Running With Scissors

Read a good book lately? Want to discuss it with others? Share what you're reading and find out what should be on your bookshelf.
drwasy
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby drwasy » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:52 pm

I haven't read "Running with Scissors", but I have read "Dry". Fantastic. Burroughs is a very good writer: spare and precise. His ascerbic humor brings a strange pathos to the book.

But please note the disclaimer at the front of "Dry": it is based on true events and people, but embellished. Almost all memoir is. If you read Stephen King's "On Writing" he states at the front that he really doesn't remember much of his childhood (and he had it pretty rough). Most people don't. Whenever I read a memoir, I take it with a huge grain of sand, realizing that the most interesting detail are probably elaborations if not outright fabrications.

That said, one of my favorite "memoirs" in the past couple of years is James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces." When a writer can make my eyes travel down a page faster than I can absorb the words into my brain and process them, I know s/he is a great storyteller. Truth? Fiction? Who really cares if the story is great.... Peace, Linda


abqwriter
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby abqwriter » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:04 pm

I've talked to some who loved this book and others who thought it totally inane.  For me, it just isn't my cup of tea.  If I wanted to read about dysfunctional families, I'd go back and read all the emails from my mother.  :)  (They're not usually funny, though - just pointing out some new way I have failed her even in adulthood...)

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Georganna
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby Georganna » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:57 am

 And now (clipped from Crain's):

John E. Robison, the older brother of best selling memoirist Augusten Burroughs, has just sold his first book, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, to Crown Publishers.

Robinson's book, it was reporter, covers some of the same events as Borroughs'.  Asperger's Syndrome is a mild form of autism.

Yeah, I have to agree with Lisa, except in my case, it would be the insane ramblings of my child, and a complete recap of my life.  Hmm.  Maybe there's another book in me yet. 


wildstrawberries
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby wildstrawberries » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:45 am

The book sounds interesting. I rember reading about Asberger's Syndrome in the book, "Magical Thinking" by Augusten Burroughs. For some reason I am fascinated with learning more about disorders such as autism. I have a younger brother who has Down's Syndrome. Some of his friends have been a huge part of my life since he was a baby. Some have autism, some have other learning disabilities, some are handicapped etc. I'm sure that has something to do with my intense interest.

Thank you for bringing Robison's book to my attention. And maybe I like reading about dysfunctional families because it makes some of my own family members seem more normal. Yet, we can't change the roots of our family tree, can we? But at least we can decorate the branches!

wildstrawberries
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby wildstrawberries » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:12 am

I have heard that "A Million Little Pieces" is a fabulous book, despite the controversy the author faced. Have you read "My Friend Leonard?" by James Frey? I've heard good things about that one, too.

It took me close to a year to write my memoir (it is now in the publishing process)...and I can honestly say nothing is embellished. Once I decided to publish it, and began rewriting, rewriting, and rewriting, I felt compelled to sugar coat my feelings. After reading "Writing the Memoir...from Truth to Art" by Judith Barrington, I let go of my inhibitions to tell it like it is/was. I remembered quite a bit from my childhood and also kept a journal from the time I was twelve until I was twenty-three. Which then I began writing diligently in my daughter's baby book.

Anyway, nothing is embellished (or sugar coated) in my memoir. I got rid of many euphamisms, and all forty chapters are the full truth and nothing but the truth. I guess if I'm reading a memoir, I'm having faith that the writer is telling their story the way they remembered their life and the way they now see it (James Frey is an exception; however, his "memoir" has helped many people. People seem to really like how he writes).

sparkleberry
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby sparkleberry » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:20 pm

Wildstrawberries!
I have read all five of the books you mention here and I honestly loved everyone! James Frey's books were amazing! I could careless about the controversy that went on. Both books he wrote were hard to put down once I started. Running with Scissors was fascinating to me. Who cares if every family is dysfunctional in some way, AB wrote 3 really good books that were quick to read with a lot honesty and he put it all out there without caring about being ridiculed for what he wrote.
If you like these you should read some of torey Hayden's books. "One Child", "Beautiful Child", "Twilight Children" etc.. She taught
special ed and wrote about these kids that had various problems. It amazes me that so much goes on behind closed doors, possibly your neighbors, and no one really knows that things have happened until someone writes about it. your kids go to school with these kids and they have no idea except that "that child" might be a little weird.

wildstrawberries
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby wildstrawberries » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:41 pm

Dear Sparkleberry,

Thanks for the recommendations. I'm looking forward to reading Torey Hayden's books. They sound right up my alley! My mom has both of James Frey's books. She LOVED them! I think the people who really loved his writing didn't care as much about the controversy. The bottom line...a great writer is a great writer. The purpose of writing is usually to entertain and/or to help someone. He was obviously entertaining and many people were helped by his writing.

A.B's books had me ROLLING! I've never laughed so much sitting at home by myself. Six hours would go by in the blink of an eye. I was secretly annoyed if the phone rang. I didn't welcome interruptions while reading his books. Hilariously bizarre and so well written. But yet it was hard to explain it to other people. Some of my friends looked at me like I was nuts. But I didn't care and I couldn't stop talking about it. Have you checked out his website? I've found that to be quite interesting, too. There's even a picture of Bookman, and lots of pictures of Augusten as a kid. I blinked my eyes out of disbelief a lot when I read "Running With Scissors."

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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby ruby » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:25 am

What a book about survival! What this boy went through. I read "Dry" and "Possible Side Affects" also by Augusten B. Great books to read to see inside other people's upbringing and the outcome.


"The Glass Castle" an excellent book! Shows you can be successful no matter how you were brought up.

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Re: James Frey

Postby ruby » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:29 am

"A Million Little Pieces" is excellent! I couldn't put it down. Great reading even with all the controversy. "My Friend Leonard" is also excellent. You must read it to find out what happens with Leonard.

ruby
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RE: Running With Scissors

Postby ruby » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:32 am

The movie is excellent! As I was watching it my mind was going back to the book what an experience. Some things in the movie were a little different than the book. You must see the movie!!

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