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Publisher's Summary

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 twentysomething guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two 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 lands in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey Jr. are immediately dashed by 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 true. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power.
©2003 Augusten Burroughs; ©2003 by Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
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Critic Reviews

"Mr. Burroughs remains ebulliently glib when it's useful, as befits his advertising skills....[He] remains adept at mixing comedy and calamity." (The New York Times)
"Like the alcohol he so enjoys, Burroughs' story of getting dry will go straight into your bloodstream and leave you buzzing, exhilarated, and wiped out...this memoir operates on a high level of involvement and suspense." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[A] wrenching, edifying journey...with the added benefit of being really entertaining." (The New York Times Book Reviews)
"Harrowing yet hilarious personal encounter....His performance blends self-deprecating black humor with wise-cracking confidence. His natural wit and charm keep the listener rooting for his success." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Grant on 09-10-12

I chugged it.

I could not stop listening. As a writer, I'm not sure I could ever pen an account as personal and self aware as Dry. And Burroughs' candor and veracity seem to be what other readers often call into question. "No one could possibly be this messed up," I hear again and again. True or not, it's a pretty stunning piece of work. Anyone who has struggled with addiction can take two things away from this story. One, the typical way we deal with these problems don't always work — just the opposite, in fact. And two, very few people can hit rock bottom and come back like the author.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful


By W. Rodger Gantt on 11-13-06

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

My mother was a recovering alcoholic and took me to her AA meetings when I was ten years old, back in 1952. Augusten Burroughs attended his first AA meetings in the mid 1990s, over forty years later. Listening to his book, "Dry: A Memoir", I was amazed how little AA has changed over the years. Even the Serenity Prayer as remained a mainstay: "God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Yes, "Dry" is funny but it deals with a potentially tragic subject. Virtually everyone has an addiction or two. For most it's an ingrained habit, such as coffee, talking too much or the Internet. These are tension relievers and not life threatening. But then there are alcohol and drugs. These can be killers.

For most readers, "Dry" is an entertaining romp through Burroughs' life style, his rehab, AA and beyond. The story is well written and narrated by Burroughs himself. I suspect there are some readers who have a substance abuse problem and the book's message could very well save their lives. I highly recommend "Dry" as a fun read. Likewise, I recommend "Dry" to anyone needing an introduction to AA.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Helen on 02-19-12

Live in the Raw

Augusten Burroughs does it again, Dry starts off after Running With Scissors left off but can be listened to as a stand alone volume. I went through a wide range of emotions listening to this one, its both brilliantly written and narrated, laughter, sadness, anticipation, anger, even crying, its so raw that it is shocking in places but when you remember this really is an actual account of one man's double life the way he has to hold down a job, keep up appearances, maintain friendships and basically keep going then on the flip side the addictions, drugs and booze, men, its all there laid out in the rawest language, its amazing. A highly entertaining listen, there were many times throughout this one I didnt want to stop listening its a completely addictive book in itself.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Janis on 04-28-13

Awesome

Augusten sweeps you up and takes you on an amazing, emotional, funny and heart felt journey....it was a privilege to go

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 03-07-17

superior and moving 'i used to be drunk' story

Where does Dry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book sits in the top 25% of the audiobooks i have. There is a danger in the 'i used to be drunk' genre that it turns into an empty shopping list of benders, but Burroughs manages to weave a compelling story from his, and the end left me in tears.

Who was your favorite character and why?

In such a personal story, it has to be Augusten. He doesnt shy away from the damage he did to himself at others, nor pretend that he wasn't blissfully unaware either. He makes reference to his famously hard upbringing, but never milks it for pity. Overall, I walked away with an admiration of the balance with which he told the story and an admiration for a man regardless of him having spent the last few hours explaining the many times he'd screwed up.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The end is great - i wont wreck it, but it spoke to me on a few levels, and avoided the non-descript ending to most books that focus on substance abuse.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

As mentioned, the end is particularly good, and some of his recollections of the goings-on in rehabs ad the characters he met were particularly well rendered.

Any additional comments?

As mentioned, the level of narrative and insight in this boook is far superior to the average drunken memoir book. It is deeply personal without becoming a navel gazing excercise and a shopping list of benders - it actually feels intimate and vivid.

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