by Sukey HowardMarch 2003
Too much, not enough
To put it mildly, Augusten Burroughs had a very unorthodox upbringing. To be blunt, it was a bizarre, weird walk on the wild side. If Running With Scissors were a novel, you'd probably say, "oh, come on, that's too much." But this surprising bestseller is a memoir, a kid's-eye-view of lives spiraling out of control. Augusten's father retreated from the family scene early, leaving him with his flamboyantly unstable mother who modeled herself on Anne Sexton. Enter Dr. Finch, mama's psychiatrist, madder than a hatter and definitely detrimental to the mental health of all under his care and under his roof. Augusten, unfortunately, was sent to live under that roof in unsupervised squalor physical, mental and sexual. There's a dusting of David Sedaris in Burrough's style, a laughing-through-your-tears candor that's as appealing as the situations are appalling. A caveat to listeners there are X-rated scenes throughout.