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.