Lisa's Reviews > Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
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Dec 21, 07

Recommended for: fake memoirists--as a cautionary tale
Read in December, 2007

By the time I got around to reading this book, I knew the whole backstory. Burroughs wrote it as a memoir, but later admitted that it, well, wasn't all non-fiction after all. So I was surprised at how fictional it really seemed. I don't know which parts were the non-fictional parts, but none of it seemed particularly plausible. I don't know how Burroughs ever got compared to Sedaris. Sedaris writes tight, funny short stories that feel true. This book was rather sprawling, for not being all that long, and while it certainly had plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, it was just trying too hard to be over-the-top. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. And I'd accidentally read three books in a row that were all about how messed up the protagonist's childhood was, and how rocky his or her transition to adulthood ended up--this was the third. The more-messed-up-than-thou theme had begun to bore me.

Pick it up for cheap and read it on a plane.

As a side note, the author photo, a kind of big guy in a college baseball cap, doesn't look at all like a young gay writer who grew up singing showtunes and wearing dress pants. He looks more like a guy who would reminisce about his high-school football glory days. That incongruity did amuse me.
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