➸ [Reading] ➺ Dry: A Memoir By Augusten Burroughs ➭ – Altobook.co

10 thoughts on “Dry: A Memoir

  1. says:

    After reading Dry I went over to Cedar Tavern for a martini I don t normally drink martinis, but according to Augusten Burroughs, the famous Cedar Tavern on University Place in Manhattan serves huge ones enormous great bowls of vodka soup so you get the most of what you pay for But as it turned out their martinis are actually rather small, the opposite of Burroughs claim And the bartender on the second floor told me that the martinis have been the same size for at least five years since he began working there So what the fuck is Burroughs talking about Not that I was surprised by this While reading Dry a memoir about overcoming the disease of alcoholism I couldn t help but think Burroughs had, um, invented many of the book s anecdotes and conversations The Cedar Tavern trip confirmed the suspicions Do a little research and discover the writer Augusten Burroughs as a liar on many levels First, his real name is Christopher Robison I can t fully read his twisted mind, but it s pretty clear the name change is supposed to lend his authorial presence grandeur Is he trying to sound aristocratic Sophisticated British As if he were William S Burroughs son Or what You really should know you re on the wrong track when you do the opposite of Mark Twain, who changed his high sounding given name of Samuel Clemens into something people like Augusten Burroughs would likely describe as common About half of Dry is dialogue, and I wondered how Burroughs could recall all those intricate conversations, word for word, especially if he was drinking a liter of scotch every night, as he claims We aren t even given any prefatory disclaimer, as memoirs often issue, about how the conversations are recalled to the best of the author s ability Here s a typical exchange note that Hayden is a friend Burroughs met at their Minnesota based rehab clinic Hayden is aghast That seems hostile, he says Rick s a fuck He s a homophobic closet case and he hasn t got an ounce of talent He just hitched his wagon to Elenor years ago and she s too busy to notice he s as dumb as a box of hair Hayden takes a long sip of water You have to keep an eye on this Rick person For starters, even if you had remembered saying something as retarded as dumb as a box of hair you wouldn t publish it for the world to see, would you Anyway, that s simply not a line someone just improvises in the middle of a chat That s a line a bad writer cooks up because he can t think of anything else to put down on the page Hayden taking a long sip of water rather than, say, a short sip is a nice touch, don t ya think That s true literary talent right there for you The only part of Dry I didn t hate is the very beginning when Burroughs is still routinely getting shit faced The buzz is officially killed on page 33 when he checks into rehab It doesn t even get dimly interesting again until page 257 after Burroughs falls off the wagon The 200 or so pages in between are of course replete with a lot of AA rehab talk and sermonizing But mostly for Burroughs, the sober pages are just an excuse for the author to tell us all about himself and his dull relationships with co workers and boyfriends Unlike some of his fellow AA friends, he says he has no trouble staying sober, and even quickly stops attending meetings, so that he can instead focus the narrative on the drama of his relationships, whether we like it or not Alcohol is rarely mentioned during these pages except when Burroughs feels the need to remind the reader that this is still a story about alcoholism For instance, somewhere in the middle of the book, he concocts a tale about how he once went to a bar by himself and almost ordered a beer but then pulled himself together at the last second, settling for a Diet Coke We are supposed to care and empathize with what is obviously an imagined