Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs - Book Review

Running with Scissors
by Augusten Burroughs

amazon // goodreads // library

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 psychiatrist, a dead-ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain. Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules, there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things got dull, there was always the vintage electroshock therapy machine under the stairs....

"Running With Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs Book Review

"Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs is a memoir about Augusten's life. The memoir begins with Augusten starting middle school and continues through high school. To put it lightly, those years for Augusten were *chaotic*. In middle school, Augusten's parents began seeing a therapist and what follows is one of the most bizarre Addam's family type situations I've ever read about. Augusten has processed everything in the book with wit and humor, and I loved it, and flew through this book. But the effect of that humor, is also this vacuum where you really get a sense of the hurt and confusion that Augusten must have felt because the situations described in the book are also terrible. For example, one of my favorite quotes from "Running with Scissors" is Augusten describing his mother's most recent mental breakdown as "not crazy in a 'let's paint the kitchen bright red' sort of way but crazy in a 'gas oven, tooth paste sandwich, I am God', sort of way." Funny? Yes, I laughed out loud more times than I can count reading these stories. But also obviously terrifying to experience mental health crises from a parent, especially for a child. That juxtaposition of humor and sadness weaves the book together and made it an unforgettable read!

Have you read "Running With Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs? Let me know what you thought of it below! Or, let me know your favorite nonfiction memoir that addresses mental health.


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