Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Running with Scissors [Burroughs]

Book: Running with Scissors
Author: Augusten Burroughs
Reason for Reading: for fun
Genre: Nonfiction
Summary: Augusten Burroughs has an alcoholic father and unstable mother. After his parents get divorced, Burroughs lives with his mother's therapist's eccentric family, after she signs over parental rights (to the therapist). This is a memoir about Burroughs relationship with his parents and his time with the Finch family.

Christine's Review: This memoir is smartly written, highly entertaining and very provocative. The cast of characters is both colorful and harrowing at times. Burroughs writing style is witty and funny. Much like Madonna aims to shock audiences through her music and risque videos, Burroughs aims to shock readers with explicit sexual language and graphic sexual situations. This is not a book for everyone (especially if you consider yourself conservative in any way or are prudish).

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book when Burroughs is living with his parents and first goes to live with the Finch family. His outside view into their world (dirty house, no rules, family members snacking on dog kibble) is eye opening. His transformation from a neat freak into a slob (like the rest of the Finch's) is quick and told in a forthcoming, humorous manner. Burrough's engages in a sexual relationship with a 30-year man and while this alone is disturbing, the fact that both her mother and the doctor encouraged the relationship is unfathomable.

The latter part of the book lagged a little and the conclusion seemed rushed. I would have like to keep reading about this young man's journey after the Finch household, as well as more details regarding the family (Dr. Finch did have his medical license revoked eventually).

Burrough's, a self described compulsive liar, has been criticized for embellishing "facts" in this memoir and the real life 'Finch' family sued him after this was published. Whether or not certain parts are complete fact, I was entertained throughout the story.

Recommend? If you are conservative in any way: NO, if not, YES

Book Junkie's Grade: B

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