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Running with scissors : a memoir
2006
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Summary
The #1 "New York Times "Bestseller An "Entertainment Weekly" Top Ten Book of the Year Now a Major Motion Picture"" "Running with Scissors" is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. At the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor, living with the doctor's bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year-round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull, an electroshock therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing, and bestselling account of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances. Running with Scissors Acknowledgments
Gratitude doesn't begin to describe it: Jennifer Enderlin, Christopher Schelling, John Murphy, Gregg Sullivan, Kim Cardascia, Michael Storrings, and everyone at St. Martin's Press. Thank you: Lawrence David, Suzanne Finnamore, Robert Rodi, Bret Easton Ellis, Jon Pepoon, Lee Lodes, Jeff Soares, Kevin Weidenbacher, Lynda Pearson, Lona Walburn, Lori Greenburg, John DePretis, and Sheila Cobb. I would also like to express my appreciation to my mother and father for, no matter how inadvertently, giving me such a memorable childhood. Additionally, I would like to thank the real-life members of the family portrayed in this book for taking me into their home and accepting me as one of their own. I recognize that their memories of the events described in this book are different than my own. They are each fine, decent, and hard-working people. The book was not intended to hurt the family. Both my publisher and I regret any unintentional harm resulting from the publishing and marketing of Running with Scissors. Most of all, I would like to thank my brother for demonstrating, by example, the importance of being wholly unique.
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Booklist Review
It's hard to imagine a childhood more disturbing and relentlessly surreal than the one the author describes in this memoir. When his violent, nearly homicidal parents divorce, young Augusten lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with his mother, a confessional poet battling a mental illness that manifests itself in consuming self-absorption and psychotic episodes. Deciding she needs more space for personal exploration and art, Augusten's mother packs her 12-year-old son off to the home of psychiatrist Dr. Finch, a wildly eccentric egomaniac; most of this memoir centers on Augusten's teenage years spent in this uncontrolled, profoundly bizarre household. Luckily, Burroughs tempers the pathos with sharp, riotous humor in stories that are self-deprecating, raunchy, sexually explicit (14-year-old Augusten becomes lovers with Neil, a Finch family member 20 years his senior), scatological, grotesque, and deeply affecting. Edgier but reminiscent of Dave Eggers' Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius(2000), this is a survival story readers won't forget. Gillian Engberg.
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