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Dry

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  58,810 ratings  ·  2,678 reviews
From the bestselling author of Running with Scissors comes Dry the hilarious, moving, and no less bizarre account of what happened next.

You may not know it, but you've met Augusten Burroughs. You've seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twenty-something guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two
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Paperback, 293 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Picador (first published January 1st 2003)
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Running with Scissors by Augusten BurroughsThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisDry by Augusten BurroughsTo Live and Drink in L.A. by Ben Peller
Best Strange and Twisted Memoirs
4th out of 230 books — 729 voters
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsNight by Elie WieselAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography
43rd out of 2,693 books — 2,921 voters


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Community Reviews

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Mark
After reading Dry I went over to Cedar Tavern for a martini. I don’t normally drink martinis, but according to Augusten Burroughs, the famous Cedar Tavern on University Place in Manhattan serves huge ones (“enormous; great bowls of vodka soup”) - so you get the most of what you pay for. But as it turned out their martinis are actually rather small, the opposite of Burroughs’ claim. And the bartender on the second floor told me that the martinis have been the same size for at least five years sin ...more
K.D. Absolutely
What do Haruki Murakami (born 1949) and Augusten Burroughs (born 1965) have in common?

Nothing except they both love to drink and they both write stories, novels and memoirs. Everything else about their lives is full of contrasts. Murakami is a Japanese while Burroughs is an American. Murakami interweaves non-human fantasy in his human characters. Burroughs characters are human but they seem to be fantasy. Murakami is straight and very conservative while Burroughs is a flamboyant gay. You know th
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maricar
Sharp, candid, and surprisingly poignant...

The fact that I finished this book in one day probably indicates that I enjoyed it. Indeed, the only novels that I recall where I truly laughed my head off were from chick-lits, trivial as that may sound. But, really, Burroughs has managed to be disarmingly droll while being frightfully honest and self-deprecating. I can't attest if that's from being gay, the result of coming from a dysfunctional family, or perhaps from working in advertising (in New Yo
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Carmen
Apr 10, 2014 Carmen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Addicts of any kind; People who like to laugh
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is funny. It's funny and it's true and it's real.

I laugh and crack up about what Burroughs is saying, even though he is a mean funny. I say "a mean funny" because he really rips into other people and judges them. Of course, he does the same thing to himself, but I can't help feeling a little guilty about enjoying this book so much. Sometimes he'll be saying something and I'll be laughing and then I'll think, "Should I really be laughing at this?"

Believe me, it's nothing too offensive o
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Kelsey
"You were spectacular," Hayden tells me afterwards.
"How so?"
"You were so honest and substantive. Just no bullshit," he says, slapping me on the back.
"Really? I seemed normal?" I ask.
"Of course. You were great."
"What a relief. I had no idea what I was saying. I was actually thinking about how my chest hair is growing back after having shaved it all off."
Hayden turns sharply, "What?"
"Well, I thought maybe of bleaching it for the summer. But then I thought how awful it would be to have roots. Ches
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Marcellina
I got to be Augusten Burrough's escort when he spoke at the Texas Book Festival a few years ago, and he was very soft spoken, low key and ordinary looking. He spoke to a very large, adoring crowd in the senate chambers, and then signed books for quite a long time to an equally adoring snaking line of fans. He was very sweet and humble. He also bolted out of there as quickly as he could, and asked to be taken directly to his hotel, although my friend Kelly and I managed to drive him around Austin ...more
peg
What more can be said about Augusten Burroughs? He is an amusing mess!
If half of the information in his memoirs is true, I will give him five stars for his survival skills. If his memoirs are later discovered to be false,I will give him five stars for creativity and fantastic story telling.I can't put this book down.

I haven't read their books, but it seems that his mother and brother are capitalizing on family dysfunction as well. They all make me feel extremely boring and sane.
Alexa
THE break-up book. While it may seem that Burroughs's story about his struggle with addiction and sobriety would have little to do with the average twenty-something's experience muddling through a break up, I have found no better book to read in the wake of a disasterous relationship.

