This book is about the author's absent relationship with his father. Everything right down to the way he pronounced "dad" is shocking. It definitely will make you feel better about any strained relationship you are in.
It incorporates a completely different aspect of his childhood and adolescence unseen in his other books. If you are a fan of his you'll see some of the same events from previous books written with a different focus.
I wouldn't recommend it as something to start with because it has a different tone, but the subject has a different tone too.
Can I give it a negative star?
Disclaimer: A. If I hadn't had to review this, I never would have picked it up. I've only ever thrown 2 books in the dumpster and "Running With Scissors" was one of them. B. As a mental health professional, I'm biased in my interpretation of this work.
Often when I review a book I find myself typing "great story, just poorly written." Well, this is the opposite. It is well written. Self-serving load of crap. But well written. Two hundred and fifty pages of self-indulgent, that can't possibly be true, garbage.
This is easily one of the most disturbing books i've ever read. I have to agree with another reviewer that it is very self-serving. I got the feeling the whole time that Augusten was writing the whole time thinking that everyone would love him more for his terrible childhood. That he would finally get the love and attention that is his due. That the world owes him. It seems to be a theme in his work.
I think that if it is a true portrait of his childhood, then he is just exactly like his father.
This was a good book . . . HOWEVER, if you are a first-time reader of Burroughs, I would not suggest it as the one to start with. Try DRY or RUNNING WITH SCISSORS first. It will give you an insight as to who Burroughs is and his background; then try this book. It's good and revealing of the author, but very dark (probably theraputic for him), but to be honest, if I had started with this book, I wouldn't have read any others. Don't make that mistake - he's too bright of an author to be dismissed. Give POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS a spin first.
Really disturbing, but engaging. Couldn't put it down. Having now read all of his books except Sellevision, I am amazed that he was able to come through all his experiences. I adore his work.