scene And then he ll end certain sections by pretending to have a craved a drink at whatever point he s at in his fascinating relationship memoir I have a sudden longing for a Cape Codder, he ll tell us, out of nowhere, leaving it at that In hindsight, I realize these lines are intended to foreshadow his eventual return to drink This is a story after all, so it really doesn t matter if any of those longings actually happened In one scene after he quit drinking he describes emptying a bottle of scotch into the toilet I flush twice And then I think, why did I flush twice The answer, sic is of course, because I truly do not know myself I cannot be sure I won t attempt to drink from the toilet, like a dog Sorry folks, but I m just not buying this schlock And I m happy to say that I didn t buy this schlock the book was given as a gift One flush wouldn t get rid of the booze One flush wouldn t prevent Burroughs from sticking his face into the toilet bowl to drink the now alcohol free water I don t know how anyone could believe any of this To begin with, Burroughs wasn t that bad an alcoholic He wasn t knocking back cologne or anything He s a rich boy, then advertising copywriter whose worst offense was to overindulge on martinis and Dewar s, with perhaps a little blow on the side If you quit that, you don t fall off the wagon by drinking toilet water You simply go to the liquor store and buy another bottle And I think this yarn is the winner He tells us that his spacious Manhattan apartment is clean and modern in design except that it is ridden with empty liquor bottles Three hundred one liter bottles of scotch And when I used to drink beer instead of scotch, the beer bottles would collect I counted the beer bottles once one thousand, four hundred and fifty two, he writes, expecting to horrify us Now, I don t believe any of this for a second, but if it is actually true, then the trouble here is that Burroughs is just a fucking nutcase, and alcoholism is the least of his problems Think about it he spends his time inventing stories that he passes off as biography That s pretty twisted if you ask me Burroughs himself tells us that he didn t even realize leaving thousands of empty bottles on the floor was abnormal, until the subject was brought up in rehab He also pretends to have not known that the very purpose of rehab is to make people dry Without a trace of irony, Burroughs writes, Sober So that s what I m here to become Yeah right, like he didn t know For some reason, I can t help but think that this sort of contrived stupidity plays well with the American public So here s my verdict on this book Like other memoir specialists Dave Eggers and notoriously James Frey, Burroughs only goal is self promotion The book is a con job written for the sort of people who consider themselves hip and liberal but secretly watch America s Funniest Home Videos Ostensibly the memoir is about alcoholism but like I said that s not what it s really about The only subject discussed at length is Augusten Burroughs and all of his tedious relationships Dry is definitely the operative word here, but not for the stated reason Alcohol is just the decoy plot, so that the author and publisher can rationalize the appearance of yet another Burroughs reflection on his ordinary or otherwise tiresome life There are no ideas in this book No insights No worthy discussion of booze and drugs It is shallow, written, apparently, for fans of Elle, People and Time magazines and for Oprah Winfrey, as the laudatory quotes on the back of the book indicate And this is what pathetically passes for good, edgy, humorous writing in America these days And I suppose the question of whether it s memoir or as I argue fiction is ultimately trumped by the unavoidable conclusion that this book is quite simply the literary equivalent of dog shit, not fit for consumption by anyone who has taste, never mind an ability to detect fraudulence.

