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

by Augusten Burroughs

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,761248225 (3.56)199
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

  1. 90
    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
    Stitches: A Memoir by David Small (meggyweg)
  5. 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.
  6. 32
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (amberwitch)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 00
    My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest (ainsleytewce)
  11. 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.
  12. 00
    Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (LAKobow)
  13. 00
    Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander (utterlyutter)
  14. 00
    Sugarless by James Magruder (amberwitch)
  15. 00
    Bright Angel Time by Martha McPhee (ainsleytewce, ainsleytewce)
  16. 00
    An Underachiever's Diary by Benjamin Anastas (meggyweg)
  17. 11
    A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Crazy lives
  18. 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 199 mentions

English (242)  Italian (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (247)
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
this was a series of vignettes that really didn't tie together very well. the writing is pretty good but i'm not sure what the point here is. i'm also not sure how people are talking about this book like it's funny when it's a book about child abuse. it's hard for me to believe that this is memoir because it reads a bit like out of this world fiction, but even if half of what he wrote is true, well, it's pretty bad.

there are moments of writing and insight that show good potential so i'd read him again. i just want something more cohesive and purposeful. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jul 2, 2015 |
I feel like I lived right there. In fact I did. I can't speak to the actual events but I can say that some of the descriptions of that town in that time are so startlingly accurate and evocative of the time. ( )
  LauraCLM | May 6, 2015 |
The book was an engaging read. The language used to describe situations is what kept me drawn however I could never totally believe what I was reading. Certain situations didn't ring true to me. Never would I want to say that dysfunctional family units aren't real. They are. His family was as dysfunctional as ever but never would I fabricate or fudge the truth for shock value, which I believe, Burroughs did. Burroughs is a skillful writer with a wild imagination, which made a good story. Spoiler Alert: The family Burroughs describes in the memoir sued Burroughs aka Chris Robison for defamation of character. His mother also claimed that certain parts of the book were untrue. ( )
  Feleciak | Mar 25, 2015 |
Burroughs' trainwreck of a childhood/adolescence became hugely interesting once I moved to Amherst. I'm glad I read it -- not just for the local color -- but it was a painful read, and I don't think I need more of his excavations. ( )
  lquilter | Feb 16, 2015 |
While it was an easy and quick read, I did not find it to be "hilarious" in the least. I only read it for my book club. The thought that these people are in fact real, albeit massaged for the author's purposes is appalling. I work with people with serious and persistent mental illness and this is really an affront to their struggles. Selfish and self-indulgent escapists. ( )
  MaureenCean | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 242 (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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:46 -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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