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What disappointed you about Lust & Wonder?
Let me preface this by saying that I was so excited to see a new Augusten Burroughs book coming out, that I actually put a note in my calendar to purchase this title on the release date. That said, this book was a huge disappointment. This book reads like a series of long journal entries, but not in an intimate or entertaining way. Rather, it feels like the author sits in front of his computer all day (he actually admits as much) and then writes down EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT that comes into his mind. Some of it is funny, mostly because the author is a very funny writer, but much of it feels like a big, "So what?" For example, long sections detailing conversations about nothing that go nowhere. Dog walks, boring dates, random thoughts -- all of these are given equal weight. Additionally, there is much too much here that is rehashed from previous books, notably "DRY."
What was most disappointing about Augusten Burroughs’s story?
Toward the end, he writes that he has squandered much of his fortune on online shopping. This is funny (for the reader) and also well within bounds for the Augusten Burroughs many of us have grown to love over the years. BUT long before he revealed his financial problems, I found myself wondering if this book was simply a way for him to make a quick buck. There is simply no story here -- nothing at all that needs to be told. The Brilliantly Offbeat New York Gay Writer Who Dates has been done much better by others.
The author also admits that he has not read a book in 10 years. Unfortunately for the reader, this lack of interest in anything other than himself and his endless navel gazing shows. His self-absorption has been done to great comic effect in past books, but now it just feels tired. For the first time ever in reading one of his books, I felt a bit sorry for the people in his orbit -- it's not his "crazy" that is tiring, it's his narcissistic self interest.
Which character – as performed by Augusten Burroughs – was your favorite?
Augusten being AUGUSTEN has always been my favorite character...at least until now.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Augusten's performance is always good. He knows how to read his own writing and wring out the funny bits for all they are worth.
Any additional comments?
My opinions won't prevent die-hard fans from purchasing this title. That's ok, because die-hard fans will probably find something to love here (I did get a few laughs out of it). But if you are not already a fan or this is your first outing with Augusten Burroughs, I would suggest that you read almost any one of his other books first (though maybe not "Wolf at the Table").
24 of 29 people found this review helpful
Man, can these two brothers (Augusten Burroughs and the author of Switched On, John Elder Robison) write! This book was my first Burroughs; I've never even read "Running With Scissors," although having enjoyed this one so much, I plan to listen to that book next. Burroughs has a somewhat snarky tone that takes a few minutes to get used to, and occasionally, although he's reading his own words, he reads as if unfamiliar with the material (listening at 1.25x speed helps). But once you realize how hilarious he is--sort of a cross between David Sedaris and classic hetero bad-boyfriend storyteller Matthew Klam--and see how many of his relationship issues and observations have universal applications we can ALL relate to, you'll love it. You'll laugh out loud, you'll cry, you'll hear a firsthand 9/11 story and a genuinely impossible-but-true happy ending, and above all, you'll never look at gemstones the same way again.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful