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Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
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Running with Scissors (edition 2006)

by Augusten Burroughs

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,511240234 (3.56)186
Member:fyrefly98
Title:Running with Scissors
Authors:Augusten Burroughs
Info:Picador (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Books I have read, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:non-fiction, memoir, autobiography, humor, read 2007, 1970s, gay, mental illness, depression, coming of age, massachussetts, 1-a, 3-listened, R-2007-02

Work details

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

(30) 2007 (32) abuse (64) American (48) Augusten Burroughs (30) autobiography (256) biography (229) child abuse (42) childhood (72) coming of age (78) dysfunctional families (36) dysfunctional family (76) family (124) fiction (143) funny (29) gay (122) homosexuality (106) humor (322) made into movie (33) Massachusetts (47) memoir (1,369) mental illness (184) movie (31) non-fiction (592) own (54) psychiatry (48) psychology (64) read (167) to-read (121) unread (67)
  1. 80
    The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (Monika_L)
  2. 40
    A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father by Augusten Burroughs (ParadoxicalRae)
  3. 20
    Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford (Smiler69)
    Smiler69: Memoirs told by the adopted daughter of Joan Crawford, who by all accounts was a raging alcoholic.
  4. 10
    Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig (sarah-e)
    sarah-e: A funny memoir of a person with unusual habits.
  5. 10
    Stitches: A Memoir by David Small (meggyweg)
  6. 10
    Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison (vancouverdeb)
    vancouverdeb: Look Me in the Eye written by John Elder Robinson, the elder brother ofAugusten Burroughs who wrote Running with Scissors. Each gives a different take on their dysfunctional family.
  7. 22
    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (khoov00)
    khoov00: This book seems to appeal to some with the same sense of humor as it would take to appreciate the book Wicked.
  8. 11
    Normal Family by Don Trowden (Publerati)
    Publerati: Eccentric family chaos except Normal Family is entirely set over four consecutive dysfunctional family holidays. Hysterical and bittersweet fun. Promising new writer.
  9. 00
    Between Nowhere and Happiness by Daniel Kine (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A young poet battling apathy with drugs and other forms of experimental coping methods.
  10. 00
    An Underachiever's Diary by Benjamin Anastas (meggyweg)
  11. 00
    Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander (utterlyutter)
  12. 11
    A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Crazy lives
  13. 22
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (amberwitch)
  14. 00
    Sugarless by James Magruder (amberwitch)
  15. 00
    Bright Angel Time by Martha McPhee (ainsleytewce, ainsleytewce)
  16. 00
    My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest (ainsleytewce)
  17. 12
    A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer (PortiaLong)
    PortiaLong: Disturbing memoirs - I disliked them both for the same reasons (so someone else may LIKE them for those same reasons).
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» See also 186 mentions

English (234)  Italian (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (239)
Showing 1-5 of 234 (next | show all)
Twisted. Like a John Irving novel, yet depressing because it is not fictional but actually happened to someone. I'll never look at Western Massachusetts in the same way again. ( )
  timking33 | Jun 3, 2014 |
Rating is more 3.5 stars.

Made for a good audio book. I am a sucker for a well told story. I laughed, was horrified - ran a whole range of emotions on this one. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
Funny, mind boggling, shocking. Read by the author. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
When his parents’ marriage breaks, a thirteen years old boy is forced to live with his mother’s psychiatrist. A man who is convinced that children of this age should do whatever they want. A clear message to parents: Although teens need them economically, in modern times they feel very early to be more and more in charge of their own lives. With the effect, that any emotional relation to their genitors is going to be cut off brutally. Clever parents take to heart Khalil Gibran’s philosophical admonition: “Your children are not your children.”
  hbergander | Feb 5, 2014 |
This memoir strained my suspension of disbelief a bit too much, and I found the characters pretty repellent. ( )
  rmagahiz | Dec 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 234 (next | show all)
The book, which promotes visceral responses (of laughter, wincing, retching) on nearly every page, contains the kind of scenes that are often called harrowing but which are also plainly funny and rich with child's-eye details of adults who have gone off the rails.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Augusten Burroughsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leivo, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it.

Jules Renard
Dedication
For Dennis Pilsits
First words
My mother is standing in front of the bathroom mirror smelling polished and ready; like Jean Nate, Dippity Do and the waxy sweetness of lipstick.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A memoir. A story told about a young boy's life living with his delusional mother, her unorthodox shrink, and his dysfunctional kids. A very interesting read!!!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312938853, Mass Market Paperback)

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 display of magazines on the surface, like in a doctor's office," he writes, "And it certainly wouldn't be dirty after I polished it with Windex for three hours." There were certainly numerous chips in the childhood Burroughs describes: an alcoholic father, an unstable mother who gives him up for adoption to her therapist, and an adolescence spent as part of the therapist's eccentric extended family, gobbling prescription meds and fooling around with both an old electroshock machine and a pedophile who lives in a shed out back. But just as he dreamed of doing with that old table, Burroughs employs a vigorous program of decoration and fervent polishing to a life that many would have simply thrown in a landfill. Despite her abandonment, he never gives up on his increasingly unbalanced mother. And rather than despair about his lot, he glamorizes it: planning a "beauty empire" and performing an a capella version of "You Light Up My Life" at a local mental ward. Burroughs's perspective achieves a crucial balance for a memoir: emotional but not self-involved, observant but not clinical, funny but not deliberately comic. And it's ultimately a feel-good story: as he steers through a challenging childhood, there's always a sense that Burroughs's survivor mentality will guide him through and that the coffee table will be salvaged after all. --John Moe

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The author describes his bizarre coming-of-age years after his adoption by his mother's psychiatrist, during which he witnessed such misadventures as a fake suicide attempt and front-lawn family/patient sleepovers.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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