Preview — Dry by Augusten Burroughs. Dry by Augusten Burroughs. 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: 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 landed in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey, Jr. 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 real. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a higher power. Paperback , pages. Randy Shilts Award Nominee To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Dry , please sign up. Is his actually the author's real life story?
Augusten Burroughs has written a lot of memoirs, most famously Running with Scissors, but this one's a bit different since it's mostly an …more Yes. Augusten Burroughs has written a lot of memoirs, most famously Running with Scissors, but this one's a bit different since it's mostly an adaptation of a diary he was keeping at the time. He edited it before publication to make it a smoother, more engaging narrative, but it's still completely true. Lists with This Book. Feb 03, Mark rated it did not like it.
After reading Dry I went over to Cedar Tavern for a martini. And the bartender on the second floor told me that the martinis have been the same size for at least five years sin After reading Dry I went over to Cedar Tavern for a martini. And the bartender on the second floor told me that the martinis have been the same size for at least five years since he began working there.
So what the fuck is Burroughs talking about? Not that I was surprised by this. The Cedar Tavern trip confirmed the suspicions. Do a little research and discover the writer Augusten Burroughs as a liar on many levels. First, his real name is Christopher Robison. Is he trying to sound aristocratic? As if he were William S. About half of Dry is dialogue, and I wondered how Burroughs could recall all those intricate conversations, word for word, especially if he was drinking a liter of scotch every night, as he claims. The buzz is officially killed on page 33 when he checks into rehab.
But mostly for Burroughs, the sober pages are just an excuse for the author to tell us all about himself and his dull relationships with co-workers and boyfriends. Unlike some of his fellow AA friends, he says he has no trouble staying sober, and even quickly stops attending meetings, so that he can instead focus the narrative on the drama of his relationships, whether we like it or not.
Alcohol is rarely mentioned during these pages except when Burroughs feels the need to remind the reader that this is still a story about alcoholism. For instance, somewhere in the middle of the book, he concocts a tale about how he once went to a bar by himself and almost ordered a beer but then pulled himself together at the last second, settling for a Diet Coke.
We are supposed to care and empathize with what is obviously an imagined scene. In hindsight, I realize these lines are intended to foreshadow his eventual return to drink. In one scene after he quit drinking he describes emptying a bottle of scotch into the toilet: And then I think, why did I flush twice? The answer, [sic] is of course, because I truly do not know myself. You simply go to the liquor store and buy another bottle.
And I think this yarn is the winner: I counted the beer bottles once: He also pretends to have not known that the very purpose of rehab is to make people dry. The only subject discussed at length is Augusten Burroughs and all of his tedious relationships. Alcohol is just the decoy plot, so that the author and publisher can rationalize the appearance of yet another Burroughs reflection on his ordinary or otherwise tiresome life. There are no ideas in this book.
No worthy discussion of booze and drugs. It is shallow, written, apparently, for fans of Elle, People and Time magazines and for Oprah Winfrey, as the laudatory quotes on the back of the book indicate. And this is what pathetically passes for good, edgy, humorous writing in America these days. View all 68 comments. Sep 28, Barbara rated it really liked it. In brief, Augusten's parents divorced when he was young, and his unstable mother gave him to her Massachusetts psychiatrist, Dr. Augusten lived with crazy people in the doctor's filthy home, never went to school, and became the obsession of a pedophile that lived in a barn behind the house.
The book was adapted 4. The book was adapted into a movie. Burroughs is a talented advertising man but his personal life is a mess. He can't handle responsibility, doesn't pay his bills until they go into collection, and despite being well off sometimes loses his phone service and utilities. Burroughs is also a serious drunk who's frequently late to work, and often shows up stinking of alcohol. After Burroughs misses an important meeting with a client his boss gives him an ultimatum: Go to rehab or get fired. Burroughs decides on rehab, and confides the news to his two closest friends: Jim - an undertaker and drinking buddy who's shocked at the news; and Pigface - a banker and former lover who's glad to hear it.
