Okay ... so, I am reading this book and I am chuckling at some of the stories (this book is a bunch of his life's stories, in no order) and I am thinking to myself how is it possible that one person can have so much crazy stuff happen to them and thinking what a talented writer he is to take the every day norm stuff and make it funny ... that is until his story about first edition books. So, obviously, I go to the front of the book to see if the one I have is a first edition (it's not, BTW) and I see this teeny tiny notice written at the very top that says:
SOME of the events described happened as related, others were EXPANDED and CHANGED. Some of the individuals portrayed are COMPOSITES of more than one person, and many names and identifying characteristics have been changed as well.
Hmmm ... isn't this the sorta the same thing that got James Frey (Million Little Pieces) in trouble? I was VERY disappointed reading this and it has honestly changed my mind about a lot of what he has written and I have enjoyed. I almost wish I had never seen that very small note, because now I am not sure I would read any more of his books ...
I have read every book Augusten Burroughs has written. I felt that "Possible Side Effects" was the worst of his books. It seems like he was desperately trying to find something/anything to write about. It didn't have the demented humor I was used to from his earlier books. Perhaps he is having financial troubles since he had to pay off the psychiatrist's family he lived with in his teens and wrote about in "Running With Scissors" since they sued him claiming a lot of what he wrote about them wasn't true!
I liked this one. My favorite was the broken tooth story. Poor Dennis, the guy cannot do anything right, plans this whole big romantic weekend and... bah. I am not too much on the skipping around of the "true stories". I miss the traditional memoir format, but it's okay :)
Having read "Running With Scissors" I expected more of this author and was initially disappointed at the shallow content, but upon delving further into his work, I came to understand his self-deprecating humor and really enjoyed the remainder of the book.
If you're unfamiliar with Burroughs, he is the younger brother of John Elder Robison (of "Don't Look Me In the Eye" fame) and son of poet Margaret Robison. This book chronicles different points in his life, presented in short essay form, regarding all sorts of information from his addiction to Nicorette gum (better than smoking cigarettes?) to his partner Dennis and their two dogs, to memories of strange incidents from childhood. Other members of the family are introduced (John Elder, their grandmothers in Georgia, their parents) and no one can especially escape the odd vibe permeating from this particular family.I enjoy reading these essays because I can relate to them. As another person with Asperger's Syndrome, my outlook on life is perceived as skewed by most neurotypical people. And that only serves to make me laugh in recognition and support when Burroughs talks about how he moves through the NT landscape, too.