Book Log: Fourth week of February
Running with Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
I purchased this book last year with the intention of reading it on a plane to somewhere, but at the last minute it seemed too legitimate and best seller-y, so I stuck it on the pile of books next to my stereo and instead I read Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, which looked sugary and hi-larious. I may have to read Candyfreak again this year as I truly loved it. So funny. So touching. So Chocolate-y! But I digress (which reminds me that I’d like to read Tristram Shandy but I suspect I’d never make it through…) Anyhoody, RWS is not quite as heavy as I thought it would be and is very funny in some spots. Burroughs does cover some of the same ground that David Sedaris so masterfully treads (freaky families and disturbingly obsessive childhoods), but Augusten’s world is much darker and his voice is not quite as distinct for me as David Sedaris. In Sedaris’ stories, he is deep in the text, part of the chaos, not just a voice, but somehow a presence. Augusten Burroughs, possibly because of the situations into which he was forced growing up, seems more removed from things. Perhaps a bit disassociated from what he went through, and I can’t blame him. RWS is a memoir of his life from about age 11-16 and involves a mentally unstable mother who dumps him off to live with her equally (possibly more) unstable psychiatrist and his family. More interesting then the book to me was actually the concept of the memoir in general, especially in light of the big stink over James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces (see: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/jamesfrey/0104061jamesfrey1.html). How true is any memoir? I know if I was going to write one, it would be mostly made up, and not even on purpose, just because my memory is soooo bad. Okay, this review was lame and difficult to write. Maybe I should get a book on writing reviews. Until next time!