This kind of story can be grim but Burroughs tells his tale with humor Burroughs pictures the facility as resembling an Ian Schrager boutique hotel - with gourmet food, a pool, a spa, etc. Thus the author is brought up short when he arrives and sees a plain setting that assigns three patients to a room and serves fish cakes for lunch. Therapy at the facility is a regimented affair, with constant meetings: One of Burroughs' roommates, a psychiatrist who Burroughs thinks of as Dr. Valium , later admits that he came to the point of stealing ALL his patients' Valium, and replacing it with aspirin.
Valium is now in danger of losing his medical license This is for hard-core alcoholics; rock-bottom, ruined-their-lives alcoholics. I'm an advertising alcoholic, an eccentric mess. The feeling is reinforced when Burroughs thinks about the current condition of his New York apartment, where " empty Dewar's bottles occupy all the floor space not already occupied by a bed or chair. Burroughs does his obligatory 30 days in rehab, which - he makes clear - is the easy part of 'recovery. In Burroughs' case, this includes friends like Jim the undertaker, who parties hard every night.
Of course this is easier said than done, and Augusten immediately begins to make mistakes. First Augusten develops a relationship with a fellow group therapy patient - a stunningly handsome South Carolinian named Foster - who has a great body, black hair, and blue eyes. Any romantic relationship directly after rehab is discouraged, and hooking up with a fellow addict is verboten - but Augusten can't help himself. On top of that, Augusten takes in a roommate he met at the Pride Institute - an intelligent, British music editor called Hayden, who's addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol.
Thus, instead of avoiding addicts, Burroughs gets embedded with them. Worse yet, Pighead - who's the unacknowledged love of Augusten's life - tests positive for the HIV virus. Burroughs starts to feel depressed and realizes he misses alcohol, the loss of which "is like dealing with a death in the family.
The ensuing drama with Foster, Hayden, Rick, Greer, and the advertising firm - and most especially Pighead's illness - upend Augusten's life. After a prolonged 'hiccupping' illness, Pighead is in a hospital bed hooked up to machines, and Augusten helps to care for him, change his diapers, keep him company, and so on. This takes a great toll. Burroughs struggles, falls, and eventually recovers, but it's a long hard slog that's well worth reading about I should mention that Burroughs acknowledges 'fictionalizing' some elements of the story.
Names have been changed, characters combined, and events compressed. Certain episodes are imaginative re-creation, and those episodes are not intended to portray actual events. After reading this book I think I understand addiction - and the stranglehold it gets on people - a little better. I'd highly recommend the memoir to anyone interested in the subject.
You can follow my reviews at https: View all 9 comments. Jul 20, K. Absolutely rated it liked it Shelves: What do Haruki Murakami born and Augusten Burroughs born have in common? Nothing except they both love to drink and they both write stories, novels and memoirs. Everything else about their lives is full of contrasts. Murakami is a Japanese while Burroughs is an American. Murakami interweaves non-human fantasy in his human characters. Burroughs characters are human but they seem to be fantasy. Murakami is straight and very conservative while Burroughs is a flamboyant gay.
You know that what you are reading is not true when you read Murakami while when you read the memoirs of Burroughs, you know that they can be true but deceptively true. My first book of him was Kafka and the Shore and I liked it so much that I read the two other books right away. On the other hand, it is exactly the opposite with my Burroughs experience. I first read his boyhood memoir Running With Scissors and I gave it a 2-star. But this one, Dry is not hysterical and very subdued. He is still gay and he goes out and makes out with different men, some of them casually, but it talks about more serious and believable matters like serious alcoholism, AIDS and seemingly faithful translation: My favorite part is when Burroughs was out in a gay bar and he said to himself: This struck me as poetic and honest.
Those gay men in a bar seeking for sex that hopefully turn into love are sad people. The music could be bouncy. The men could be good-looking with gorgeous body. They could be rowdy. But in the end, when they go home to their apartments, they can be alone and sad. Gay lives, excuse me if this is demeaning, can be lonelier than straight heterosexual lives.
