“Running With Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs

Date finished: 12th May 2012

This journey in to my TBR is throwing up some real gems at times, and the latest one was Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. A memoir of his teenage years, which were unconventional to say the least! When his parents split up, his mother leaves him in the care of her psychiatrist, who eventually becomes his legal guardian, while she moves into an apartment and continues her treatment. The psychiatrist, Dr Finch, and his highly unusual family provide enough fodder for the most bizarre experiences which tells his story with painful honesty but also and humour.

The style of Burroughs writing is very informal and easy to read, and I thought that Running With Scissors read more like a novel than a memoir. You find it hard to believe how young he was going through some of these experiences, and how far removed his life was from what we would think of as a normal childhood, yet he recounts these episodes with candid realism and there is always a darkly comic side to his story. From how he is excused from school, to his first (and graphically told) sexual experiences, to his final realisation of where and what he wants in life, this book endears you to him, and I found it utterly compelling to read, and hard to put down until I’d finished it all.

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