Extended Review: Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's definitely a fascinating read! I would like to research more about Burroughs, as his story is so fantastic it borders on the absurd!! Not even "borders" but it is fully emerged in the absurd.

Couldn't put it down. About every 20 pages or so I kept thinking: they made this into a movie?! How did this become a movie? Was THIS in the movie?! Wasn't the trailer for the movie sort-of light-hearted? Basically I need to see the movie. [Edit: apparently the movie was crap.]

Running with Scissors is an amazing memoir, and will leave you feeling incredulous that someone survived such a tumultuous time in their lives!
After reading this article in Vanity Fair: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/0...
I'm disheartened to find that when "Burroughs" published this memoir he didn't tell the "Finches" until they saw it on a best-seller list. Needless to say they were upset, so-much-so that they sued Burroughs and the publisher for defamation.

As someone interested in writing a memoir-type book, it was pointed out to me that not everyone will be happy, and that you have to begin/ preempt your story with something like: "This is the truth as I know it." Maybe Running with Scissors is the truth as Burroughs remembers it?

It's interesting that in the Vanity Fair article the family claims to only have offered love and a family for Augusten, which actually does come across in the memoir. At the end of the article, Burroughs claims he was having recurring nightmares about being back in that house (which only stopped once he wrote the book), which ironically does NOT come across in the memoir.

I guess there needs to be a check and balance between writing what you believe YOUR LIFE was, versus taking down people in the process? Bottom line: it was shitty that Burroughs didn't even let the Finches know he was writing a book, which that in itself seems suspect...

A sad story that opens more wounds than finds closure for the families.

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  1. Oh oh I want to read this! I read his brother's memoir: Look Me In the Eye by John Elder Robinson? AND IT WAS SO GOOD. omg if his brother writes half as well, then I definitely want to read it.
    I think it's not that weird that he didn't tell someone (I mean I don't know who the Finches are in relation to the book tho) that he didn't write the memoir. Maybe he didn't really care about their opinions? And I think memoirs will always be controversial to people you know, right?! Because everyone remembers things differently. :P
    (And there's a movie?! Okay I need to look up the trailer. xD)

  2. You're funny. It's definitely worth a read, and I'm VERY interested in Look Me in the Eye, because their parents were ca-RAZY! The movie is apparently awful. Let me know what you think! Thanks for the comment!