Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Running with Scissors

The true story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock-therapy machine could provide entertainment.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. So at the age of...


Details Running with Scissors

TitleRunning with Scissors
ISBN9780312422271
Author
Release DateJun 1st, 2003
PublisherPicador
LanguageEnglish
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Humor
Rating

Reviews Running with Scissors

  • Oriana
    2007-07-22
    I talk about this all the time, so here, definitively, is my explanation of the four categories of memoir. 1) People who have had seriously interesting / crazy lives, and who also happen to be terrific writers, able to render their stories in a compelling, original way (like David Small's brilliant Stitches , or what I consider the gold-standard memoir, Nick Flynn's breathtaking Another Bullshit Night in Suck City ).2) People whose lives are in...
  • Martin
    2007-12-31
    I found this book profoundly disturbing and torturous to read. I understand that it is cleansing and theraputic for those that have been traumitized to write/talk aobut their problems to help with the healing process. There are very few things that my ironclad stomach can't suffer and my brain is developed enough to handle even the most shocking of situations. This book tested my patience from begining to end and in the end I was very dissapointe...
  • Scott
    2008-06-20
    She wasn't "Let's paint the kitchen red" crazy. She was full on head in the oven, toothpaste sandwich, I am God crazy..paraphrased, but you get it..
  • Fabian
    2008-10-26
    I read this book in about four hours. & maybe that's as good an encapsulation of the experience as I can give.I like the eccentric, non-plot-driven memoir that sounds too strange to be true... and because it exists, because it ACTUALLY happened (unlike you, James Frey!!), it merits thoughts about American families in addition to the ironies of self-obsessed psychologies.Written in cute concise prose, even if some jokes do not actually make you la...
  • Tina
    2008-06-26
    I learned, along with the rest of my reading group, that running with scissors is preferable to reading this book.
  • Timothy
    2007-08-29
    Family settles with "Running with Scissors" author, publisherBy Rodrique Ngowi, Associated Press Writer | August 29, 2007BOSTON --A family that claimed author Augusten Burroughs defamed them in his best-selling book "Running with Scissors" has settled a lawsuit against the author and his publisher, their attorney said Wednesday.Burroughs and his publisher, St. Martin's Press, agree to call the work a "book" instead of "memoirs," in the author's n...
  • Jason Pettus
    2008-06-20
    (Today's review is much longer than Goodreads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)I've mentioned here regularly the entire idea of there being an "underground-arts canon;" that is, that just like the academic community, what we call the modern cutting-ed...
  • Will Byrnes
    2009-02-12
    Burroughs offers a book that is supposedly a memoir. If so, then truth is definitely stranger than fiction. Let’s say I am skeptical. If you thought you had a tough adolescence a look at Burroughs’ tale will put your experience into a little perspective. He grew up in western Massachusetts to a mother who was probably bi-polar, in what seems like ground zero for inappropriate behavior. She was seeing a peculiar psychiatrist who had a fondness...
  • Will N Van
    2008-06-12
    It has been said that Truman Capote's last book, "Answered Prayers," cost him the friendship of almost everyone he knew at that time in his life, and it has even been speculated that this contributed to his demise. He had mined the personal secrets and character flaws of those around him for literary gold, and most probably embellished as brilliant authors often do. The characters were apparently easily correlated to their real-life counterparts....
  • eliza
    2007-04-25
    When I read this book, I was really appalled that people would classify it as a comedy, and that the makers of the film would treat it as such. I thought it was one of the most tragic things I have ever read in my life. The fact that this kid had to deal with not only his crazy parents, but an entirely crazy family is heartbreaking. And it's not just that they're quirky, like everyone seems to make them out to be, but they really are insane. And ...
  • John
    2008-05-18
    My brother's account of our childhood and life with the Finches
  • Alex Templeton
    2008-01-13
    I was interested in reading this after getting hints of the story in Burroughs' brother's memoir "Look Me in the Eye". My honest reaction? This book made me deeply uncomfortable. Oh, I kept reading it, the same way I and everyone else would keep eyeballing a car accident, as the old cliché goes. But there was a part of me that honestly couldn't believe that all of this stuff was real. And if it was, how could Burroughs write about it almost as i...
  • Annalisa
    2008-02-12
    This book is supposed to be funny?! I kept waiting for the amusement as I waded through increasingly appalling characters that were not likable, interesting, or remotely relatable. Crazy and abusive is not quirky and lovable. Well I suppose there is a way to write it that way, but this is written with a tinge of bitterness. What is so amusing about royally screwing up a child's life?Between books I'd try to get back into this story that was ok bu...
  • Friend the Girl
    2007-10-16
    I'm really not a fan of this memoir craze, and Running With Scissors is no exception. It shows potential in some parts, where the author puts down the 2x4 he was using to beat you over the head with and just tells a story. Most of the time, though, he's not-so-subtly reminding you that he had a terrible childhood, his dad hated him, his mum was crazy, he didn't have anyone, etc. Yawn. In an age where 52% of marriages end in divorce, this is every...
  • K.
    2007-09-26
    I know the family, I know the ego-crazed and self-indulgent overgrown baby who wrote this book, and I find it not only sloppily written but vicious and hate-filled. It's a mother-bashing, lesbian-bashing, lying heap of crap. You can see I am worked up about it. I wouldn't mind if it were called a novel (which it is). I only object to its being called a "memoir." Read instead Jackie Leyden's beautiful hymn to the mixed blessings of growing up with...