For example, once he's sober and out of rehab, Burroughs begins counting days. (He keeps track of how many days he goes without dringking, and must to keep counting until he hits the 90-day mark, after which the cou
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Malbadeen
Mar 12, 2008 Malbadeen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people that like to have things spelled out.
Recommended to Malbadeen by: the cover kept coming on to me.
(Mid March).....Dear Book Cover,
I love you and I'm sorry it had to end this way. Remember when we first met? Remember how I tried to overlook you again and again but finally I broke down and pulled you off the shelf and you asked me to touch you, so I did. I spread my fingers and placed my palm flat across you. And then remember how I used my fingers to push up the palm and drug just my finger tips from the top to the bottom? and of course, the inevitable - the quick pull to the cheeck. The gla
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Jodi Goldbeck
This is the second memoir by Augusten Burroughs, which details his life in his 20s, living in New York City, working as an advertising executive, making tons of money, and slowly killing himself each day by drinking more than seems humanly possible. After years of alcoholism, Augusten checks himself into an in-patient rehab center and begins a life he's never really known...sober.

This man is a great writer! His detailed descriptions of people, places and feelings are so well-written. I was entra
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Katie
By far my favorite Burroughs' novel. This one isn't for the weak of heart, its not the same light feel as some of his other books. This book digs deep and leaves you feeling his hopelessness. Dry is all at once inspirational, depressing, exciting, and frustrating. Immediately after reading his honest and darkly beautiful memoir it immediately made it on my favorite books list.
Burrough's has become a favorite of mine for his seemingly effortless managment of language. He is honest, funny and acc
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Eva
Brilliant, esp. if you have a dark, inappropriate sense of humor. A memoir of a gay ad man struggling with alcoholism.

Some kindle quotes:


He tells me how once he [the author's undertaker friend] had a female body with a decapitated head and the family insisted on an open casket service. “Can you imagine?” So he broke a broomstick in half and jammed it down through the neck and into the meat of the torso. Then he stuck the head on the other end of the stick and kind of pushed. - location 189


I was
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Carrie
Apparently, I am drawn to books written by gay men. I've never read any of Burroughs' work before, but own a copy of "Running with Scissors" that looked good from the dust jacket summary. This one makes me laugh and question whether I, too, might be an alcoholic since I've justified my drinking with many of the same excuses: "That person criticizing me never has any fun," "What else am I supposed to do in my 20's?" and my favorite, "I hate people who don't drink." For the record, I am NOT an alc ...more
Lisa Filipczak
I loved this book! A family member recommended it to me and I thanked her for doing so. This is the story of Augusten Borroughs's journey to overcome his addiction to alcohol. He is an advertising copywriter and it's clear he knows how to tell a compelling story. I loved the nuances and descriptors in his stories. I'd recommend it even if one is not going through recovery.
Randolph Carter
You can always tell when a real alcoholic writes about alcoholism. A lot of writers that just drink a lot or have an alcoholic friend think they can write about it. They can't. They can fake it with people who drink a lot or with people that aren't alcoholics. Augusten Burroughs is a real alcoholic and he writes about it. He writes well about it, but he doesn't know what book he is writing. The first 100 pages are hilarious. Then the book turns dead serious for 200 pages, well not dead serious, ...more
Tom
Dec 03, 2011 Tom rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: glbt
"Dry" is Augusten Burroughs' autobiographical account about his life as a drunk while working in advertising in New York City. For the most part, it's a compelling, madcap read, but by the last few chapters, I was starting to tire of his ups and downs. He does have many humorous passages about his time in rehab, probably the most interesting part of the book. But he tends to be murky and vague when writing about his gay love life. The image that comes through is a young guy seeking quick gratifi ...more
Kendra Parker
I've read this book twice. Once almost a decade ago. To me then, it what a very good book but I did not have the connection to the story then that I do now.

Since the first time I read the book, I dated an alcoholic who in retrospect seemed to suck everything out of our relationship like they sucked every ounce of liquor from the bottle.

This book went from being interesting and hilarious in turns to being exactly what I needed. I actually read this book while still in that relationship and it mor
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Rhys Thomas
After Running With Scissors, his memoir of his childhood, I didn’t think Augusten Burroughs could offer anything more enjoyable. As it turns out, though, Dry is even better. It documents his attempts to conquer his alcoholism whilst at the same time dealing with his advertising job and the illness of his friend, Pighead (who is HIV positive). The recounting of his adventures is very funny, but there is more emotional depth in Dry than in Scissors. Burroughs’ writing is much better in this book a ...more
Victoria
This is the second Burroughs book I've read, and again, I find his writing not necessarily beautiful and poetic, or quotable and elegant, but incredibly engaging and real, and he makes me smile at how honest he is -- when he tells us something awful and personal about himself, I'm taken aback and almost embarrassed at first, then a little more embarrassed because I realize I do it too or at least do something similar and equally kind of disgusting and embarrassing, and then smile at his ability ...more
Mikayla Knight
Okay, I didn't finish this one. I got about halfway through and had to put it down because I reached my maximum amount of frustrated sighs per book (20).