  2. says:

    4.5 starsAugusten BurroughsAugusten Burroughs is an American writer who s perhaps best known for his memoir Running With Scissors , which documents his strange, abusive childhood In brief, Augusten s parents divorced when he was young, and his unstable mother gave him to her Massachusetts psychiatrist, Dr Finch Augusten lived with crazy people in the doctor s filthy home, never went to school, and became the obsession of a pedophile that lived in a barn behind the house The book was adapted into a 2006 movie.Augusten Burrough s first memoir, Running With Scissors Movie poster from the film Running With Scissors Dry picks up a decade or so after Running With Scissors , when Burroughs is a successful twentysomething copywriter in New York City, pulling down a six figure salary Burroughs is a talented advertising man but his personal life is a mess He can t handle responsibility, doesn t pay his bills until they go into collection, and despite being well off sometimes loses his phone service and utilities Burroughs is also a serious drunk who s frequently late to work, and often shows up stinking of alcohol After Burroughs misses an important meeting with a client his boss gives him an ultimatum Go to rehab or get fired Burroughs decides on rehab, and confides the news to his two closest friends Jim an undertaker and drinking buddy who s shocked at the news and Pigface a banker and former lover who s glad to hear it This kind of story can be grim but Burroughs tells his tale with humor..and affection for the collection of misfits he meets along the way Burroughs who s gay chooses to go to rehab at the Pride Institute in Minnesota a clinic that specializes in treating addiction in the LGBTQ community Burroughs pictures the facility as resembling an Ian Schrager boutique hotel with gourmet food, a pool, a spa, etc Thus the author is brought up short when he arrives and sees a plain setting that assigns three patients to a room and serves fish cakes for lunch Therapy at the facility is a regimented affair, with constant meetings group meetings, individual meetings, affirmation meetings, and so on all directed at sharing During Burroughs first group meeting he hears addicts talk about the harmful results of their drinking car accidents facial lacerations and worst of all a paralyzed mother One of Burroughs roommates, a psychiatrist who Burroughs thinks of as Dr Valium , later admits that he came to the point of stealing ALL his patients Valium, and replacing it with aspirin Dr Valium is now in danger of losing his medical license.and frets that all his expensive education will go to waste.Burroughs thinks I m DEFINITELY in the wrong place This is for hard core alcoholics rock bottom, ruined their lives alcoholics I m an advertising alcoholic, an eccentric mess It takes some time for Burroughs to admit he really DOES belong in rehab, that he s had unrelenting substance abuse problems since childhood..when he started taking pills and drinking wine at Dr Finch s house The feeling is reinforced when Burroughs thinks about the current condition of his New York apartment, where 300 empty Dewar s bottles occupy all the floor space not already occupied by a bed or chair Previously, when Burroughs used to drink beer, he once collected 1,452 beer bottles Burroughs does his obligatory 30 days in rehab, which he makes clear is the easy part of recovery The real work begins afterwards, when there s no built in professional support system and the addict is once again exposed to all the old temptations In Burroughs case, this includes friends like Jim the undertaker, who parties hard every night Once he s out of rehab and back in New York Burroughs is supposed to go to group meetings AND individual meetings for six months, and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous AA meetings EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of his life Of course this is easier said than done, and Augusten immediately begins to make mistakes.First Augusten develops a relationship with a fellow group therapy patient a stunningly handsome South Carolinian named Foster who has a great body, black hair, and blue eyes Any romantic relationship directly after rehab is discouraged, and hooking up with a fellow addict is verboten but Augusten can t help himself On top of that, Augusten takes in a roommate he met at the Pride Institute an intelligent, British music editor called Hayden, who s addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol Thus, instead of avoiding addicts, Burroughs gets embedded with them Worse yet, Pighead who s the unacknowledged love of Augusten s life tests positive for the HIV virus Burroughs starts to feel depressed and realizes he misses alcohol, the loss of which is like dealing with a death in the family Burroughs also faces issues at work, where a hostile colleague, Rick, plots to get him drinking again a Nazi like German client insists on an ill advised advertising campaign and his female work partner, Greer, is resentful of his supposed newfound insights about life.The ensuing drama with Foster, Hayden, Rick, Greer, and the advertising firm and most especially Pighead s illness upend Augusten s life After a prolonged hiccupping illness, Pighead is in a hospital bed hooked up to machines, and Augusten helps to care for him, change his diapers, keep him company, and so on This takes a great toll.Burroughs struggles, falls, and eventually recovers, but it s a long hard slog that s well worth reading about.for the insights and the laughs if you can believe it I should mention that Burroughs acknowledges fictionalizing some elements of the story He says This memoir is based on my experiences over a ten year period Names have been changed, characters combined, and events compressed Certain episodes are imaginative re creation, and those episodes are not intended to portray actual events The fictionalization doesn t bother me because I think most memoirists do it to some extent After reading this book I think I understand addiction and the stranglehold it gets on people a little better I d highly recommend the memoir to anyone interested in the subject You can follow my reviews at

  3. says:

