Book Reviews of Magical Thinking

Magical Thinking
Author: Augusten Burroughs
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ISBN-13: 9780792733430
ISBN-10: 0792733436
Publication Date: 10/31/2004
Edition: Unabridged
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Sound Library
Book Type: Audio Cassette
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

56 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Magical Thinking on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I found this collection of short stories about the author’s life somewhat amusing, though I don’t think I got quite the shock value Burroughs intended. Some of the stories had me chuckling, but others I found myself simply saying so what. I found him to be extremely vain and shallow, and fortunately he sees himself with these qualities too so he wasn’t deluding himself which made me feel better about him. (I really dislike shallow people but I suppose I can stand them a bit more when at least they realize how shallow they are.)

His story about magical thinking really rang true though. There are no coincidences, and if you put enough energy into your thoughts and desires, you can affect change in the world around you. It’s one of the premises of many earth-based religions. Though he approached the subject as if everyone thought he was crazy because he believed it. His exact beliefs about baby Jesus and a cow though, that was pretty cute. But again, each of us is entitled to envision divinity in our own manner, like different facets of a diamond, all paths to the same thing, and all that…

I remember also thinking, while I was reading this, that though he had a f@%#ed-up life, and did some wacky things, my own life would probably be just as comedic and shocking were I to put all my past experiences into a book. I had my own strange oral surgery experience, a somewhat similar rodent/rat incident, and my own way of dealing with door-to-door Jehovah Witnesses that seems to come up at every party I attend. But this journal entry isn’t about my own experiences; I bring it up only to make the point that a lot of these stories didn’t strike me as strange as they may have others possibly because I’ve had just as strange experiences in my own life.

That said, though I found the book interesting enough to continue reading all the way through, I think it was about half way that I began to find them getting a bit more dull. Again, most likely just the way they affected me personally.

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews and information on this title.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is my third book read by Augusten Burroughs the first two, in order, are Running Without Scissors and Dry) and I don't know what it is about them but I am hooked. Maybe it is just the craziness and the unreal feeling that ALL of these strange things can't possibly happen to one person or maybe it's his honestness about his own shallowness and his own mental health that makes it all refreshing ... but whatever it is, he keeps me wanting more and shocking me over and over again when I think he can't do it after THAT ONE!!

This book is more like all of the events that he mentioned in passing in his first two books and now he goes into detail about them. They aren't in any kind of chronilogical order ... which sometimes makes it confusing and you might have to go back and see "how old did he say he was again when this happened" ... but it does seem to add to the appeal of the book and his now familiar writing. It was nice to see though that it does seem like his life is finally settling down and that he finally seems to have found a wee bit of peace and happiness.

The fourth installment of this amazing person's life is called Possible Side Effects.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Hysterical and touching. Burroughs has a gift for writing and a life that begs to be recorded. I love his work and this book was fantastic.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
"Ruthlessly funny...deliciously perverse...he extracts something funny from every shred of his own warped experience. Magical Thinking indeed."--People
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Okay Okay... I was one of those people that read Running with Scissors and hated it. I still do, I think it was too over-the-top. I know he says it all really happened and I hate to say I don't believe him, but well... I don't believe ALL of it. How's that? I bought his other books, but they'd been gathering dust. I dunno, I just wasn't up for reading more weird wacky maybe-half-true stuff. Then I read Dry. Now I've read Magical Thinking. The man can write, dammit. And his brutal, adult, honesty hits you square in the nose. Oh yes, yes yes, he's funny, but most of his stories have an undertone to them, an almost moral (I wonder if he knew that when he wrote it?). Even the funny housekeeper (my favorite), it shows what a pushover we all can be when people are pushy with us, but it also shows that all of us have a spine and we use it. I dunno, maybe I read too much into it.