I have several problems with this book. First of all, it says on the cover that it is a memoir, but Burroughs takes way too much license with dialogue and description. Although he states several times that he has always kept a journal, many of the details either have to be or better be made up. Here's an example of a detail he recalled that I re
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Stephanie
Dry is Augusten Burrough's follow-up to Running with Scissors. Thank God I read this one first, or I woukd have never purchased another.

The book chronicles Burrough's journey from successful ad exec to alcoholic _ in often funny, yet also touching ways. He goes to rehab early in the book, where he actually believes the program will "teach" him "how to drink responsibly." And that it has nothing to do with stopping drinking altogether.

One thing that never occurred to me is covered in the book:
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Erica  Reynolds
Why are we all so obsessed with the alcoholic memoir? I read this quick read for book group in under three hours - which was about all the time it deserved. The literary tradition of great intoxicated writers may fascinate those who never studied Beatnik literature or Hemingway in school. But to satisfy the niche of urban hipster- intellectuals who are looking for a step above Lindsay Lohan's faux-glam adventures in US Weekly, this book was just an edited down version of James Frey's A Million L ...more
Alex Duncan
By far Augusten Burroughs best book, enough said. If you don't like Dry, you don't like AB.
Erika Batey
Brutally honest. Makes you want to close your eyes and run from the room - but you keep reading.
João Roque
Depois do seu grande êxito “Correr com tesouras”, em que relata a sua infância extravagante, doado para adopção pela mãe, meia louca, a um louco completo, seu psiquiatra e com cuja família Burroughs vive uma adolescência sem regras e alucinante, o autor continua a descrever a sua vida, agora jovem publicitário em Nova Iorque, uma carreira de sucesso, fazendo de Manhattan o seu mundo e do álcool a sua vida.
É pois um livro autobiográfico que nos mostra a descida aos infernos do alcoolismo, dos pro
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Robespierre Cat
It took me awhile today to put together that I'd first read his brother's book when, as a teacher, I read about 30 books on autism.
I can only barely recall certain things about the family in that-darn bad memory. Did not connect this to this writer then. His brother's book, in a way, was a good read. Helpful for my thinking about autism.
Then after finishing this book I read his mother's blog and webpage and the poems are good. I realize I haven't read "Running With Scissors" when everyone else
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Lyndsey
I can't really say if I "liked" Dry or not. It felt true. It felt like a grown up dysfunction that I first read in Running With Scissors. So maybe being Mormon shades my feelings ever so slightly with the book ("Rick is Mormon and although this is not a reason to hate him, I hate all Mormons as a result of knowing Rick"). I kinda of felt like I wasn't really who Burroughs wanted reading his books.

However that doesn't change how much I appreciate his honesty. The reason it feels true to me, just
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Marissa Burton
The perfect choice to read while recovering from surgery, since I could not leave the bed, and it turned out to be one of those books you can't put down once you start!
While I sometimes questioned Burroughs' recollections (especially since he was admittedly trashed during most of the period of which he writes), the style is so interesting and engaging that I could overlook it. Although not as depressing and pseudo-sad as his first book, "Running With Scissors", it was the natural outcome of tha
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Sunday
I enjoyed this sort of peek into AA and addiction from Mr. Augusten. It's hard to feel empathetic for someone who has a liter-a-day addiction to scotch, when I am in the gutter after a half bottle of my most precious Chandon. And yet, somehow, we are rooting and booing for Mr. A through the whole thing. I wanted him to become sober like a youth group devotee... and happy, even in the face of strange British crack addicts and handsome yet unhealthy hunks.

My largest complaint is that Augusten wri
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Mollie
As always with his memoirs I loved this. He is possibly my favourite memoirist as he doesn't sugar-coat his issues, he knows his life is a mess and he uses this to his advantage when writing these brilliant books. Dry made me think a lot and despite knowing deep down that he would of course relapse, actually reading about his relapse was horrible and i felt terrible for him, after being with him through his recovery and stint in rehab only to then learn about how it all came crashing down during ...more
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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
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More about Augusten Burroughs...
Running with Scissors Magical Thinking: True Stories Possible Side Effects A Wolf at the Table Sellevision

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“I'm lonely. And I'm lonely in some horribly deep way and for a flash of an instant, I can see just how lonely, and how deep this feeling runs. And it scares the shit out of me to be this lonely because it seems catastrophic.” 1488 likes
“I think I love him, but I also think that you can love people who aren't good for you.” 368 likes
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