents divorced. This is sort of loosely written, not exactly chronological, but that's to be expected with childhood memories. It's easy to read and moves quickly. If you look at it from the perspective of a child, it's really sad. It must have been so hard to always live with no sense of certainty or safety. He kept trying so hard to get his father to notice him and show approval, even...more
Carmen
Mar 10, 2014 Carmen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like gothic horror
Shelves: non-fiction, horror
There is no laughter in this book.

Chronologically set before Burroughs renowned RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, this book chronicles his years 0-12, living with his two mentally ill parents.

This book focuses on his father, and is very successful in creating a dark, gothic atmosphere. Living in a house in the forest, Burroughs's father is a threatening figure who smiles wrong, and wields an axe. Living in terror of him, Burroughs and his mother walk on eggshells, never knowing when he's going to snap and...more
Sharon Putman
“I knew I had an ugly life. I knew I was lonely and I was scared. I thought something might be wrong with my father, wrong in the worst possible way. I believed he might contain a pathology of the mind -- an emptiness -- a knocking hollow where his soul should have been. But I also knew that one day, I would grow up. One day, I would be twenty, or thirty, or forty, even fifty and sixty and seventy and eighty and maybe even one hundred years old. And all those years were mine, they belonged to no...more
Terry
I do like Burroughs; I like his essays rather than his sustained writing. I feel like I'm the only one in America who didn't like Running With Scissors. This book...hmm. It's very frightening, and Burroughs as ever is compulsively readable. Yet I was occasionally confused; the jacket copy refers ominously to "the games", but that reference only appears once near the very end of the book and it's never clear what it means, exactly. This, linked with a scene in which Burroughs wakes up in the midd...more
John
This is my brother's newest book, a dark story about our late father
Lisa
07/08 Much darker, without the humorous asides. Listening to Augusten read is a little like watching a performance art piece. His speech is very deliberate and slow; at first annoying, I think I can settle into this well. Poignant childhood memories so far.

08/08 Stunning! I am so glad that I listened to this on audiobook rather than reading it. It is compelling, utterly moving, and miraculous. Only afterwards, in a short interview on the final CD did I learn that Augusten's vision for the audio...more
Anne
Several years ago, I read Augusten Burroughs's memoir Running with Scissors (later turned into a movie). I found it disturbing that he had so much abuse and tragedy in his life, but he seemed intent on minimizing it and just trying to get a laugh. Reviews of the book hailed it as hilarious, and given that it was supposedly true, I found the whole thing profoundly sad. Since then, I have been reluctant to read his other books, but something moved me the other day and I picked this one up. A Wolf...more
Cindy
Aug 02, 2008 Cindy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: prisoners on death row - should cheer them up!
Shelves: memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Malbadeen
May 13, 2008 Malbadeen marked it as books-ill-never-read  ·  review of another edition
I recently shared my distaste for Burroughs writing with someone that thinks highly of him. She insisted that if I heard him speak in person my opinion would be diferent. while I'm not willing to pay 27.00 to hear him speak this month, I did listent to this interview:

http://www.apple.com/podcasts/meetthe...

and now not only am I further convinced that his writing is self indulgent, rambalings; insulting in their pointedness but I also think he is:

CUCKOO! CUCKOO! CUCKOO!

and while I feel bad that h...more
Leela
This is the memoir I read for my independent reading project.
I thought this book was very interesting. I also found it completely frustrating, though. THe entire book put my in a really bad mood, mainly because It was just such a horrible story. It was sad, and I wanted to go in the book myself and help out the poor kid. But I couldn't, and that's what made me mad. It made me mad that nobody realized what was going on inside the house that the kid was staying in and that nobody DID anything abo...more
Mac
I love everything else Augusten Burroughs has written, especially "Dry" and "Sellivision", but this one just didn't seem to be up to his usual standards. As I was reading it,I kept wondering if he got behind deadline for the next book he owed his publisher and came up with this at the last minute. There was also a certain "so what" factor that seemed to permeate the whole concept. His father was a particularly unpleasant person; so what? One of the things that makes AB such a joy to read is his...more
Jennifer
Wow this book was dark, very dark. It felt creepy just reading certain chapters. As always, extremely well written on his part. Some of the details were incredibly clear for someone so young and I have read many others challenging that...but in my opinion, it is not my place to judge anothers memory. Everyone is different in terms of what they can recall from childhood, espeically when those events are traumatic. It is amazing what a traumatized child can tell you in detail about things.

Very sa...more
Anastasia
Jul 31, 2008 Anastasia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sandra, pamela
What a sad little book. Burroughs' descriptions of trying so hard to get his father's love and attention just broke my heart. I read this in a few hours, but it made me very curious about the rest of his family-- his mother and brother are both authors, too.

I think anyone who is a parent might find this book interesting. Burroughs does a great job of reminding us how even very, very young children feel. His retelling of his childhood feelings about his parents made me ponder how my son will ulti...more
Beth
Well another bad, fake ass "memoir" written by a self indulgent little prick of a man who thinks way way too highly of himself. If these books are so easy to write * which they must be lord knows there are a lot of them out there* I think I should dramatize my crazy ass parents and make millions too.
Antoine
Beautiful and painfully written. Augusten Burroughs tells a dark and twisted recollection of his childhood... As he experienced it. This book is for anyone who ever longed for the acceptance of a parent. Moved me to tears.
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What did you think of this book? 11 193 Sep 07, 2013 05:47AM  
Live Burroughs Interview About "Wolf" 1 88 Apr 25, 2008 09:13AM  
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Augusten Burroughs born Christopher Robison, son of poet and writer Margaret Robison and younger brother of John Elder Robison.

Burroughs has no formal education beyond elementary school. A very successful advertising copywriter for over seventeen years, he was also an alcoholic who nearly drank himself to death in 1999. But spurned by a compulsion he did not understand, Burroughs began to write a...more
More about Augusten Burroughs...
Running with Scissors Dry Magical Thinking: True Stories Possible Side Effects Sellevision

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“I came to think that maybe God was what you believed in because you needed to feel you weren’t alone. Maybe God was simply that part of yourself that was always there and always strong, even when you were not.” 218 likes
“God, I felt certain, did not mind that I didn’t press my hands together to pray. I was casual, but I was sincere. I knew that God existed as the Correct Answer inside my chest.” 31 likes
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