Dry

A Memoir

By Augusten Burroughs
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312272050, 304pp.)

Publication Date: January 2003

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Running With Scissors comes the story of one man trying to out-drink his memories, outlast his demons, and outrun his past.

“I was addicted to “Bewitched” as a kid. I worshipped Darren Stevens the First. When he’d come home from work and Samantha would say, ‘Darren, would you like me to fix you a drink?’ He’d always rest his briefcase on the table below the mirror in the foyer, wipe his forehead with a monogrammed handkerchief and say, ‘Better make it a double.’” (from Chapter Two)

You may not know it, but you’ve met Augusten Burroughs. You’ve seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twentysomething guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at all. Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn’t really a request) of his employers, Augusten lands in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey Jr. are immediately dashed by grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click and that’s when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life—and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that’s as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is true. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power.




About the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the author of Running with Scissors, Magical Thinking: True Stories, Possible Side Effects, A Wolf at the Table and You Better Not Cry. He is also the author of the novel Sellevision, which is currently in development for film. The film version of Running with Scissors, directed by Ryan Murphy and produced by Brad Pitt, was released in October 2006 and starred Joseph Cross, Brian Cox, Annette Bening (nominated for a Golden Globe for her role), Alec Baldwin and Evan Rachel Wood. Augusten's writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers around the world including The New York Times and New York Magazine. In 2005 Entertainment Weekly named him one of “The 25 Funniest People in America.” He resides in New York City and Western Massachusetts.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Augusten Burroughs begins Dry by saying that “sometimes when you work in advertising you’ll get a product that’s really garbage and you have to make it seem fantastic, something that is essential to the continued quality of life.” How does this set the tone for the memoir? Why is advertising an apt metaphor for the story Burroughs tells?




Praise For Dry

"We not only laugh with him but wind up caring deeply as well. Dry will make readers glad to have Augusten Burroughs in the world, and eager for more."
--O Magazine

"Burroughs is a brilliant writer--wickedly funny, painfully honest, and uber-cool. Without cheapening the hard work and commitment recovery requires, he allows the wry hilarity of his experience to shine brighter than the pain and darkness. I haven’t read anything this sharp, hip, or honest in my life. Count me as a lifelong fan of this courageous writer."
--Elle (Reader's Prize winner for June)

"Beneath the quick-flowing, funny-sad surface of Burroughs' prose lurks considerable complexity...even more compelling than Burroughs' first outing." --Time

"Dry is a stylish memoir about a messy life." --Entertainment Weekly

"Humor and poignancy...we finish the book amazed not only that Burroughs can write so brilliantly, but that he's even alive." --People


"We not only laugh with him but wind up caring deeply as well. Dry will make readers glad to have Augusten Burroughs in the world, and eager for more."

"Burroughs is a brilliant writer--wickedly funny, painfully honest, and uber-cool.

"Beneath the quick-flowing, funny-sad surface of Burroughs' prose lurks considerable complexity...even more compelling than Burroughs' first outing."

"Dry is a stylish memoir about a messy life."

"Humor and poignancy...we finish the book amazed not only that Burroughs can write so brilliantly, but that he's even alive."

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