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Biography & Autobiography > Literary
St Martins Press
21.59 * 2.54 * 15.24
First Edition

Product Description

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Running With Scissors comes the story of one man trying to out-drink his memories, outlast his demons, and outrun his past.

“I was addicted to “Bewitched” as a kid. I worshipped Darren Stevens the First. When he’d come home from work and Samantha would say, ‘Darren, would you like me to fix you a drink?’ He’d always rest his briefcase on the table below the mirror in the foyer, wipe his forehead with a monogrammed handkerchief and say, ‘Better make it a double.’” (from Chapter Two)

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 twentysomething 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 lands in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey Jr. are immediately dashed by 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 true. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power.

About the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the New York Times Bestselling Author of Running With Scissors and Sellevision. He lives in New York City.

Amazon.com Review

Fans of Augusten Burroughs's darkly funny memoir Running with Scissors were left wondering at the end of that book what would become of young Augusten after his squalid and fascinating childhood ended. In Dry, we find that although adult Augusten is doing well professionally, earning a handsome living as an ad writer for a top New York agency, Burroughs's personal life is a disaster. His apartment is a sea of empty Dewar's bottles, he stays out all night boozing, and he dabs cologne on his tongue in an unsuccessful attempt to mask the stench of alcohol on his breath at work. When his employer insists he seek help, Burroughs ships out to Minnesota for detoxification, counseling, and amusingly told anecdotes about the use of stuffed animals in group therapy. But after a month of such treatment, he's back in Manhattan and tenuously sober. And while its one thing to lay off the sauce in rehab, Burroughs learns that it's quite another to resume your former life while avoiding the alcohol that your former life was based around. This quest to remain sober is made dramatically more difficult, and the tale more harrowing, when Burroughs begins an ill-advised romance with a crack addict. Certainly the "recovered alcoholic fighting to stay sober" tale is not new territory for a memoirist. But Burroughs's account transcends clichés: it doesn't adhere to the traditional "temptation narrowly resisted" storyline and it features, in Burroughs himself, a central character that is sympathetic even when he's neither likable nor admirable. But what ultimately makes this memoir such a terrific read is a brilliant and candid sense of humor that manages to stay dry even when recalling events where the author was anything but. --John Moe


"We not only laugh with him but wind up caring deeply as well. Dry will make readers glad to have Augusten Burroughs in the world, and eager for more."
--O Magazine

"Burroughs is a brilliant writer--wickedly funny, painfully honest, and uber-cool. Without cheapening the hard work and commitment recovery requires, he allows the wry hilarity of his experience to shine brighter than the pain and darkness. I haven’t read anything this sharp, hip, or honest in my life. Count me as a lifelong fan of this courageous writer."
--Elle (Reader's Prize winner for June)

"Beneath the quick-flowing, funny-sad surface of Burroughs' prose lurks considerable complexity...even more compelling than Burroughs' first outing." --Time

"Dry is a stylish memoir about a messy life." --Entertainment Weekly

"Humor and poignancy...we finish the book amazed not only that Burroughs can write so brilliantly, but that he's even alive." --People

From AudioFile

Augusten Burroughs, whose first memoir, RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, revealed his Dickensian childhood, takes on his years as an alcoholic adman in this harrowing yet hilarious personal account. Burroughs tells the listener, "Advertising makes everything seem better than it actually is." He applies that basic tenet to his life, and the result is a series of bad decisions, brutality, Bloody Marys, and banality. Finally, he checks into a gay rehab clinic in Minnesota, as much to get sober as for the "possibility of good music and sex." Burroughs draws the listener into a depressing landscape of drunkenness, crack addiction, and the harsh realities of AIDS. His performance blends self-deprecating black humor with wisecracking confidence. His natural (or hard-learned) wit and charm keep the listener rooting for his success. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

None of the many readers of Burroughs's mordant memoir debut, Running with Scissors, would doubt that its entertainingly twisted author could manage, by page 41 of his new installment, to check himself into America's frumpiest alcohol rehab facility for gays. Burroughs has a knack for ending up in depraved situations and a vibrant talent for writing about them. Asked to sign reams of legal forms before entering rehab, he notes, "the real Augusten would never stand for this. The real Augusten would say, `Could I get a Bloody Mary, extra Tabasco... and the check?' " Alas, Burroughs's co-workers are tired of him embarrassing clients by spraying Donna Karan for Men not only around his neck but also on his tongue to mask the tangy miasma of alcohol, and they insist he seek help. Initially repulsed by his recovery program's maudlin language and mind-numbing platitudes, Burroughs eventually makes a steadfast, equally incredulous friend in rehab, finds his own salvation and confidently re-enters society. But when he falls for a wealthy crack addict and his best friend begins to succumb to AIDS, the support he'd enjoyed in rehab begins to crumble. One of the many pleasures of Burroughs's first book was the happy revelation that despite the author's surreal, crueler-than-Dickensian upbringing, he managed to land among a tribe of fellow eccentrics. Burroughs strains here to replicate that zany tone and occasionally indulges in navel-gazing, but readers accustomed to his heady cocktail of fizzy humor and epiphanic poignancy won't be disappointed.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

How to follow your successful my-childhood-was-so-bad-it-was-funny memoir? Why, with a then-my-alcoholism-was-so-bad-it-was-funny memoir, of course. Burroughs, who described in Running with Scissors [BKL Je 1 & 15 02] perhaps the funniest emotionally and sexually abusive family in memoir history, now tells the story of his adulthood. After infuriating his advertising coworkers by showing up at a series of meetings stinking of booze, Burroughs is sent to a recovery center for gays and lesbians in Minnesota. He sobers up, at least for a while, and begins to confront both the demons and the comic irrationality of addiction. The narrative descends into cliche-ridden recovery jargon now and again, but Burroughs openly acknowledges the triteness of it and allows us to laugh. Blessedly free from sentimentality and the predictable fall-and-rise plot of your average booze-soaked memoir, Burroughs' characters are well drawn and fresh, even when they rely on archetypes (there's a still-wet drinking buddy, for example, but he's a hilariously morbid undertaker). Burroughs again displays his talent for finding hope and hard-won laughs in the nastiest of situations. John Green
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