Burroughs has two affairs here. One of them is Pighead who died of AIDS and the character that made me think that the shrieking gay boy in Running with Scissors is actually a sensitive man who could be lovable and respectable. The other lover is the other alcoholic Forster who is so handsome any gay can go crazy about him. This character brought the human aspect of the gayness of Burroughs. While reading, I told myself that the only difference of him being gay to a straight man is that his lover is another man. All the rest are the same.
Memorable characters that brought out the sensitive logical and probably lovable side of Burroughs. The more you read his works, the more you understand who he is. But still, I liked this book. First time that I actually liked Burroughs. So, I expect more from his next book in my tbr pile: View all 21 comments. Oct 26, Fabian rated it really liked it. This one has a different flavor altogether, kind of like the Truffaut series of Antoine Doinel films. Here, the psychology of Burroughs, his emotions raw and visceral, are on brilliant display. With age, it seems, comes a different mentality altogether This one has a great, bulky climax: The reader cannot stop reading to find out exactly this.
The central question, and all the near mistakes Augusten makes keeps the suspense going. Burroughs is a great writer, my second favorite Burroughs as a matter of fact. He can give relevance to any bizarre or tragic event unlike mere observers, like ourselves. He is not, it seems, just a spectator, nor is he, despite the fact that he is a rich Manhattanite, mega pretentious.
Both books are so different that you cannot believe that they occurred to the same individual. Clearly, it gives some bizarre sense of hope while remaining uber-entertaining. Jun 16, maricar rated it it was amazing Shelves: Sharp, candid, and surprisingly poignant The fact that I finished this book in one day probably indicates that I enjoyed it. Indeed, the only novels that I recall where I truly laughed my head off were from chick-lits, trivial as that may sound.
But, really, Burroughs has managed to be disarmingly droll while being frightfully honest and self-deprecating.
See a Problem?
I can't attest if that's from being gay, the result of coming from a dysfunctional family, or perhaps from working in advertising in New Yo Sharp, candid, and surprisingly poignant I can't attest if that's from being gay, the result of coming from a dysfunctional family, or perhaps from working in advertising in New York, no less. What made this story interesting for me was the way he narrated his excruciating battle with alcoholism, that even someone who doesn't suffer from that ailment can actually empathize with him. Definitely he refrained from being too long-winded about it, avoiding the pitfall of letting his story become boring or monotonous--his cracks about himself, his fellow addicts, down to the closet case that is his boss, openly drew chuckles from me.
There was enough balance of falling into bouts of introspection as well as allowing the story to progress via the lively dialogues with the equally captivating secondary characters--the tragedy that is Pighead, the complexity and apparent exceptionality that is Foster, and the oddity namely Greer, among others. A guilty enjoyment for me as well was the encounter with the German advertising client who unwittingly provokes the imagination of Augusten to spout Nazi stereotypes.
Unexpected, though, was the striking insight into repressed emotions and the ability of a person to love another despite seemingly insurmountable flaws. Augusten's relationships perfectly capture what I think is a quintessentially urban tendency of people nowadays to tirelessly compensate for what they think they are missing in life.
In a way, this novel shows how cheerless that condition is, and, at the same time, be unafraid of what is, after all, a price for being human. Augusten's narration of what his childhood was, the blatant abandonment he experienced from his parents, the perversion done to him as a teenager, makes the reader in turns awed and morbidly fascinated with the man that he has become.
There were times our protagonist was readily aware of his shortcomings--from keeping up with the AA meetings to juggling his relationships with Pighead and Foster--and if those weren't uncomfortable enough, the reader is also made cognizant of his glaring denials about how he was living his life, pre- and post-rehab. I highly recommend this novel. Whether one is seeking an understanding of alcoholism, or simply in want of a refreshing, entertaining read--granted it's peeking into the "memoirs" of a self-confessed mess--this story will take you from laughs to sadness, hope to sorrow.