This was by far my favorite book. I was hoping it would be a continuation of Dry, about him making his way back from where he left of in Dry, it was, kind of. It was a book of short story memoirs, I suppose. I'm going to read the next one soon, hopefully that will answer my questions more fully :)
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Typical Augusten Burroughs. A quick light read that is disturbing at times but not nearly as disturbing as "Running"!
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This was my first foray into the world of Mr. Burroughs, and I am now hooked. I've read two of his books and am hoping to find others on PBS :-D The author had a very odd childhood, one that would make most people turn into very unbecoming, hurtful people (which to a degree he does), but somehow he is able to share these sometimes painful tidbits in humorous language, giving just enough of the right details to make one feel as if he/she is standing in a corner of the room watching each story as it takes place. This is a very easy read that can be read one chapter at a time (as each chapter focuses on a different story).
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An awesome collection of the author's bizarre and quirky experiences during his life. Absoultely hilarious and endlessly entertaining. I was so sad when I finished this book because I always looked forward to reading the next little tale.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 106 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved Running with Scissors, and this memoir-like multiple-story book is at least as riveting, if not more so. Hilarious and thoughtful.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 410 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I just adored this series of stories. Burroughs is always hilarious, and this was definitely laugh-out-loud funny.
reviewed Magical Thinking on
Helpful Score: 1
Augusten Burroughs third book, another collection of memoirs and essays. His life has been as odd and unconventional as perhaps any life could. Magical Thinking, which refers to the false impression that we can influence events by thinking about them, consists of more strange moments from his life that illuminate common truths in all our behaviors and lives.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Love A Burroughs. He is heartbreaking and funny.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Writes with a humorous knack. Often about gay lifestyle experience.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Another great collection of hilarious stories from Mr. Burroughs. I read this book in one sitting. Highly recommended!
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 366 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The author of Running With Scissors and Dry reads this book (on 7 discs). In his own wonderful way he tells true tales of experiences that are funny, and sometimes dark
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 279 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I only got through the second disk. He does something awful to a rat. I won't say what because it made me uncomfortable and I don't want to do that to someone else. I know it's only a rat, but I don't have any desire to hear that sort of thing. The image has stuck with me ever since and I am never reading any of his stuff again. I wish I had been warned.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 307 more book reviews
3 great CDs of stories read by the author. All from his extraordinary life. What would crush other people has made him into a unique person able to see the bizarre humor in any situation. Obsessive and compulsive doesn't even come close to describing his viewpoint! I listened to these in the car and my passenger cried with laughter during the tale of his experience with Debbie the cleaning lady.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 130 more book reviews
I love him!! He's so quirky, and his life seems so unbelievable, but he's great - I always laugh out loud when I read him!
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 16 more book reviews
Very good book. Puts a different perspective on things. DOESNT HOLD A CANDLE to DRY, but still worth the read.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 16 more book reviews
Definitely worth reading - This book was pretty hilarious!

I read Running With Scissors.. and it was Ok. Very interesting in a screwed-up/self-indulgent kind of way.
Then I read Dry. Much better.. it showed a strange, but really cool insight in his drunken antics, his quest to get sober & the resulting craziness from that.

THEN comes Magical Thinking. This isn't your traditional read AT ALL. Each chapter is pretty unrelated to the previous & following chapters, yet it still kind of follows the timeline from boyhood to present. Whether the chapter is about male baldness, or some horrific date he went on, or his fight against a mouse he found in his bathtub, the thought process & sarcasm he has about everything is hilarious & addicting.

