Angie's Reviews > Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
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's review
Mar 31, 2008

really liked it
Read in March, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I began this book Monday night, 3/24. I almost decided to put it down, thinking, "Oh, here we go. Another memoir with witty inclusions of past pop culture, preying on my nostalgia." But then, I couldn't get over Burroughs' memory of the details from the past, such as the ticking of a cooling hair dryer or how he felt when dressed just so. And then I thought, "This guy can't be for real. He's making up details to fill the space." But I decided to keep going after his description of the dump run with his father. Burroughs' desire for the abandoned coffee table, his description of how he would make it look nice and shiny (Windex! magazines!), and his childish wish to be flung from the car just made me keep going.

So far, so good.

This book has gone from weird to disturbing. I don't know what is more disturbing: the stories or Burroughs' resiliency. The idea that his mother inadvertently protected Burroughs' older brother by NOT seeking medical advice certainly seems true to me. No telling what would have happened to the brother had he been evaluated by a doctor as . . . different as Dr. Finch.

I like that we are introduced to an adult flaw in the pre-teen Augusten: his treatment of Bookman. It's disturbing, and his failure to see the danger in his behavior is alarming. His exposure to his parents' fighting and Dr. F's encouragement of expressions of anger to the extreme, seem to have desensitized Augusten to the power of anger and the effect words can have on people.

I wonder where this Bookman thing is going. I'll be glad when he's out of the story.

Burroughs' unapologetic, naked memoir confounds my own sense of privacy. I don't understand how someone can be so open about his history. He's writing from outside, as if he is his own character. He's become his own patient.

I do envy Burroughs' need to write. I think really great writers feel as if they cannot or are not living unless they are writing. I've never felt that way.

I like the book, overall. I can't read Dry right now, however. I need a break. Imagine how Burroughs feels.
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message 1: by Allison (new)

Allison Kovacs Angie,
I too own this book and have attempted to read it about 3 times! I just can't get into it, I even rented the movie when it came out about a year ago and it was super weird, couldnt' get through that either. Anyhow, keep me updated, maybe I'll give it another go! Allison

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