  • Tara
    2008-11-30
    This book was hilarious and horrifying, at once raucous and deeply disturbing. Burroughs writes like a man who has not entirely made peace with his madhouse childhood but has found a certain kind of solace in his off-center coping mechanisms. His anecdotes are hysterical but mingled with catharses that are simply stated and give the impression of a friendly confidence. This was Burroughs' biggest claim-to-fame book, quite possibly because of the ...
  • Felicia
    2008-02-25
    I love this book. The abysmal movie that was made of it was a travesty, because this book...I relate to the crazy family part, that's all I'm saying about it :)
  • Mindy
    2008-06-05
    I read this when it first came out in 2003 and was instantly smitten with Augusten Burroughs. He cracks me up! You won't believe that the things he writes about really happened, but allegedly, they did. I read something recently about the shrink's family and their denial about several things in the book. If you were them, wouldn't you try to deny it too, though? Anyway, great read, will have you laughing out loud. This is not your mother's kind o...
  • Stephanie
    2007-08-06
    I have to warm you that I am going to give a spoiler here, the spoiler I happened upon as I had just begun reading this book and was just hooked enough by the descriptive style of writing and interesting content that I wanted to continue regardless. However, the spoiler ultimately affected my experience of the book and may affect yours as well. So don't read this, unless you've already read the book.The family that "Augusten Burroughs" focuses mo...
  • Ellen
    2010-03-16
    Leo Tolstoy writes, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”I’ve always read “happy families” in that quotation as meaning normal families, and assumed by its positioning that normal, happy families were more prevalent. I wonder. Tolstoy’s dichotomy seems simplistic. I’m not sure I know any family that is routinely happy or normal. My parents and brother always ensured I’d win any “crazy fa...
  • Lyn
    2011-07-31
    Funny and very well written.The graphic homosexual sex scenes will be too much for some readers but were contextually relevant. I have tried since reading this to understand Burroughs' quirky, angst obsessive postmodernist world view, and perhaps he cannot put a definite label on it either, but then on the other hand, Burroughs' may be one of those special writers whose opinions and style rightly fit into the "other" category of literary genres a...
  • Bill
    2014-07-09
    I won this copy of Running with Scissors in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is my fair and honest review!2.5/5.0 StarsOkay I’ve procrastinated long enough on this one. I really, really wanted to love this book but, despite all the rave reviews and critical acclaim, I just didn’t feel it. Please don’t hate me all you Augusten Burroughs fans out there. This book confused the heck out of me and I simply could not get past the pedophilia. Confused? ...
  • Paula
    2007-08-22
    Alternatve Title: Stabbing Yourself with ScissorsI've always looked at this book, picked it up, and put it back down. I was wary because it seemed like something Sedaris would write, and I really hate Sedaris. Also, look at the cover. Always judge books by covers! It's in sepia-uh oh, you know it's a memoir. And he's got a box on his head-he must be crazy! Still, I'd heard people liked it, so when I came across it in my local used bookstore, I th...
  • Angie
    2008-03-23
    I began this book Monday night, 3/24. I almost decided to put it down, thinking, "Oh, here we go. Another memoir with witty inclusions of past pop culture, preying on my nostalgia." But then, I couldn't get over Burroughs' memory of the details from the past, such as the ticking of a cooling hair dryer or how he felt when dressed just so. And then I thought, "This guy can't be for real. He's making up details to fill the space." But I decided to ...
  • Pixie
    2007-10-28
    I quit reading this book halfway through. Like I read in another review, he's a bit of a David Sedaris wannabe. There's sort of a dark, absurd humor going on. I think he thinks he's being "light" by treating the subject matter "lightly," and sometimes it works. (I actually love David Sedaris, by the way, but I prefer listening to him over reading him.). As opposed to Mr. Sedaris, this guy gets really vulgar, offensive, and disgusting. It's all in...
  • J.G. Keely
    2007-05-26
    Boring Prose sprinkled with the kind of sensationalism that can only come from a man with the hubris to change his name from Chris Robinson to Augusten Xon Burroughs.I wanted this to be a one-sentence review, because that's all it deserves, but I just can't: XON!!!??? FUCKING XON!!!???? WHERE IS MY GODDAMN INTERROBANG!!!!????? JUST CALL YOURSELF XENU FOR SHIT'S SAKE. CHRISTING FUCKBELLY TURDSQUABBLE.
  • Don
    2017-06-16
    I began this memoir only knowing that it was controversial -- some of the people depicted in these pages claim that Burroughs greatly embellished past events, while Burroughs himself maintains the book's veracity. After doing some online research, I still can't determine who's telling the truth here, and so I can only judge the book's literary merit. And in that regard I have to say that Running with Scissors lives up to its hype. Burroughs' pros...
  • Vanessa
    2016-10-02
    I really enjoyed this book. A young Augusten is thrust into the middle of his parents divorce he has to deal with his father's suppressed and detached anger and his mother's many manic episodes. Which brings him to live with his mother's psychiatrist's family. The Finch family are an incredibly odd bunch. Dysfunctional in all the best kind of ways. The situations almost border on the ridiculous which makes this a fun memoir. It seems the crazier ...
  • Elyse
    2007-11-15
    Read this when it first came out ---GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!The movie: They trashed the book!
  • K.D. Absolutely
    2010-12-07
    Augusten Burroughs (born 1965 in Pittsburg as Christopher Robison) was named in 2005 as one, ranked 15, of “The 25 Funniest People in America” by Entertainment Weekly, People and The Guardian.This memoir of his gay boyhood, “Running With Scissors” came out in 2003. On the same year, Burroughs came out with “Dry” about his experience being alcoholic and “Magical Thinking” a collection of memoir essays. I am not sure if any of these...