Liza's Reviews > Dry

Dry by Augusten Burroughs
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Apr 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, memoir, 2010
Read from September 02 to 08, 2010 — I own a copy

Burroughs has done it again. After reading Running With Scissors, I could not imagine that more craziness, anything crazier than his youth, could happen in his life. Of course, I should have known that some people have a whole crazy universe around them throughout their lives. Burroughs seems to be just such a person.


I love that Burroughs deals with his life so honestly and so humorously. I have no doubt that he cannot help but exaggerate sometimes, who can when telling personal anecdotes? But for the most part I believe what Burroughs writes, and not in a conscious way. I don't even doubt as I read that this is his life on paper. I especially appreciate what I see as his honesty when I'm reading about the unflattering parts, his self-absorption, his denial, his avoidance tactics, his inability / unwillingness to deal with the heavy shit in life... and his recognition of that. I like that he is aware of his shallowness and makes jokes about it.


I would have to say that what I love the most about Burroughs is that throughout this book, even in his shitty, selfish, self-absorbed and destructive periods, I, as a reader, could sense that Burroughs has this genuine internal compassion, both for himself and for others. He is neither narcissistic nor suicidal, but somewhat more than normally self-destructive. It isn't masochism, and it isn't psychosis. What Burroughs underwent in this phase of his life, what he shares in this book, is something so brutally human, so common and yet so terrible, that I was simultaneously full of revulsion and recognition. I love him for this. I recommend this book even more highly than Running With Scissors, and I cannot wait to pick up his next work.

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Reading Progress

09/08/2010 page 132
41.0% "I was slow to start, but now I am addicted. I can't wait to see what is going to happen. Is he going to self-destruct? Fall in love? Relapse?"

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