by Augusten Burroughs
Have I mentioned that Augusten Burroughs was the first author to whom I wrote an actual fan letter? It’s true. This was years ago, I think after I read Running With Scissors (or maybe it was Dry; I can’t remember which), and I was so enamored of his writing that I tracked down his email address (which isn’t hard to do, given that most authors have a website with a “Contact” link) and wrote a gushing email to him. And he actually responded! So we’re besties now.
Okay, not really.
Anyway, I’ve been a fan of his for quite a while, and am always excited to see another book with his name on it hit the shelves.
Lust & Wonder is another memoir; this one covers a certain period of time in Burroughs’s life after Dry, which recounts his time in rehab for alcoholism. Lust & Wonder opens with Burroughs falling off the wagon after a prolonged period of sobriety. What this memoir is mostly about, though, is Burroughs’s misadventures in coupledom. If you’re at all familiar with Burroughs’s work, then I don’t need to tell you that it is absolutely not sappy or sentimental. Told with his trademark scorching wit and naked honesty, it does manage to be tender at moments, however. Burroughs doesn’t pull any punches – he can be mean, but he knows and acknowledges it – and doesn’t defend it.
I really enjoyed this one; it’s not among the best of his work, but it holds its own and is definitely worth reading if you’re a Burroughs fan. If you’re not yet a fan, I would recommend reading Running With Scissors and Dry first; Lust & Wonder will then make more sense. The only caveat I would offer is that – like Burroughs’s other work – it contains some pretty graphic stuff and is intended for mature audiences.