    What do Haruki Murakami born 1949 and Augusten Burroughs born 1965 have in common Nothing except they both love to drink and they both write stories, novels and memoirs Everything else about their lives is full of contrasts Murakami is a Japanese while Burroughs is an American Murakami interweaves non human fantasy in his human characters Burroughs characters are human but they seem to be fantasy Murakami is straight and very conservative while Burroughs is a flamboyant gay You know that what you are reading is not true when you read Murakami while when you read the memoirs of Burroughs, you know that they can be true but deceptively true But the biggest difference for me is that as you read and Murakami books, as you get the same ingredient each time, you ll get tired of him Believe me, I ve read 8 of his works and have plan of reading the rest but I am taking a rest My first book of him was Kafka and the Shore and I liked it so much that I read the two other books right away He started with 4 stars and this last book, a memoir, What We Talk About When We Talk About Running only got 2 stars from me.On the other hand, it is exactly the opposite with my Burroughs experience I first read his boyhood memoir Running With Scissors and I gave it a 2 star This was followed by The Wolf At My Table, about his relationship with his father and You Better Not Cry 2 stars each But this one, Dry is not hysterical and very subdued He is still gay and he goes out and makes out with different men, some of them casually, but it talks about serious and believable matters like serious alcoholism, AIDS and seemingly faithful translation than sex escapades gay love affairs.My favorite part is when Burroughs was out in a gay bar and he said to himself this place is full of naked sad lives. This struck me as poetic and honest Those gay men in a bar seeking for sex that hopefully turn into love are sad people The music could be bouncy The men could be good looking with gorgeous body They could be rowdy But in the end, when they go home to their apartments, they can be alone and sad Gay lives, excuse me if this is demeaning, can be lonelier than straight heterosexual lives Burroughs has two affairs here One of them is Pighead who died of AIDS and the character that made me think that the shrieking gay boy in Running with Scissors is actually a sensitive man who could be lovable and respectable The other lover is the other alcoholic Forster who is so handsome any gay can go crazy about him This character brought the human aspect of the gayness of Burroughs While reading, I told myself that the only difference of him being gay to a straight man is that his lover is another man All the rest are the same.Memorable characters that brought out the sensitive logical and probably lovable side of Burroughs The you read his works, the you understand who he is He could be exaggerating at times but that s what they call as poetic license But still, I liked this book First time that I actually liked Burroughs So, I expect from his next book in my tbr pile Magical Thinking.Unlike Murakami s books that you get tired of his style as you read his works one after the other.

  4. says:

    Sharp, candid, and surprisingly poignantThe fact that I finished this book in one day probably indicates that I enjoyed it Indeed, the only novels that I recall where I truly laughed my head off were from chick lits, trivial as that may sound But, really, Burroughs has managed to be disarmingly droll while being frightfully honest and self deprecating I can t attest if that s from being gay, the result of coming from a dysfunctional family, or perhaps from working in advertising in New York, no less.What made this story interesting for me was the way he narrated his excruciating battle with alcoholism, that even someone who doesn t suffer from that ailment can actually empathize with him Definitely he refrained from being too long winded about it, avoiding the pitfall of letting his story become boring or monotonous his cracks about himself, his fellow addicts, down to the closet case that is his boss, openly drew chuckles from me There was enough balance of falling into bouts of introspection as well as allowing the story to progress via the lively dialogues with the equally captivating secondary characters the tragedy that is Pighead, the complexity and apparent exceptionality that is Foster, and the oddity namely Greer, among others A guilty enjoyment for me as well was the encounter with the German advertising client who unwittingly provokes the imagination of Augusten to spout Nazi stereotypes.Unexpected, though, was the striking insight into repressed emotions and the ability of a person to love another despite seemingly insurmountable flaws Augusten s relationships perfectly capture what I think is a quintessentially urban tendency of people nowadays to tirelessly compensate for what they think they are missing in life In a way, this novel shows how cheerless that condition is, and, at the same time, be unafraid of what is, after all, a price for being human.Augusten s narration of what his childhood was, the blatant abandonment he experienced from his parents, the perversion done to him as a teenager, makes the reader in turns awed and morbidly fascinated with the man that he has become There were times our protagonist was readily aware of his shortcomings from keeping up with the AA meetings to juggling his relationships with Pighead and Foster and if those weren t uncomfortable enough, the reader is also made cognizant of his glaring denials about how he was living his life, pre and post rehab.I highly recommend this novel Whether one is seeking an understanding of alcoholism, or simply in want of a refreshing, entertaining read granted it s peeking into the memoirs of a self confessed mess this story will take you from laughs to sadness, hope to sorrow and back again Without a doubt, this work proves that Burroughs is an Original.

