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Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs

Dry: A Memoir (2003)

by Augusten Burroughs

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4,664861,016 (3.92)58
  1. 20
    A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (tashtashtash)
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    Tweak : (growing up on methamphetamines) by Nic Sheff (tashtashtash)
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    When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: These two nonfiction books deal with giving up a vice (alcohol and, to a lesser extent, drugs for Burroughs; cigarettes for Sedaris) and both do so with dark humor scattered throughout their memoirs. That being said, Sedaris's work is more funny than serious while the opposite is true for Burroughs's. Also, Sedaris's book is largely short stories/vignettes while Burroughs's follows a more traditional narrative. Both men are homosexual and that plays some factor in their books, although it's not the overarching story and/or theme.… (more)
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    Hooked: Five Addicts Challenge Our Misguided Drug Rehab System by Lonny Shavelson (meggyweg)
  5. 00
    Lolito by Ben Brooks (mediapuzzle)
    mediapuzzle: There are some parallels between these novels around people out of control and using alcohol. Funny and serious at the same time.

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Required reading for a workshop. Not my idea of fun. ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
This book captures some of the realities of addiction and recovery without being melodramatic or self-congratulatory. Burroughs manages to poke fun at "the program" and also acknowledge its hard-to-understand power. He is snarky...and also humble. It's funny and touching (and is not cliche, like that description I just offered). Recovery, Burroughs finds, is not easy. But it's possible. And it's worth it. Thanks, Pighead* (*a character in the book, not a slam on the author). ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
At the age of twenty-four, Augusten Burroughs has a lucrative career as a New York City ad man. He also has a serious alcohol problem--and hundreds of empty scotch bottles in his apartment to prove it.

Dry is Burroughs' memoir of his youthful struggle with alcoholism, including his stay at a gay-friendly rehab and endless AA meetings in dreary church basements. His addiction is exacerbated by the stress of his job and his conflicted relationships with lovers and friends. But despite the heavy subject matter, this book is very entertaining. Burrough's biting wit and lack of self-pity save the narrative from mawkishness, even when he writes about losing a former lover to AIDS.

I really enjoyed this book; so much so that I could hardly put it down. I highly recommend it. ( )
  akblanchard | Nov 27, 2015 |
tw: alcoholism
  GLBTSS | Sep 8, 2015 |
In Dry, Augusten Burroughs recounts how he is forced into to rehab or will lose his job and how this experience opens his eyes to his alcoholism. The book continues on to describe his recovery efforts as he faces some heavy emotional personal hurdles.

This second memoir from Burroughs jumps ahead in time from the ending of his previous book Running with Scissors, picking up in the middle of his advertising career, which manages to be successful and lucrative despite his burgeoning alcohol problem. It's not necessary to read his first book to jump right in to this one, but I think it helps to know his background to both understand how Burroughs got to this point in his life and to sympathize with him even when he's at his worse. There are a couple moments here and there where Burroughs does touch on a few "highlights" of his abusive, dysfunctional childhood, which serve to provide the necessary context for this moment in his life.

Once again, I found Burroughs's work to be compelling, not just for its plot but because Burroughs's writing style flows so easily. He is concise and to the point, but his writing isn't simplistically dull. Burroughs peppers the book with interesting metaphors, colorful allusions, dark humor, and moments of insightful clarity. I haven't read much by the way of recovery memoirs, so this book's thematic content was new to me and provided much by the way of food for thought. While not overly emotional in his telling, Burroughs's story is nevertheless one of emotional highs and lows as it takes its readers along the path of his rehab, recovery, relapse, and further recovery. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Nov 25, 2014 |
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In memory of George Stathakis / For my brother / And for Dennis
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Sometimes when you work in advertising you'll get a product that's really garbage and you have to make it seem fantastic, something that is essential to the continued quality of life.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312423799, Paperback)

Fans of Augusten Burroughs's darkly funny memoir Running with Scissors were left wondering at the end of that book what would become of young Augusten after his squalid and fascinating childhood ended. In Dry, we find that although adult Augusten is doing well professionally, earning a handsome living as an ad writer for a top New York agency, Burroughs's personal life is a disaster. His apartment is a sea of empty Dewar's bottles, he stays out all night boozing, and he dabs cologne on his tongue in an unsuccessful attempt to mask the stench of alcohol on his breath at work. When his employer insists he seek help, Burroughs ships out to Minnesota for detoxification, counseling, and amusingly told anecdotes about the use of stuffed animals in group therapy. But after a month of such treatment, he's back in Manhattan and tenuously sober. And while its one thing to lay off the sauce in rehab, Burroughs learns that it's quite another to resume your former life while avoiding the alcohol that your former life was based around. This quest to remain sober is made dramatically more difficult, and the tale more harrowing, when Burroughs begins an ill-advised romance with a crack addict. Certainly the "recovered alcoholic fighting to stay sober" tale is not new territory for a memoirist. But Burroughs's account transcends clichés: it doesn't adhere to the traditional "temptation narrowly resisted" storyline and it features, in Burroughs himself, a central character that is sympathetic even when he's neither likable nor admirable. But what ultimately makes this memoir such a terrific read is a brilliant and candid sense of humor that manages to stay dry even when recalling events where the author was anything but. --John Moe

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:01 -0400)

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An advertising executive remembers his childhood with his eccentric foster family and his early adulthood experiences of trying to establish an independent life for himself.

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