by Augusten Burroughs (2002)
So, I am about a decade late in reading the hippest book to have on the train, Running With Scissors, but being behind the times doesn’t hinder the enjoyment of this twisted memoir. Augusten Burroughs‘ story is right up my ally, as I could listen to people gossip about their crazy families all day. I even had a friend who, though I am on bad terms with, I am sometimes tempted to contact just so I can hear the latest on his aunt and uncle hi-jinx.
Very few people, though, can claim a childhood quite as wildly messed up as this one (though I know a few that are at least tied). “Raised” to a very limited degree by an insane poetess mother, given over to en equally nuts Doctor and his unhinged family, having an affair as a preteen with a pedophile, this is a sad tale of adolescence without boundaries, which is no where near as fun as it might sound to an adolescent.
Still, Burroughs manages to make what could be almost unbearable to read pretty hilarious. Looking back with wise and sarcastic wit of an adult, he reminds us that he did, in fact, survive all the madness and has, to the joy of all his readers, lived to tell the tale.
The book was adapted into a movie recently by Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, but was considered to be one of the worst of the year. I can kind of see how the subject matter, always verging on or full on disturbing could be tough to bring to the screen without a really gentle touch (which, from watching Glee is unlikely Murphy’s m.o.).