A Memoir

By Augusten Burroughs
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312423797, 320pp.)

Publication Date: April 1, 2004

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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From the bestselling author of Running with Scissors comes Dry--the hilarious, moving, and no less bizarre account of what happened next.

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 twenty-something guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had to 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 landed in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey, Jr., are immediately dashed by the 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 real. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a higher power.

About the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors, Magical Thinking, and, most recently, Possible Side Effects, which have also been New York Times bestsellers and are published around the world. A film version of Running with Scissors was adapted for the screen by Ryan Murphy. Augusten has been named one of the fifteen funniest people in America by Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City and western Massachusetts.

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  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

Laughter on the road to sobriety. Mr. Burroughs remains adept at mixing comedy and calamity.

More than a heartbreaking tale; it's a heroic one. As with its predecessor, we finish the book amazed not only that Burroughs can write so brilliantly, but that he's even alive.

[A] wrenching, edifying journey...with the added benefit of being really entertaining.

A deeper book than Scissors, revealing Burroughs to be a more accomplished writer, creating scenes of real power.

Beneath the quick-flowing, funny-sad surface of Burroughs' prose lurks considerable complexity: wherever he goes, whatever he's doing, you can feel how badly he wants to drink--as well as the sadness from which that desire comes and the courage it takes to make the sadness so funny, all at the same time. If anything, Dry is even more compelling than Burroughs' first outing.

A frank, shockingly hilarious memoir of booze, family, loss, and victory. All along the way, this writer's warmth, honesty and irreverence win our allegiance. It's a mark of the depth and wholeness of the person who emerges here that 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.

Augusten Burroughs is a wickedly good writer. Dry is the second part of Burroughs' chronicle of his--shall we say--unusual life...a brutally honest view of the twisted culture that can thrive in an ad agency...All in all, Dry is a great read. Grade: A.

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