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Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs
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Feb 05, 2009

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 the quality of these "new" tales varies tremendously. Burroughs's knack as a humorist dampens some of the dissatisfaction, but it might be prudent for him to change his shtick for his next book.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.


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