To everyone who recommended this book to me:
I loved it. I marked so many pages (with bookmarks, I hate dog-eared pages) that I finally had to stop because I ran out of scrap paper. I read so many passages out loud to Josh that he went to work the next day talking about the book I was reading--not the book he himself was reading. I laughed so hard and so often that I had to put the book down at points. I LOVED IT.
Tracy, what was it that the people in the book group objected to? Was it the sex? Because, damn it, there was only about 6 pages of it. Out of 304! Granted, it was graphic, sketchy, and disturbing, but come on! Or were they upset about something else?
For the uninitiated, Running with Scissors is Augusten Burroughs' memoir of his childhood. Things start out semi-normally, with his parents on the verge of divorce:
My father's face grew red as he added a splash of tonic water to his glass. "Deirdre, will you settle down. You're hysterical, just hysterical." Because he was a professor, he was in the habit of repeating himself.
She stood up from the sofa and walked slowly across the white shag carpeting, as if finding her mark on a soundstage. "I'm hysterical?" she asked in a smooth, low voice. "You think this is hysterical?" She laughed theatrically, throwing her head back. "Oh, you poor bastard. You lousy excuse for a man." She stood next to him, leaning her back against the teak bookcase. "You're so repressed you mistake creative passion for hysterics. And don't you see? This is how you're killing me." She closed her eyes and made her Edith Piaf face.
You may notice that his mother is a tad dramatic. Well, don't get the idea that the father lacks drama--a few pages later, he chases her around the house and tries to brain her with a fondue pot. Shortly thereafter, they split up and Augusten's mother decides that she can't handle the strain of raising him--so she gives him to her psychiatrist. Keep in mind that this is a man who believes that he's receiving messages from God through his own poop.
What about Hope; would she ever get married? "See all that corn? Hope's going to marry a farmer."
The house is filthy, filled with the psychiatrist's many children, his aptly-named grandson Poo and quite a few of his patients--former and current.
This is completely unrelated, but one of my favorite passages was about smoking:
Smoking had become my favorite thing in the world to do. It was like having instant comfort, no matter where or when. No wonder my parents smoked, I thought. The part of me that used to polish my jewelry for hours and comb my hair until my scalp was deeply scratched was now lighting cigarettes every other minute and then carefully stomping them out. It turned out I had always been a smoker. I just hadn't had any cigarettes.
LOVED LOVED LOVED it. More than David Sederis. Much more, actually. So, again, thanks for the recommendation!