Running With Scissors Review
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For diary writers, or those of us who bother to journal throughout our lives...sometimes those written and secret events can come in handy, especially if we’re trying to become professional writers.

In Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs writes a true-to-life story about growing up in Massachusetts, from an age as far back as he remembers until he turns nineteen. He shares what seems to be as much about his strange life as he can remember.

This isn’t any ordinary family. It’s more than dysfunctional, chaotic, or annoying. It’s a little shop of horrors, with each family member acting out their very own embittered life. The words disgusting, shameful, and sick come to mind, and that’s just describing their living conditions.

After Augusten's father abandoned his family for good, his mother’s phycho/pseudo psychiatrist ends up adopting Augusten into his family of kooks. Hauling out dad’s old electroshock therapy machine was just the beginning of a freakish adolescence that Augustin endured.

We all have our ways of coping, and children, even teenagers, don’t always ask questions when their gut tells them something just isn’t right. Sadly, this is true of Augusten.

Running with Scissors is a disturbing book. But what I found just as disturbing were the editorial review quotes from national newspapers and magazines. For example, Vanity Fair states, “A childhood of electroshock high jinx.” LA Times reports, “A hilarious and horrifying memoir.” Though I found it difficult to put the book down, I wasn’t laughing. Some reviewers suggest that Augusten Burroughs isn’t vulnerable enough, and that this isn’t an emotionally driven book.

If you’re interested in reading about how others lived their lives growing up (no matter what your moral beliefs may be), if you can’t get enough of the nonfiction personal essay, if Bridget Jones’s Diary was just a pre-appetizer, Augusten Burroughs’ first book is for you. To those of you who, like me, haven’t given up on ol’ “Dear Diary,” well, there must be a reason.

Ed. Note: Also on N&, read Tony ’s review of <i>Dry, Burroughs’ follow-up to Scissors.

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