Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book 109: A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs (Audiobook)

Hi there, sorry it's been so long since I've posted any reviews. My education is taking priority right now, plus all the management and leadership books I can stand to read.

First of all, you can say what you want about Augusten Burroughs, but he is an original. I've got to embrace the oddities that make him him because his brain works in ways that are familiar to me, even though i don't always agree with the way he writes (and in this case, narrates) his books.

The Wolf at the Table is an utterly terrifying memoir about Augusten's father. In his previous books, we've gotten random views of his childhood experiences beginning in his early teens with his mother's apparent mental illness and addiction issues, but nothing has been quite this intimate and raw before. The abuse that he suffered at the hands of his father makes my "banner mother" days look like child's play. I thought I would cry when I listened to his story of Ernie, his beloved Guinea pig. R.I.P., Ernie. It's a damn shame, whatever actually happened to you.

Okay, so I was a little bit irritated with some of the more distracting sound effects interspersed throughout the audiobook. Although I knew Augusten was going for something different, I kept thinking, "Come on, Augusten, stop indulging yourself." His narcissism came through loud and clear on this one, although I have to say, at least the guy owns it. It was an experience, listening to this in my car, hearing the emotion in Augusten's sometimes raspy voice. He sometimes got so caught up in his own words that I think he forgot we were all listening. He came unglued a few times. He's human, and maybe that's why I pick up just about everything he publishes.

I think I'll always love Augusten for his ability to yank me from reality, and for his honesty.

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