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Running with Scissors: A Memoir
Stock image - cover art may vary
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 0312938853
ISBN-13: 9780312938857
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: August, 2006
Length: 352 Pages
Weight: 6.4 ounces
Dimensions: 6.7 X 4.2 X 1 inches
Language: English
   
   

Running with Scissors: A Memoir

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There is a passage early in Augusten Burroughs's harrowing and highly entertaining memoir, Running with Scissors, that speaks volumes about the author. While going to the garbage dump with his father, young Augusten spots a chipped, glass-top coffee table that he longs to bring home. "I knew I could hide the chip by fanning a dis...
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Ex-Library Copy

55

Customer Reviews

  Wickedly funny, but EXTREMELY disturbing!

"Running with Scissors" is one of the most entertaining books I've read in a long time. The fact that this book is a memoir is absolutely horrifying to me...I cannot believe all this stuff actually HAPPENED! Then again, the characters and events depicted in the book are so outlandish that even the best of writers would have a hard time making them up.

Basically, this memoir tells the true story of how author Augusten Burroughs spent the latter part of his childhood. Augusten's father abandons him and leaves him all alone with his psychotic mother, Deirdre, who seeks counsel from Dr. Finch, a quirky psychiatrist who bears a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. To say that Dr. Finch's methods are unconventional would be an understatement. The man is OUT OF HIS MIND! He embraces and encourages his patient's hostile psychotic episodes, allows his most unstable patients to move in with him, and even convinces Augusten to stage a suicide attempt to avoid going to school. Then there's the rest of the Finch family, and they're all as crazy as their patriarch. At first Augusten is completely turned off by the Finch clan, but he eventually warms up to them because they seem to be a better alternative than his crazy mother (which isn't saying much). Deirdre shocks Augusten turning over her legal parental guardianship to Dr. Finch, and Augusten moves into a house where rules don't exist and adolescents are encouraged to enter into homosexual sexual relationships with 30-year-old adults...SERIOUSLY!

As horrifying as this whole experience is, Burroughs presents the whole story with a very dry sense of humor that kept me laughing with each turn of the page. This is an amazing story that will keep you engaged from the very beginning, and it also happens to be incredibly well-written. "Running with Scissors" is a must-read for everyone!
 
  I agree with the Washington Post -- it is spectacular!

rarely is a book this funny awarded the critical acclaim of a more demure author who treads the well-worn path of literature. Burroughs is strikingly original, yet adds a patina of poignancy and tenderness to his work that amazes as well as delights. from the very first story "Something Isn't Right," he hooks you with his storytelling ability and attention to detail. His is the most compelling memoir I've read in years. The critics agree: RUNNING WITH SCISSORS is a masterpiece, and a darkly comic coup. Most highly recommended.
 
  Brilliant.

...and oh so funny.
This is one of those memoirs that compels you to read "just one more chapter" until you find you've finished the entire book while the work you meant to do piles up, suddenly unimportant. I have not laughed this hard since I read Naked by David Sedaris. The details alone catapult one back into the sordid seventies and eighties, while the characters leap off the page in all their gruesomely hilarious glory. I don't think I've ever read anything like this - Burroughs is a true original, and deftly avoids sentimentality or the urge to make his characters sympathetic. It's a wonderful book. I cannot wait to see what this young genius thinks of next. Highly recommended, and hugely entertaining.
 
  Could anyone's life BE any stranger!!!

I saw the cover and chuckled, thinking, aw, this will be a cute story. My God, how wrong was I? Augusten Burroughs writes a memoir of his young years growing up in not only one, but two totally disfunctional households. His parents despise each other and you begin to wonder on which page one might kill the other.
Mom is totally dependent on her psychiatrist, spending endless hours with him. He is portrayed as a Santa Claus-type person...
a right jolly old elf. When Augusten is left to stay with psychiatrist and family, we are plunged into a household that goes WAY beyond bizarre! You really have to read it to believe it. I honestly looked at his picture on the back cover at least
20 times while reading the book wondering how this guy could look so normal after what he had been through!
This is one mind-blowing read. I was so intrigued by his story that I went on NPR's web-site to listen to his interviews.
Gosh, he sounds so grounded...and yet how could it be?
 
  One of the BEST

Callie Sawyer, fan of Non Fiction,
Running With Scissors is a remarkable book within the memoir/biography/abuse genre. The book is all telling and yet there is a rare look at the abuse suffered with dignity and at times humor. I have read many such books. Running with Scissors compares easily to that of 'Nightmares Echo' (agree with prior reviewer),also due to the details of the book I compare it to Dry,The Privilege Of Youth, and A Million Little Pieces. In each of the afore-mentioned books you find a compelling story, sometimes sad, and sometimes they laugh within themselves at the 'luck of the draw' they got from childhood on. Yet, they never give up the fight for courage and determination.