October 05, 2011
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
It is a memoir by the author Augusten Burroughs about his demented childhood. Living with a crazy mother and a neglectful father, life with fights every night is pretty much commonplace for him. They try to work things out with a psychiatrist named Dr. Finch.
After his parents get divorced, his mother sinks further into her psychosis and eventually he goes to live with Dr. Finch and is later under his care when he becomes his legal guardian. The Finch house, to put it simply, is full of crazy people as well. They analyze turds, use the bible as a magic eight ball, and never clean. The kids are allowed to systematically destroy the house with no problem.
Here is taken up by a thirty-three year old man, also gay like the author, and starts a relationship. And no one has a problem with this. In addition, he starts smoking, and quits school. At the age of thirteen all characters are considered grown up and they can do what they want.
His story goes until he moves out with one of the daughters and attends college at seventeen. Finding it not to his liking, he sets out for the big city of New York.
While I understand this is Burroughs telling of his own story, I simply cannot see what people call hilarious or funny about it. Yes he may arrange the words in a clever way, but the subject matter he handles is simply not funny. He was an abused child!
I kind of wonder if maybe he elaborated a bit on the story and that's why people don't take it as serious. It seems strange that this doctor's house could be in the middle of a well to do neighborhood yet no one reports the goings on there. Also, with so many interactions with the public, how can these people not be taken as crazy? It goes beyond imagining for me.
Looking aside from the subject matter, I don't like Burroughs style of writing. It is too choppy for me and seems rather like a constant thought stream than an actual telling of a story.
I'd heard so many good things about this book but its definitely very low on the list for me. I will not be reading any of his other works probably.
Running With Scissors