Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Running with Scissors
I’m not entirely sure what to think about this book. After James Frey, I’ll confess to being a little leery about memoirs, especially ones that are a bit…”My parents sucked! OMG my guardians suck, too! And their house is the most disgusting place in the world! And I’m having sex at an inappropriate age and with inappropriate people! And no one cares!”
Not that I’m doubting that he had a bad childhood, or that sucky things happened to him, but when you’re writing a memoir and everyone calls you Augusten in the memoir but then your reader discovers you didn’t change your name until later on, well, said reader loses a bit of faith. And then when you describe how disgusting the house in which you lived in was, and how casual everyone was about it, and then you have one of those same people freak out when they see dried locust shells (or something like that), well, said reader loses even more faith. And then, come to find out, it seems there was a lawsuit over the book, with allegations from the guardian’s family about defamation of character and other unpleasantness. What the hell am I supposed to believe after that?!?
So, to summarize. Augusten (aka the child formerly known as Christopher) lives with his mother and father. Parents divorce. Mom has issues, and ends up giving custody of Augusten/Christopher to her shrink. Yes, her shrink. A/C goes to live with the shrink and his family in a house of dubious cleanliness. A/C ends up in an unhealthy relationship with a pedophile (who was also the adopted son of aforementioned shrink). Shrink gets weirder and weirder. Mom has episodes of wellness and episodes of not so wellness. A/C is undoubtedly scarred for life.
This book contains sex, dubious medical practices and the eating of dog food. Read at your own risk.