It would be tempting to call these highly personal and uninhibited essays painfully honest, except that Burroughs (Running with Scissors; Dry) is so forthright about his egocentricity that the revelations don't appear to cause him much pain. He approaches his material with a blithe tone that oozes sarcasm and crocodile tears. But the palpable humor of the writing itself endears listeners to him enough that they won't be completely repelled by even Burroughs's ugliest moments (which include his less than gallant reaction to accidentally stepping on a toddler's fingers in a store). His performance is off the cuff, but even when he's at his least humane, he still comes across as all too human. He adopts the same openness that made his previous memoirs-dealing with his bizarre upbringing and battle with addiction-so successful; now, however, he's focusing on less serious subject matter and displaying failings that are more vain. Burroughs excels in his personifications of others, whether portraying a domineering cleaning woman or an overbearing boss. While some may secretly wish for the death of such a boss, though, Burroughs admits openly and proudly that he believes he can will it to happen. That attitude, which is accentuated by his reading, makes this audiobook a true guilty pleasure. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Forecasts, July 12). (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Like Burroughs's earlier books (Running with Scissors; Dry) these humorous stories draw on the author's unstable childhood, work in advertising, struggle with alcoholism, and quest for fulfillment as a writer and a gay man. They treat a wide range of topics, from a gay couple's search for a summer home to homosexuality in the Catholic priesthood. Whether writing about the prevalence of steroid use by gay men or the murder of a mouse in the bathtub, Burroughs uses the same light touch. While his stories may at times shock or even disgust readers, they are redeemed in the end by laughter. Like the narrator in the title story, Burroughs wants to believe he has some control over the universe, or at least a tenuous connection to a higher power. A gifted satirist, Burroughs offers hilarity in the face of despair, and loyal readers of his earlier best sellers will welcome this new collection. Recommended for public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/04.]-William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib, CUNY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
“One of the most compelling and screamingly funny voices of the new century belongs to Augusten Burroughs. . . . Burroughs is blessed with an offbeat perspective and a viciously uncensored wit, a delight to read.” USA Today
“Augusten Burroughs shows why he is the memoirist-of-the-moment with his harrowing and laugh-out-loud new essay collection, Magical Thinking.” Vanity Fair
“Ruthlessly funny . . . deliciously perverse . . . he extracts something funny from every shred of his own warped experience. Magical Thinking indeed.” People(four stars)
“Sports nuts have Dave Barry, Midwesterners have Garrison Keillor, and the rest of usgay guys, misfits, those with horrific childhoodshave Burroughs.…He hooks you into a story better than anybody.” Entertainment Weekly(A-)
“Every so often a 'writer's writer' pops up and deliciously ambushes readerswriters like David Sedaris, Larry Brown, and Frank McCourt. . . . Augusten Burroughs deserves membership to this inner circle. . . . Magical Thinking is finely-honed and addicting . . . Miraculous.” Rocky Mountain News (Denver)
“Deeply satisfying, full of both gleeful one-liners and shocking instances of profound wisdom . . . There are few writers as outrageously magical or as surprisingly thoughtful as Augusten Burroughs.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A literary favoriteright up there with humorists David Sedaris and Laurie Notaro . . . Fascinating.” Boston Herald
“Superlatively disturbed . . . A brand-new collection of deliciously lurid true tales…offer[s] an irresistible display of sanity hanging by a thread.” Booklist(starred review)
“Still wild, sad, funny, tender, and frightening . . . It's all about the journey. Do go along. Just be sure to pack some tissues for the laughing and the crying.” The Seattle Times