Thursday, October 11, 2007
Augusten Burroughs has had the weirdest life of all time, if half of this memoir is true. (which it may not be as I think he recently settled a defamation lawsuit, part of the terms being he would no longer refer to it as memoir.) Born to a distant alcoholic dad and a manic depressive mother, Augusten lives in his imagination, pretending to be a talk show host and cleaning and polishing things. Then his parents separate and he is sent to live with his mother's therapist and his family who are crazy themselves. The children play with an electroshock set kept under the stairs, the mom eats dog snacks and no one cares about housework or school or the fact that 13 year old Augusten is having sex with the family's other surrogate son, a man in his 20s. The book is shocking, engrossing and darkly humorous. I listened to this on audio, which was great except when ever I had to pay the parking garage attendant the book was always in the middle of something sexual or a string of profanity. Recommended for people who aren't easily shocked.