Without a doubt, this work proves that Burroughs is an Original. Nov 15, Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing. View all 4 comments. Oct 08, Marcellina rated it really liked it. I got to be Augusten Burrough's escort when he spoke at the Texas Book Festival a few years ago, and he was very soft spoken, low key and ordinary looking. He spoke to a very large, adoring crowd in the senate chambers, and then signed books for quite a long time to an equally adoring snaking line of fans.
He was very sweet and humble. He also bolted out of there as quickly as he could, and asked to be taken directly to his hotel, although my friend Kelly and I managed to drive him around Austin I got to be Augusten Burrough's escort when he spoke at the Texas Book Festival a few years ago, and he was very soft spoken, low key and ordinary looking.
He also bolted out of there as quickly as he could, and asked to be taken directly to his hotel, although my friend Kelly and I managed to drive him around Austin a little showing him things.
Karen's Book Nook
He's sober now, bummer, so we couldn't take him out and get him drunk. He game me his badge to sell on ebay but I think I stuck it in a box somewhere. Anyway, this book is amazing, it's almost too confessional; you feel like you can practically feel his pain as he hits rock bottom and tries to claw his way out of addiction. Not nearly as funny as Running with Scissors, but it shouldn't because it's him as an adult, realizing the pain and abuse of his childhood, and the excruciating results of his bad choices and bad behavior.
It's an extraordinarily compelling book. I gave it too a young, gay friend of mine who had never heard of him, amazingly enough, and he walked into work after finishing it, just speechless with emotion. It's almost too much, and you can understand why his fans feel like they really know him after reading it. Intense is all I can say. Nov 29, Carmen rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Addicts of any kind; People who like to laugh. This book is funny. It's funny and it's true and it's real.
I laugh and crack up about what Burroughs is saying, even though he is a mean funny. I say "a mean funny" because he really rips into other people and judges them. Of course, he does the same thing to himself, but I can't help feeling a little guilty about enjoying this book so much. Sometimes he'll be saying something and I'll be laughing and then I'll think, "Should I really be laughing at this?
But it is something I notice. Burroughs will always be, for me, the man who I love reading his funny observations but who I'd never want to be friends with in real life. Burroughs is shallow and vain and foul-mouthed. But he knows that about himself. And because he knows that about himself, he can write very funny books about it.
This book is about Burroughs being a drunk, and his long path to sobriety. It was touching, hilarious, painful and real. I enjoyed following Burroughs on his journey from being forced into rehab, to AA, to flirting with other addicts. Will he get sober? I was genuinely worried about him at some points, yelling at my book "Don't do it, Augusten! And written about it for my amusement and reading pleasure. I like how at first, Burroughs thinks he's too cool for school. This rehab is lame!
I won't go to AA because it is so dweeby! But slowly he starts to realize how much he needs help a new, hot guy at AA doesn't hurt, either. The subplot is him watching his good friend and ex-lover die of AIDS. This is very sad and poignant, even with Burroughs's joking and quips.
Burroughs really lets you get into his head - his mixed feelings about the men in his life, his horrific memories of his abusive past, and his need - his love - for alcohol. This book, while humorous, also takes the reader to the very pits of addiction, and brings the filth of having an addiction squatting in your brain into the light.
It's not pretty, but it's necessary and eye-opening. A very deep and funny portrait of a recovering addict. He does reference the pedophilia he experienced as a kid growing up. If this bothers you, either don't read the book or skip every section that's in italics. If you are an addict of any kind and you do not feel like you have a good grip on your sobriety yet, I am warning you that this book can be triggering. So best save it for your one-year-sober anniversary and not the white-knuckling part. Aug 06, Kelsey rated it really liked it.
