Sunday, April 10, 2016

Book Review: Lust & Wonder, by Augusten Burroughs

The leather squeaked as he uncrossed his legs and place the papers on the floor at his feet. He propped his elbows on his knees and asked me, "What were you too late for, Augusten?"

I looked into his eyes, and then my gaze shifted to clock behind his head. It was now almost nine forty-five. But he hadn't even noticed.

I'm the one who said, "I think we ran over."

When your psychiatrist forgets to look at the clock and is hanging on your every word, that's when you know, out of all his patients, you are the sickest.

I have read Augusten Burroughs' work before, most memorably Running with Scissors - which was also made into a movie (which I have also seen), with Gwyneth Paltrow. Dry, another of his memoirs, was written first but was the second one released; apparently Running with Scissors was actually written after Dry, but released first. His writing reminds me much of David Sedaris's, except a bit darker (though still witty), and I very much enjoyed this novel.

Official synopsis:
First came Running with Scissors. Then came Dry. Now, there's Lust & Wonder.

In chronicling the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, Augusten Burroughs examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous,
Lust and Wonder is an intimate and honest memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for.

In this memoir, Augusten talks about life in New York, as well as his relationships. He dates a man named Dennis for many years, eventually realizing he doesn't love him anymore, and he later realizes he's been in love with his book agent, Christopher, for even longer than that. Augusten and Dennis have a house together, though, and dogs, and it would be hard to separate their entwined lives; the novel contains details about this, as well as anecdotes about the small Massachusetts town where they chose to build a house. 

Like I mentioned before, I see many similarities between Burroughs' books and David Sedaris's - both are gay men who write memoirs, on the basest level - but Burroughs' novels tend to be a little darker, and the humor is more dry humor, whereas Sedaris's is more "laugh out loud" humor. 

I know I've read Running with Scissors, albeit many years ago, but I now want to read Dry and well as Sellevision, two of Burroughs' novels that are mentioned in this book - Dry is another of his memoirs and Sellevision is actually one of the first books he wrote.

I'd recommend this memoir for anyone who enjoys true stories, or anyone who is a fan of Burroughs' previous work - Running with Scissors was more about his childhood, and Lust & Wonder focuses more on his adult life, and the choices we make when it comes to love and relationships.

4 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

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