by Sukey HowardJune 2006
At some point during the years when he drank a liter of scotch a day, Augusten Burroughs realized that to live he needed to go inside his own head, he needed to stop drinking and write. He did it, with many, now documented, ups and downs and the results have been bestsellers. Burroughs on Burroughs has become its own subgenre of memoir-as-minefield and <b>Possible Side Effects</b>, his latest delving into his dysfunctional past, is so unflinchingly honest that it can make you flinch. But Burroughs' special brand of black humor can also make you laugh and look at our confusing world in new ways. He's a fabulous performer; listening to his monologue can be even better than reading it. If you've heard him before, some of the situations may be familiar his mother's festering mental illness ; his bizarre childhood; alcohol addiction; careening career in advertising; infatuation with dogs, TV and McDonald's. Yet he makes each episode a new trip inside and a journey worth taking.