Just no bullshit," he says, slapping me on the back. I had no idea what I was saying. I was actually thinking about how my chest hair is growing back after having shaved it all off. But then I thought how awful it would be to have roots. Ches "You were spectacular," Hayden tells me afterwards. That would be really humiliating. The blond chest hair might look good and natural like I go to the Hamptons on the weekends.
Or maybe it's real horror. The depth of your shallowness is staggering. But at least Burroughs wrote about it in an honest, hilarious way. A very fun, open, quick read. I liked this more than Running with Scissors.
View all 3 comments. Aug 05, peg rated it it was amazing Shelves: What more can be said about Augusten Burroughs? He is an amusing mess! If half of the information in his memoirs is true, I will give him five stars for his survival skills. If his memoirs are later discovered to be false,I will give him five stars for creativity and fantastic story telling.
I can't put this book down. I haven't read their books, but it seems that his mother and brother are capitalizing on family dysfunction as well. They all make me feel extremely boring and sane. Jul 10, lit. This has long been one of my favorite memoirs and will remain so. Augusten is a decent narrator except, when speaking as Foster, he sounds more like Forrest Gump than just a guy with a southern accent. Being from the south myself, that threw me off a little.
Mar 15, Katie rated it it was amazing. By far my favorite Burroughs' novel. This one isn't for the weak of heart, its not the same light feel as some of his other books. This book digs deep and leaves you feeling his hopelessness. Dry is all at once inspirational, depressing, exciting, and frustrating. Immediately after reading his honest and darkly beautiful memoir it immediately made it on my favorite books list. Burrough's has become a favorite of mine for his seemingly effortless managment of language.
He is honest, funny and acc By far my favorite Burroughs' novel. He is honest, funny and accessible. The kind of guy you want so desperately to have programed into your cell phone. Nov 14, Jodi Goldbeck rated it it was amazing. This is the second memoir by Augusten Burroughs, which details his life in his 20s, living in New York City, working as an advertising executive, making tons of money, and slowly killing himself each day by drinking more than seems humanly possible.
After years of alcoholism, Augusten checks himself into an in-patient rehab center and begins a life he's never really known This man is a great writer! His detailed descriptions of people, places and feelings are so well-written. I was entra This is the second memoir by Augusten Burroughs, which details his life in his 20s, living in New York City, working as an advertising executive, making tons of money, and slowly killing himself each day by drinking more than seems humanly possible.
I was entranced by his story immediately. This was a much easier read for me compared to "Running with Scissors. The most profound part of the book, for me, was the description of Pighead on his deathbed, as it was so painfully similar to my brother's death. The description of his illness was as if I was reading my own journal during the time of Jim's illness. I feel as if I know Auguesten and I truly wish him a wonderful life. Jul 25, Alexa rated it really liked it Shelves: While it may seem that Burroughs's story about his struggle with addiction and sobriety would have little to do with the average twenty-something's experience muddling through a break up, I have found no better book to read in the wake of a disasterous relationship.
For example, once he's sober and out of rehab, Burroughs begins counting days. He keeps track of how many days he goes without dringking, and must to keep counting until he hits the day mark, after which the cou THE break-up book. He keeps track of how many days he goes without dringking, and must to keep counting until he hits the day mark, after which the coutning becomes optional.
This is a great method to use following a break up. For each day you do not have contact of any kind! Keep couting until you hit Not to mention, it makes you feel better to know that his life during this period is way worse than anything that you're going through. Gives you a little perspective. Jan 23, Linda rated it really liked it Shelves: Describe your issue Have a question not already answered in the links at left or on our main FAQ page? Dashing Dave Biography I like to write about my past. Too bad, my wife wont let me continue. Smut by Dashing Dave. Smut , Book 3.
Adult only 18 years and older. Contains sexually explicit material. This is the story of Lisa who needed my help to keep her boyfriend. There was one condition, I had to pass her grandmother's tests, and allow her to use my manhood. This story came from my journal, part of it should have remained in hiding.
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Smut , Book 2. Dashing Dave meets Debbie, who desperately needs his help.