Running with Scissors; Dry ) is so forthright a"/>

MAGICAL THINKING

Augusten Burroughs, Author, Augusten Burroughs, Read by , read by the author. Audio Renaissance $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59397-421-3

It would be tempting to call these highly personal and uninhibited essays painfully honest, except that Burroughs (Running with Scissors; Dry ) is so forthright about his egocentricity that the revelations don't appear to cause him much pain. He approaches his material with a blithe tone that oozes sarcasm and crocodile tears. But the palpable humor of the writing itself endears listeners to him enough that they won't be completely repelled by even Burroughs's ugliest moments (which include his less than gallant reaction to accidentally stepping on a toddler's fingers in a store). His performance is off the cuff, but even when he's at his least humane, he still comes across as all too human. He adopts the same openness that made his previous memoirs—dealing with his bizarre upbringing and battle with addiction—so successful; now, however, he's focusing on less serious subject matter and displaying failings that are more vain. Burroughs excels in his personifications of others, whether portraying a domineering cleaning woman or an overbearing boss. While some may secretly wish for the death of such a boss, though, Burroughs admits openly and proudly that he believes he can will it to happen. That attitude, which is accentuated by his reading, makes this audiobook a true guilty pleasure. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Forecasts, July 12). (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
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