  5. says:

    Dry This book I read the next day couldn t put it down.The memoir follows Augusten in his success as a mid 20s creative advertiser, which seems like the most appropriate job between Burrough s self confessed childhood ideal jobs of hairdresser writer in Running w Scissors.This one has a different flavor altogether, kind of like the Truffaut series of Antoine Doinel films Eccentricity reigned supreme with the bunch of freaks in Running w Scissors Dry finds misfits in Manhattan Here, the psychology of Burroughs, his emotions raw and visceral, are on brilliant display With age, it seems, comes a different mentality altogether here is testament.This one has a great, bulky climax after Burroughs undergoes now famous rehab will he relapse The reader cannot stop reading to find out exactly this.The central question, and all the near mistakes Augusten makes keeps the suspense going It is trainwreck drama memoir Burroughs is a great writer, my second favorite Burroughs as a matter of fact He can give relevance to any bizarre or tragic event unlike mere observers, like ourselves He is not, it seems, just a spectator, nor is he, despite the fact that he is a rich Manhattanite, mega pretentious Egads Both books are so different that you cannot believe that they occurred to the same individual Because they did because this fact means that our OWN lives are unexpectedly complex, sometimes truly symbolic and difficult to get through, it is a book to read Clearly, it gives some bizarre sense of hope while remaining uber entertaining.

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  7. says:

    This book is funny It s funny and it s true and it s real.I laugh and crack up about what Burroughs is saying, even though he is a mean funny I say a mean funny because he really rips into other people and judges them Of course, he does the same thing to himself, but I can t help feeling a little guilty about enjoying this book so much Sometimes he ll be saying something and I ll be laughing and then I ll think, Should I really be laughing at this Believe me, it s nothing too offensive or disgusting, or I would put the book down But it is something I notice Burroughs will always be, for me, the man who I love reading his funny observations but who I d never want to be friends with in real life.Burroughs is shallow and vain and foul mouthed But he knows that about himself And because he knows that about himself, he can write very funny books about it.This book is about Burroughs being a drunk, and his long path to sobriety It was touching, hilarious, painful and real I enjoyed following Burroughs on his journey from being forced into rehab, to AA, to flirting with other addicts Will he get sober Will he relapse I was genuinely worried about him at some points, yelling at my book Don t do it, Augusten But of course he can t hear me and he s already made the decision, anyway And written about it for my amusement and reading pleasure.I like how at first, Burroughs thinks he s too cool for school This rehab is lame I won t go to AA because it is so dweeby But slowly he starts to realize how much he needs help a new, hot guy at AA doesn t hurt, either The subplot is him watching his good friend and ex lover die of AIDS This is very sad and poignant, even with Burroughs s joking and quips.Burroughs really lets you get into his head his mixed feelings about the men in his life, his horrific memories of his abusive past, and his need his love for alcohol This book, while humorous, also takes the reader to the very pits of addiction, and brings the filth of having an addiction squatting in your brain into the light It s not pretty, but it s necessary and eye opening.A very deep and funny portrait of a recovering addict.P.S He does reference the pedophilia he experienced as a kid growing up If this bothers you, either don t read the book or skip every section that s in italics.P.P.S If you are an addict of any kind and you do not feel like you have a good grip on your sobriety yet, I am warning you that this book can be triggering Very triggering So best save it for your one year sober anniversary and not the white knuckling part.

