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Dry: A Memoir [Audio]


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About the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the author of "Running with Scissors "and "Sellevision." He lives in New York City.


Burroughs's memoir of his troubled childhood, Running with Scissors, which was recently issued in paperback, captured considerable attention and even had a run on the New York Times's best sellers list. This sequel is an account of his early adult life as an advertising executive in New York City attempting to recover from alcoholism. He begins his advertising career as a 19-year-old with intelligence and a flair for writing but no education past elementary school. But scars remain from the years with his alcoholic father, his lunatic mother, and her wacky psychiatrist, and drinking slowly becomes the focus of his life. Consuming prodigious amounts of alcohol often leaves him hung over and reeking, causing his employer to urge him to attend rehab for a month. He chooses a hospital for gays in Minnesota and, after a week or so, begins to gain some insight about his drinking. After rehab, he returns to his apartment and begins to gather up the 27 large garbage bags of liquor bottles he has accumulated. With irreverent and humorous touches, Burroughs manages to personalize the difficulties of recovery without ever lapsing into sentimentality. This heartfelt memoir will interest readers who enjoyed his debut and those wanting new insights into addiction and recovery. Recommended for large public libraries.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

None of the many readers of Burroughs's mordant memoir debut, Running with Scissors, would doubt that its entertainingly twisted author could manage, by page 41 of his new installment, to check himself into America's frumpiest alcohol rehab facility for gays. Burroughs has a knack for ending up in depraved situations and a vibrant talent for writing about them. Asked to sign reams of legal forms before entering rehab, he notes, "the real Augusten would never stand for this. The real Augusten would say, `Could I get a Bloody Mary, extra Tabasco... and the check?' " Alas, Burroughs's co-workers are tired of him embarrassing clients by spraying Donna Karan for Men not only around his neck but also on his tongue to mask the tangy miasma of alcohol, and they insist he seek help. Initially repulsed by his recovery program's maudlin language and mind-numbing platitudes, Burroughs eventually makes a steadfast, equally incredulous friend in rehab, finds his own salvation and confidently re-enters society. But when he falls for a wealthy crack addict and his best friend begins to succumb to AIDS, the support he'd enjoyed in rehab begins to crumble. One of the many pleasures of Burroughs's first book was the happy revelation that despite the author's surreal, crueler-than-Dickensian upbringing, he managed to land among a tribe of fellow eccentrics. Burroughs strains here to replicate that zany tone and occasionally indulges in navel-gazing, but readers accustomed to his heady cocktail of fizzy humor and epiphanic poignancy won't be disappointed. Agent, Christopher Schelling. (June) Forecast: Burroughs is now an NPR commentator and started writing a sex column in Details last month, so his reader base may be expanding. Still, this book lacks the zing of Scissors, and casual fans might not go for it. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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