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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  92,857 ratings  ·  3,662 reviews
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 drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at a ...more
Paperback, 293 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Picador USA (first published January 1st 2003)
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Luke Yes. Augusten Burroughs has written a lot of memoirs, most famously Running with Scissors, but this one's a bit different since it's mostly an adaptat…moreYes. Augusten Burroughs has written a lot of memoirs, most famously Running with Scissors, but this one's a bit different since it's mostly an adaptation of a diary he was keeping at the time. He edited it before publication to make it a smoother, more engaging narrative, but it's still completely true.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Mandy From the disclaimer at beginning of book about changing names, places, etc., He didn't break anyone's anonymity but his own. …moreFrom the disclaimer at beginning of book about changing names, places, etc., He didn't break anyone's anonymity but his own. (less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  92,857 ratings  ·  3,662 reviews

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Feb 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

4.5 stars

Augusten Burroughs

Augusten Burroughs is an American writer who's perhaps best known for his memoir "Running With Scissors", which documents his strange, abusive childhood. In brief, Augusten's parents divorced when he was young, and his unstable mother gave him to her Massachusetts psychiatrist, Dr. Finch. Augusten lived with crazy people in the doctor's filthy home, never went to school, and became the obsession of a pedophile that lived in a barn behind the house. The book was adapted
Jul 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Ever wonder why John Elder Robison (Look me in the Eye) snapped out of his Asperger's as a young adult? Simple.


It ran in the family: in all its other members.

It was like ice water on his childishness.

John's half-brother Augusten wrote this book about those old days. Now you know why the name of that sixties song is Days of Wine and Roses...

Cause all Augusten saw (for it ran in the family) were the Roses in the drink, leading him ever on and on...

Until he hit Rock Bottom.

And became Dry by
Valerity (Val)
Being a fan of Burroughs after reading Running With Scissors, I picked up a copy of this book and was not disappointed. In it he shares how he became a copywriter in advertising, and how his drinking eventually became very out of control. Eventually his work gave him the option of going to rehab or leaving, and he chose rehab for 30 days. The book is written in his usual funny/sarcastic way, and there is much to think upon between the covers here. It gets quite gritty and real in its look into a ...more
Oct 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
"Dry." This book I read the next day... couldn't put it down.

The memoir follows Augusten in his success as a mid-20's creative advertiser, which seems like the most appropriate job between Burrough's self-confessed childhood ideal jobs of hairdresser & writer (in "Running w/ Scissors").

This one has a different flavor altogether, kind of like the Truffaut series of Antoine Doinel films. Eccentricity reigned supreme with the bunch of freaks in "Running w/ Scissors". "Dry" finds more misfits in Man
Katy Kennedy
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This, my second Augusten Burroughs read, just left me so satiated. His writing oozes charisma, surehandedness — despite the fact that this was only his first memoir, written before Running with Scissors but published second. And having spent weeks with him now, listening to his genial reading voice on my daily commute, I honestly kind of feel like we're bosom buddies at this point.

Inadvertently, I seem to have embarked on a theme of reading addiction memoirs over the past year or so. This genre
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The fact is I'm not like other people, I'm like other alcoholics."

This was an audio reread of a book I read in print in 2008. This has long been one of my favorite memoirs and will remain so.

Augusten is a decent narrator except, when speaking as Foster, he sounds more like Forrest Gump than just a guy with a southern accent. Being from the south myself, that threw me off a little.
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Continuing the memoir trilogy, Augusten Burroughs takes the reader through his struggles with addiction as a young man. Living in New York City, Burroughs is busy with an advertising firm, making six-figures, and having little to rein him in. He recounts how his drinking got in the way of his job, where he would turn up randomly reeking of alcohol. After embarrassing himself and the firm on numerous occasions, Burroughs is offered a choice; go into rehabilitation or lose the job. Struggling to c ...more
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
"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
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-and-bio
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
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
(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
Julie Ehlers
Running with Scissors takes a group of messed-up characters and portrays them (mostly) for laughs. Dry takes a group of messed-up characters and shows us how tragic they are. It's deadly serious this time.

Most moving is the way Augusten portrays himself. He's merciless in showing us what he's become, the walls he's put up, the denial he's in. Tough to read and easy to read all at once. Fundamental truths, and possibly his crowning achievement.
Jul 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
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
I was immediately smitten with Augusten's playfully sardonic story telling.

Even when he is being a horrible person, in thought or deed, I am still charmed by his wry self awareness.

His roller coaster of emotional reactions to recovery was captivating to me. The supporting cast of his life is well drawn. Augusten's talent as an ad man serves him quite well as an author.

I doubt I would have picked this up if not for book club. Another win for compulsory reading assignments!
Jodi Goldbeck
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Reid Anderson
Jun 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“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.”

Wow, I loved this book. Intense, and beautifully written. I was completely caught up in Augusten’s character arc (can we call it that in a memoir?). His internal dialogue throughout this story is profound - and at some points hidden behind humor. I both laughed and cried -
Erica  Reynolds
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank goodness the author acknowledged the criminal behavior of those who were supposed to be responsible adults, but who placed him in situations that no child or even young adult should have faced. In other words, he doesn't simply laugh off his unorthodox upbringing, he acknowledges the fact that the responsible adults got it wrong. Still, he doesn't wallow in it, and regardless of the back story, this is a tale of addiction, recovery and lots of what happens in between. Dry takes a slightly ...more
T.B. Markinson
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, autobiography
This is a difficult, but worthwhile read. I admired the author's ability to share so openly about his addiction. Most of the time I didn't like him, yet I couldn't put the book down. ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, memoir-bio
3.5 stars - It was really good.

Great insight into the mind of an addict and the writing has me wanting to pick up his other memoirs; really enjoy his narrative style. Not recommended however for those with delicate sensibilities.

Favorite Quote: When you have your health, you have everything.

First Sentence: Sometimes when you work in advertising, you'll get a product that is really garbage, and you have to make it seem fantastic, something that is esse
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
Brutally honest. Makes you want to close your eyes and run from the room - but you keep reading.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Burroughs had me laughing and nearly crying all in the space of 293 pages! I almost felt sorry for him at different times, but then he always ended up trying to pick himself up and recover. The great thing is that he knew he needed AA and even though he stopped going and fell off the wagon, he got himself back to recovery.
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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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