  8. says:

    I got to be Augusten Burrough s escort when he spoke at the Texas Book Festival a few years ago, and he was very soft spoken, low key and ordinary looking He spoke to a very large, adoring crowd in the senate chambers, and then signed books for quite a long time to an equally adoring snaking line of fans He was very sweet and humble He also bolted out of there as quickly as he could, and asked to be taken directly to his hotel, although my friend Kelly and I managed to drive him around Austin a little showing him things He s sober now, bummer, so we couldn t take him out and get him drunk.He game me his badge to sell on ebay but I think I stuck it in a box somewhere.Anyway, this book is amazing, it s almost too confessional you feel like you can practically feel his pain as he hits rock bottom and tries to claw his way out of addiction Not nearly as funny as Running with Scissors, but it shouldn t because it s him as an adult, realizing the pain and abuse of his childhood, and the excruciating results of his bad choices and bad behavior It s an extraordinarily compelling book I gave it too a young, gay friend of mine who had never heard of him, amazingly enough, and he walked into work after finishing it, just speechless with emotion It s almost too much, and you can understand why his fans feel like they really know him after reading it.Intense is all I can say.

  9. says:

    What can be said about Augusten Burroughs He is an amusing mess If half of the information in his memoirs is true, I will give him five stars for his survival skills If his memoirs are later discovered to be false,I will give him five stars for creativity and fantastic story telling.I can t put this book down.I haven t read their books, but it seems that his mother and brother are capitalizing on family dysfunction as well They all make me feel extremely boring and sane.

  10. says:

    La historia de un alcoh lico que recae en sus intentos de dejar la bebida, tenia pinta de tr gica y aburrida Los buenos comentarios sobre el libro me hicieron ignorar esa impresi n y el resultado fue una lectura amena El drama toma otro matiz de la mano de Augusten, con un humor a veces negro y siempre brillante, nos relata el proceso la dif cil tarea de reconocerse alcoh lico, con sus m ltiples justificaciones e intentos de minimizar la situaci n el descubrimiento gradual de que la bebida no es realmente el problema, cual punta de iceberg, es solo lo visible que esconde el caos y las cursiler as, insoportables pero necesarias, que abundan en los grupos de Alcoh licos an nimos todo agravado por el fr volo mundo de la publicidad El tratarse de memorias lo hace m s interesante, sabemos que nos habla desde lo testimonial y no desde la mera ficci n Adentrase en las vivencias y reflexiones de un alcoh lico resulta fascinante, de hecho, deber a ser lectura obligada para toda persona que necesite superar adicciones.

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Dry: A Memoir download Dry: A Memoir, read online Dry: A Memoir, kindle ebook Dry: A Memoir, Dry: A Memoir a18d765eca1d Revisit The Second Memoir In Augusten S Bestselling Trilogy Of Running With Scissors, Dry, And Lust Wonder You May Not Know It, But You Ve Met Augusten Burroughs You Ve Seen Him On The Street, In Bars, On The Subway, At Restaurants A Twenty Something Guy, Nice Suit, Works In Advertising Regular Ordinary But When The Ordinary Person Had Two Drinks, Augusten Was Circling The Drain By Having Twelve When The Ordinary Person Went Home At Midnight, Augusten Never Went Home At All Loud, Distracting Ties, Automated Wake Up Calls, And Cologne On The Tongue Could Only Hide So Much For So Long At The Request Well, It Wasn T Really A Request Of His Employers, Augusten Landed In Rehab, Where His Dreams Of Group Therapy With Robert Downey, Jr Are Immediately Dashed By The Grim Reality Of Fluorescent Lighting And Paper Hospital Slippers But When Augusten Is Forced To Examine Himself, Something Actually Starts To Click, And That S When He Finds Himself In The Worst Trouble Of All Because When His Thirty Days Are Up, He Has To Return To His Same Drunken Manhattan Life And Live It Sober What Follows Is A Memoir That S As Moving As It Is Funny, As Heartbreaking As It Is Real Dry Is The Story Of Love, Loss, And Starbucks As A Higher Power