Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs

If you've read Running with Scissors or Dry, you know what a completely insane life Augusten Burroughs has led. If not, I highly recommend checking out both of those books assuming brutal honesty doesn't make you squeamish. It's actually kind of hard to describe the circumstances under which he grew up, but I can guarantee you will check the back cover of the book more than once to confirm that this is, in fact, a memior.

The first half of this book is very similar to a David Sedaris book, a series of hilarious scenes from his earlier life. These stories are just flat-out funny. The second half deals more with his post-crazy, post-alcoholic life with his significant other and successful writing career. Most of these stories are still very good, just not as funny. However, if you are a fan of Burroughs, you will appreciate the closure these stories bring to his life story. That being said, he'd probably be better off switching back to fiction for awhile. He's starting to run out of humorous life-events.

This is definitely a book worth reading, especially if you have already checked out Running with Scissors and Dry. Basically, if you like David Sedaris, but wished he had more of an edge, you will love Augusten Burroughs.

(that'll teach Reading Rainbow to reject my application. And I had a damn fine analysis of The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Watermelon Money)


Susan said...

omg - I love David Sedaris! I must get this book.

LeahC said...


I would start with Running With Scissors then Dry. I think that they can hold up as books on their own, but maybe better in order so you get a sense of who this guy is.

When I read Running with Scissors I seriously had to keep looking at the back of the book where it said, "autobiography" and not "fiction". His live as a child was INSANE.


Anonymous said...

I didn't read dry but am in the middle of magical thinking well more like th beginning. I should never read 4 books at a time I get all confused. But, I did love the Tang story at the beginning.

LeahC said...

nicole....did you read running with scissors?

Jason said...

yeah, the tang story is good, as well as the story about the rat.

The thing is, magical thinking is fairly different from Running with Scissors or Dry. The first two books tell more of a connected story.

I would say the first half of Magical Thinking is like David Sedaris with an edge. I would say that Running with Scissors and Dry are more like David Sedaris on acid. Especially Running with Scissors, that is pure insanity (and all true).