Genre: Memoir

Notes: A total mess.  If half the stuff in this memoir is true, I don’t know how Augusten Burroughs functions as a human being.  Much less a successful human being who doesn’t live in a mental institution with padded walls.

Review: This story is insane.  I never watched the movie, but I would imagine the movie is a little lighter and a little easier to digest.  The novel made me a little disturbed, a little disgusted, and a little bad for laughing at a clearly desperate situation.

Augusten Burroughs grows up in what can only be described as the strangest circumstances.  True stories are the best stories, because you couldn’t make this stuff up.  As a young boy, Augusten lived with his parents who fought constantly with a mother who thought herself an important poet.  In a weird turn of events, his parents divorced and Augusten’s mother signed custody of him over to her psychiatrist who lived in a dilapidated house with no rules and lots of heathen, barbarian children.

Here is just a taste: The psychiatrist believed that God was attempting to communicate with him through his bowel movements.  When he pooped, be trooped the whole family to view the toilet and decipher the message from God.

Augusten began a relationship with a man 15 years older than him at age 14.

The psychiatrist’s wife eats dog food as a snack.

And it continues like that.  Without stopping.  This whole book had my mouth hanging open half of the time – but I’m not willing to believe it is all true, even if it has memoir stamped onto the cover.  Like, really?  I’m sorry, but no.  Maybe the gist of the story is intact, but I have to believe most of this has some embellishment.

Bottom Line: It’s a quick read, so if you’re looking for something to read on a plane or on vacation, this is a good one.  Plus you can talk about how ridiculous it is and give me your opinion.  Fiction or nonfiction?

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