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Running with Scissors: A Memoir Mass Market Paperback – August 29, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,407 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"The most amazing book...hilarious, freaky-deaky, berserk, controlled, transcendent, touching, affectionate, vengeful, all-embracing. It makes you happy that there's such a thing in the world as a string of written words...a golden effervescence of invention and wit that stuns you with its audacity and beauty and powerful love of being alive. Running with Scissors, as a memoir in the current conventional sense, makes a good run at blowing every other contender out of the water." --The Washington Post

"Bawdy, outrageous, often hilarious...the anecdotes in
Running with Scissors can be so flippant, and so insanely funny (quite literally), that the effect is that of a William Burroughs situation comedy." --The New York Times

Running With Scissors is testament to the resilience of the human spirit. That he can stand aside as an impartial observer of it, even write with humor in spite of the tragedy around him, is astounding proof of our emotional survival skills...reads like David Sedaris writing "The Hotel New Hampshire." --The Boston Globe

'Twisted, freakish, unfathomably bizarre...Not only is it one of the funniest "coming of age" memoirs written, it's also the best of the genre since Paul Monette's "Becoming a Man."... It's literally breathtaking, and you may find yourself putting the book down occasionally to catch some air. But when you come back for more, Burroughs' brilliant writing and humor in the face of darkness catch you off guard...It will prove to be a lasting treasure, a gorgeously written true-life story destined to be cherished and quoted long after its last page is read. Best of all, by the book's end, it bravely stands as a life-affirming survival guide for all the misfits of the world." --
The Tampa Tribune

Running with Scissors is a cut above...screamingly funny...Two things make Burroughs' book so compelling: his wit and his depiction of the wild goings-on in this large, strange family...But the true source of Running with Scissors' appeal stems from Burroughs' ability to bring the 1970's alive...In the end, the book celebrates Burroughs' resilient, upbeat spirit, which helps him surmount one of the weirder childhoods on record." --USA TODAY

"Augusten Burroughs' memoir,
Running With Scissors, is a surreal and entertaining trip through a young life most readers will thank God wasn't theirs...Burroughs never lets his readers forget that stuck in the middle of all the madness is a confused boy." --Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Shocking, sarcastic, humorous but never dull, the memoir has an effect similar to watching a car accident. You know you shouldn't gawk, but you simply can't turn away from the carnage." --
Boston Herald

"He survived parental trauma, his mom's psychiatrist's house of horrors and, to bring the book into the here and now, an acquaintance with a pedophile...But Augusten Burroughs's memoir still makes you laugh, because it's as funny as it is twisted." --

From the Back Cover

Entertainment Weekly
USA Today
Tampa Tribune


RUNNING WITH SCISSORS is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor's bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year-round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull, an electroshock therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing, and bestselling account of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances…

"Promotes visceral responses (of laughter, wincing, retching) on nearly every page...funny and rich with child's-eye details of adults who have gone off the rails."
The New York Times Book Review

Visit: www.augusten.com

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0312938853
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0312938857
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.22 x 0.94 x 6.76 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 2,407 ratings

About the author

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Augusten Burroughs is the author of the autobiographical works "Running with Scissors," "Dry," "Magical Thinking," "Possible Side Effects" and "A Wolf at the Table," all of which were New York Times bestsellers. "Running with Scissors" remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two consecutive years and was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film starring Annette Bening. His only novel, "Sellevision," is currently in development as a series for NBC. "Dry," Augusten's memoir of his alcoholism and recovery, is being developed by Showtime. In addition, Burroughs is currently creating an original prime-time series for CBS. Augusten's latest book is called "You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas."

Twice named to Entertainment Weekly's list of the funniest people in America, Augusten has also been the subject of a Vanity Fair cover story and a Jeopardy! answer. His books have made guest appearances in two James Patterson novels, one Linkin Park music video, numerous television shows and a porn movie.

Augusten has been a photographer since childhood and many of his images can be seen on his website, www.augusten.com. He lives in New York City.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
2,407 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

roger Manifold
5.0 out of 5 stars Dysfunctional genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 3, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2017
4 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2010
3 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars not my taste
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting not hilarious
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2013
8 people found this helpful
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