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A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father…

A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father (edition 2008)

by Augusten Burroughs

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1,702616,374 (3.59)32
Title:A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father
Authors:Augusten Burroughs
Info:St. Martin's Press (2008), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father by Augusten Burroughs

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Read this in just under 24 hours, was not sure what to expect and must say I'm a bit surprised. Other reviewers have commented on Burroughs wit etc, this one has a much darker tone to it. It is tales of Augusten growing up with and without his father.

His father through the eyes of young Augusten is an old arthritic alcoholic with knee problems and it seems some mental problems as well. He tells of raging fights between his parents when they are drunk and he goes and hides in his room. Other times he has "dreams" of a man, possibly his father, chasing him through the woods at night with a flashlight. How when Augusten was very young he would run up to his father and want a hug each night as he got home only to be rebuffed. His father shouting for him to go away and it was his alone time.

The author gives his youthful self a very adult attitude which I'm sure would not have been the case but we need to allow him some artistic license. What child of 8-9 would keep a notebook on how many times his father rebuffed him for wanting a hug or to sit in his lap as opposed to the times he's allowed to do so. Mostly of the book is about Augusten's very early years. We do get some looks into their adult relationship. Calls made once a week to his dad, one of which is really disturbing. Finally leading up to the death of his father, with the lack of emotion being the most disturbing. ( )
  ChrisWeir | May 22, 2016 |
Rubbish. Badly written, hilariously over the top and nakedly self-serving memoir about the author's terrible father. The writing is so shameless and ludicrous that you quickly find yourself doubting the whole story and feeling sympathy for the monstrous father. This is my first shot at one of Augusten Burroughs' books (an op-shop pick up for $1) and it'll be my last. ( )
  mjlivi | Feb 2, 2016 |
I enjoyed this...a bit self-indulgent (what memoir isn't?) and could have used a little more fleshing-out, or even unfounded speculation on the father character, but still good. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
Possibly a memoir as stated in subtitle and by library classification, BUT I feel it was heavily fictionalized to bring out more strongly feelings of a boy of wanting acceptance from a cold and psychopathic father, and not getting it. With the neglect of the part of the father and death of a beloved pet, the boy's feelings turn to a love/hate/fear relationship. The supposed memories of the boy as an infant eating in his high chair and learning to walk I felt were absolutely false. Two words to describe the whole book--overwrought and histrionic. The more young Augusten pleads in words and actions for his father to love him, the more his father pushes him away. A good psychological study of a dysfunctional family. At the end though, we are left with a note of hope: with Dad passed on, Augusten knows he himself controls the rest of his life. I wouldn't say I LOVED this book, but the writing style was captivating. ( )
  janerawoof | Jan 7, 2016 |
Warning, if you've ever dealt with abuse of any kind, you may feel slightly uncomfortable reading this book, and may feel somewhat introspective as well.
( )
  Schlyne | Nov 12, 2015 |
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For Christopher Schelling, who is short and mean and saved my life and gave me every start that I pointed to. This book belongs to you. Because I never could have written it without your brutish and relentless love. I know I never say it, but I cherish you and love you with all my heart.
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If my father caught me he would cut my neck, so I just kept going.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312342020, Hardcover)

Amazon Significant Seven, April 2008: When I started reading A Wolf at the Table, I thought I knew what to expect. Augusten Burroughs captures intense experience with an inexplicably cool remove, imparting a stillness and purity to emotions that would likely run amok in anyone else's hands. I love this quality of his writing, and it's present in full force in this memoir of a childhood spent in thrall to a predatory and deeply unpredictable father. What I wasn't prepared for was the suspense--the dread-filled, nearly sonorous waiting for the worst to happen. An artful sort of bait-and-switch happens in the telling: Burroughs brings you to the brink of a terrible catharsis more than once, but the break in tension never comes. It is profoundly sad, remarkably tender, and fueled by a sense of love and reverence that only a child knows. --Anne Bartholomew

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:53 -0400)

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The author traces the story of his relationship with his father, in a psychologically charged tale that evaluates such themes as the line between love and hate and a child's longing for unconditional love.

(summary from another edition)

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