Possible Side Effects
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors comes Augusten Burroughs's most provocative collection of true stories yet. From nicotine gum addiction to lesbian personal ads to incontinent dogs, Possible Side Effects mines Burroughs's life in a series of uproariously funny essays. These are stories that are uniquely Augusten, wit...more
Although my parents never attended church or mentioned Jesus except when they screamed at each other—and then they used his full name, 'Jesus Fucking Christ'.
I am prone to envy. It is one of my three default emotions, the others being greed and rage. I have also experienced compassion and generosity, but only fleetingly and usually while drunk, so I have little memory.
"Side Effects" is another collection of stories of dysfunctional relationships, love affairs gone awry, childhood horror stories, and more tales of life in the big city. Though he...more
Whether it is a new genre or not, Augusten Burroughs' writing falls squarely in this realm. "Possible Side Effects" is a collection of hilarious but also often sad es...more
The first few stories bored me to tears. Boy loses tooth, NEXT! Man spends days in London hotel room watching BBC, stuffing his fat face and bashing Americans. Ok. Men acquire naughty puppy. zzz I don't need my books to be action-packed, but the pace of these essays is so slow that even the punctuation is starting to piss me off. Sentence fragments galore make for an even slower read. In the subsequent stories I have chuckled a few times, but I am irritated at Mr. Burrough's masturbatory met...more
This is a collection of brief pieces, mostly featuring the adult Augusten in moments of self-awareness and dot-connecting. His love for his partner and his disgusting bulldogs is touching, but I liked this collection best at its most obse...more
I love reading about his relationship with Dennis. I love that he marvels that someone as wonderful as Dennis could love him so much. Their unabashed adoration of their dogs hits home with me...more
“And with these words – I don’t think you’re supposed to be aware of your own heartbeat – this unknown woman in a burnt orange poncho doomed me to a life of pathological overawareness of my own cardiac activity.”
That right there is just fucking brilliant writing.
The chapter entitled "The Wisdom Tooth" where they stay at an inn owned by a doll collector is classic. That essay should be studied in colleges e...more
It is hard to say anything bad about someone's memoir (I'm talking bad writing and egotistical promotion aside - see: A Fractured Mind by Robert Oxman). I mean the definition alone (a narrative composed from personal experience) indicates that the book is a...more
“Kitty, Kitty,” chronicles the author’s short-lived ownership of a Wheaten terrier puppy named, well, KittyKitty. Burroughs impulsively buys the dog at a time when his life is in shambles and he is in no place to take on the responsibility of a pet. He would have had an excuse, I suppose, if he were...more
He is just so honest. How can you not just drink it in? Being able to laugh at yourself and be vulnerable at the same time . . . it's a thing of beauty.
One of my favorite stori...more
Not as good as Dry or Running With Scissors, but it's a quick read. I wouldn't recommend reading them all (unless you're just completely bored). Here is what I'd consider "required" and "optional" reading. (Not all of the stories are...more
Burroughs' short fiction, in my opinion, lacks the depth of his other writing. Some stories are incredible, but a lot of them fall short of the mark. My biggest problem is with...more
“Possible Side Effects” is a collection of stories-memories that Burroughs has stored away through out his lifetime. Spanning from childhood until very recently, the anecdotes he...more
I've typically listened to Burroughs, rather than reading hard copy. It may be my current pressure at work or too much caffe...more
Possible Side Effects shows those neuroses in full light. It is told with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a general deviance. In this collection, he convinces a lesbian friend to write the longest personal ad New York Magazine has ever seen and then tricks her into sabotaging the re...more
Augusten Burroughs offers a post?James Frey "dishonesty disclaimer" (New York Times) at the beginning of Possible Side Effects, a provocation that has reviewers scouring the essay collection for signs of the improbable. Sure enough, there's plenty of material that fits the bill, but critics don't seem to mind the tall tales as long as they're in on the joke. The loudest complaints are that the new book mostly retreads the best-selling Running with Scissors (***1/2 Nov/Dec 2002) and Dry and that...more
Mr. Burroughs is better off sticking to the wealth of humiliating and gut wrenching material of being an anxiety ridden teen or an utterly broken down alcoholic who is at the end of his drinking c...more
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS, are out of this world magnifications of absurd true stories that unintentionally bring light to the themes of race, poverty, religious passive aggressiveness, through a navigational map of short nonfiction stories about the advertising industry, the publishing industry, road rage, cooking, traveling, and fast food.
Do you like to laugh? Do you like true stories, that accidentally reveal new and old truths in the most unsuspecting p...more
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