You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs

You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs

I’ve loved Augusten Burroughs ever since I opened the first page of Running With Scissors several years ago.  I loved the way he wrote about his terribly dysfunctional life with irreverence, biting humor, and no self-pity or sentimentality.  I loved how he presented himself, warts and all, with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude.  After Running With Scissors, I quickly made my way through several of his other books: Dry, Sellevision, and Magical Thinking.  I was inspired to write my very first fan letter to an author by his writing.

That said, You Better Not Cry is not his best work.  A collection of short stories/anecdotes from his life, all in some way pertaining to Christmas memories (from gnawing the face off of a life-sized Santa as a kid and having to go to the ER to have his stomach pumped, to waking up in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel with a naked Santa in bed beside him who regales Burroughs with tales of their romp the night before, to the love of his life – a man dying of AIDS – abandoning him to instead be with his family for the holidays), I found this book rather brittle, as if Augusten Burroughs was trying too hard to be Augusten Burroughs.  Despite the reviews on the back cover promising a “laugh-out-loud” read, I don’t think I even chuckled during the course of this book.  It’s more of a dark, sad read, which I guess is fine if that’s what you’re after.

A disappointment; pass it up unless you’re a die-hard Augusten Burroughs fan.

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