If you enjoy memoirs, or a general sarcastic outlook on the mundane - this is the book for you.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 66 more book reviews
If you like Agusten Burroughs, or have read "Running with Scissors" you will enjoy this. I love his bizzar sense of humor!
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A lot like David Sedaris, which is one too many, I think.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 11 more book reviews
This is an honest book. Maybe the author sometimes tries be someone he's not -like we all do on occasion- but his writing does not try to be something it isn't. This book is humorous, satisfying, and perceptive.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 5 more book reviews
Very funny, true stories by Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors and Dry.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 11 more book reviews
A little weird but good....not for those who can't handle guy-on-guy homosexual stories
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 81 more book reviews
Excellent. Laugh out loud funny.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 252 more book reviews
I loved this book, hilarious!
reviewed Magical Thinking on
Some of the stories, especially "Debbie's Requirements", were really funny, but some of it was just weird or boring. Warning: contains references to homosexual sex.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 636 more book reviews
This is the second time I have read this book - and I really hadn't remembered much about it. It had a few very funny parts - namely the cleaning lady and the shrimp and the killing of the rat/thing. But, overall, it seemed... more arrogantly amusing than truly funny. I don't know - I just really prefer David Sedaris' writing. This book just seems like a more self-involved, graphic version of the same basic idea. Not that it was bad, at all, I did enjoy it, I just wouldn't recommend it with the same fervor that I would David Sedaris' books.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 10 more book reviews
Pitch black humor.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 6038 more book reviews
Some of the stories are too much alike for me to think that they are entirely true.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 15 more book reviews
Too strange for my tastes, but friends smarter than me say it's great. Why not decide for yourself? (I rarely like best sellers.)
reviewed Magical Thinking on
Wonderful! Augusten Burroughs is a fantastic author. I enjoyed his stories, and his use of humor.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 9 more book reviews
This book does not have the same wit and passion as his other books, Running with Scissors and Dry. It is fun to read about more escapades in his life as they have happened.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 17 more book reviews
I find that each story is so funny that it touches a part of my own life. Real things are so much funnier because you can't dream things up like this. Another winner of Burroughs in my heart. Can't wait to start the next one of his.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 84 more book reviews
Fast, amusing read. My first book by this author but not my last! Very enjoyable.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 16 more book reviews
Definitely entertaining... Some black humour...
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 34 more book reviews
Very different, quick read.
reviewed Magical Thinking on
I have read all of Augusten Burroughs books, and I highly recommend them. His books are about his unusual childhood and struggles as an adult. His memories are both heartbreaking and funny. Sometimes I wonder how he put down some the stuff. Even though I have not had such wild experiences, I can somehow relate to his writing. I would recommend you start with 'Running with Scissors' and 'Dry'. Reading those books first will put this book into perspective.
reviewed Magical Thinking on
Great book! Sarcastic and funny...
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 32 more book reviews
Seriously hilarious!!! Literally LOL!
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 6 more book reviews
Good read. Some great stories from Burroughs. Nice book to read when you have a lot of down time at work or on public transportation, or jsut even when your waiting.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 77 more book reviews
This book is fascinating, like a train wreck.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 6038 more book reviews
His classes' experiences in 2nd grade are much different than those of my students this year. On the other hand, I really don't know where my girls put their marbles.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 84 more book reviews
Read this after "Running" and found it to be just as funny, twisted, sick and over the top as the other. He is hilarious, though unfortunately (or not) due to the f-ed up life he led! Very quick read, laugh out loud. Favorite story in this book had to be the housecleaner one, "Debby's Requirements".
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 10 more book reviews
Highly entertaining, funny. I listened to audio book read by the author...the best reader ever. Highly recommend AUDIO version, but traditional book would be enjoyable as well.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 14 more book reviews
Great book!
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 32 more book reviews
Very funny as expected
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 83 more book reviews
Only got about halfway through the first CD. Not my style.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 391 more book reviews
As always--awesome
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 16 more book reviews
entertaining, as always!
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 29 more book reviews
enjoyable, easy read.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 68 more book reviews
I didn't enjoy this book as much as "Running With Scissors." I spent a lot of time wondering how such a self-centered man could have so many sexual partners.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 190 more book reviews
This is a collection of short vignettes. I really enjoy Burroughs writing, insights and dry sarcasm.
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 18 more book reviews
I have read all his books he is extremely funny !!!
reviewed Magical Thinking on + 40 more book reviews
I haven't read this yet but I really liked his other two non-fiction books. I was given a copy when I already had one so I thought I'd post it.