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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
*grimaces* I'm behind schedule. 
14th-Nov-2005 09:16 am
And it's all because I spent the night reading a book that wasn't worth the time that it took to finish.

Suffice to say that, in compensation, it's going to be a busy busy day today.

Burroughs, Augusten. Dry: A Memoir. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003.
Summary: Burroughs tells the at least semi-true story of his battle with alcoholism. After getting caught sloshed on the job, his employer forces him into rehab, where he finally admits that he has a problem. Though he does well at first, the road to recovery is complicated by the decline and death of a beloved friend and an affair with a crack addict. It takes a very special message from beyond the grave, in the form of a pig head (yes, really), to snap him out of it.
Comments: Well, our undertaker makes a second appearance, and this time he is a heterosexual drinking buddy. This must be one of those examples of combining two people, provided that we believe that Magical Thinking is the real story. Though this is theoretically a memoir, which means that it is a true story, it is structured in a very formulaic way, where the protagonist realizes what dire road he travels and is given a choice between self-destruction and salvation in the form of two people that he cares about. Of course, the narrative gets complicated by the death of his "salvation," (yep, there's that death and disease theme so popular in gay fiction again--though it is arguable that the entire memoir is about disease given Burroughs' addiction) but, ultimately, we see him assuring us that he did, eventually, make the right decision. Thank goodness. The offbeat enfant terrible humor does not express itself so readily in Dry; I was quite disappointed that I was not again chuckling aloud. On the other hand, the overarching narrative of Burroughs' life is much more coherent here, and there really aren't so many relevant question marks left lying about to pop up at random. I get the feeling it was more than half-written with the assumption that you had already read his earlier memoir, Running With Scissors, but knowledge of that book, as I can attest to personally, not having read it yet, is not necessary. Since I'm not a memoir fan, I might not be totally fair to the effort; as far as I can tell, it's a decent read but not a classic one.
Notes: hardcover, 4th printing
Rating: 4.5/10 - Good for those who are interested in the subject of addiction, but it's not like this is the only book to stake out that territory. Others do it better.
29th-Nov-2005 11:25 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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