RUNNING WITH SCISSORS: A Memoir

Augusten Burroughs, Author . St Martin's $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-28370-4

"Bookman gave me attention. We would go for long walks and talk about all sorts of things. Like how awful the nuns were in his Catholic school when he was a kid and how you have to roll your lips over your teeth when you give a blowjob," writes Burroughs (Sellevision) about his affair, at age 13, with the 33-year-old son of his mother's psychiatrist. That his mother sent him to live with her shrink (who felt that the affair was good therapy for Burroughs) shows that this is not just another 1980s coming-of-age story. The son of a poet with a "wild mental imbalance" and a professor with a "pitch-black dark side," Burroughs is sent to live with Dr. Finch when his parents separate and his mother comes out as a lesbian. While life in the Finch household is often overwhelming (the doctor talks about masturbating to photos of Golda Meir while his wife rages about his adulterous behavior), Burroughs learns "your life [is] your own and no adult should be allowed to shape it for you." There are wonderful moments of paradoxical humor—Burroughs, who accepts his homosexuality as a teen, rejects the squeaky-clean pop icon Anita Bryant because she was "tacky and classless"—as well as some horrifying moments, as when one of Finch's daughters has a semi-breakdown and thinks that her cat has come back from the dead. Beautifully written with a finely tuned sense of style and wit—the occasional cliché ("Life would be fabric-softener, tuna-salad-on-white, PTA-meeting normal") stands out anomalously—this memoir of a nightmarish youth is both compulsively entertaining and tremendously provocative. (July)

Forecast:Although some critics might be thrown by Burroughs's casual acceptance of an adult/child relationship, this could be a hit.

Reviewed on: 06/03/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-85789-132-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55927-866-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-55927-867-6
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-312-35564-7
Book - 978-1-4272-2826-0
Paperback - 320 pages
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-312-70712-5
Paperback - 315 pages
Compact Disc - 7 pages
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3809-1
Book - 978-0-7927-3808-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 331 pages - 978-0-312-93885-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3849-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-59397-942-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-0071-6
Open Ebook - 157 pages - 978-0-85789-352-9
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-84354-485-2
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-84354-151-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.