Running with Scissors

  • by Augusten Burroughs
  • Narrated by Augusten Burroughs
  • 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of being Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain.Suddenly, at age 12, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian house in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules. There was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things went dull, there was always the vintage electroshock-therapy machine under the stairs...Running with Scissors is at turns foul and harrowing, compelling and maniacally funny. But above all, it is a truly amazing chronicle of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.


What the Critics Say

Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Non-Fiction, 2003
"Beautifully written with a finely tuned sense of style...this memoir of a nightmarish youth is both compulsively entertaining and tremendously provocative." (Publishers Weekly)
"Sharp, riotous humor...deeply affecting...this is a survival story readers won't forget." (Booklist)
"Bawdy, outrageous, often hilarious." (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

NOT what I was expecting

This book takes you on a journey of growing up and discovery from a child's point of view. It's an "adult" tape, (definitely not for children - I wouldn't want to explain parts to my 8 year old son, but its not salacious either). It has kept me fascinated for the 40 min. drive home every day for a week. Its like discovering parts of my own family from the viewpoint of one of my younger relatives.

Sometimes previews and marketing do a book a dis-service trying to lure people in. I found this to be true - the value far exceeds what I expected.

The reader is outstanding, bringing each individual character to life with a voice that seems to match the author's words exceedingly well.
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- Arthur Held

Hilarious! And a little sad...

Excellent book - I've read some reviews of Burroughs work where they compare him to David Sedaris (who I adore), but other than being gay and funny, comparison stops there. He is so open about his life - painfully so at times - and it really drew me in to his story. With a lot of humor and a gift for communicating the grotesque in a light handed way, Burroughs is an amazing writer. I listen in my car on MP3 player and found myself sitting in parking lots, outside of my house, etc. just so I could keep listening before I had to stop the player.
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- Kelly

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-07-2003
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio