Friday, March 18, 2016

Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs

4 Stars
“You are my disease piñata, my Death Star, my everything.

“And you are my catastrophist.”

When I saw Augusten Burroughs had a new book potentially available for me to read before it would even be released, my reaction was a bit like this . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Yes – my husband is quite the lucky man. I didn’t even have to know what it was about to know I wanted to get my chubby little paws all over the dang thing. When I saw it was a memoir about love I was officially on the hook. If you aren’t familiar with Burroughs’ history, let’s just say it wasn’t what anyone could ever call normal – especially in the “love” department. Yikes! Buuuuuuuuuut, through the help of a period of alcoholism and some mass quantities of therapy (with a side of Adderall), Burroughs was able to leave his past in the past and find love just like an Average Joe . . . .

“My feeling was, if you’re in the same zip code, you and I have enough in common.”

Well, kinda . . .

“Hey, so, I’ve been stalking you on AOL and I know you’ve been trying to hook up with other guys, because I’ve been posing as those other guys. I also cheated on you four times, but that doesn’t really count, because it was self-help.”

Lust and Wonder takes you through Burroughs’ falling in – and out . . .

“The cleft in Mitch’s chin that I’d previously admired and considered one of his best features suddenly became an asshole on his face.”

of love a few times over that eventually culminates with the story of how he found his happily ever after . . .

“Crack was nothing compared to this high. Booze was less than zero.”

All while occupying a “Grey Gardens” type of love nest.

I’ve been known in the past to question why some people believe their personal histories are worth putting to paper and charging others to read it. That’s not the case with Augusten Burroughs. I was lucky enough to discover his writing when my library’s recommendation software generated his name after I ran through several David Sedaris books in short order. (Please note SOME places actually recommend books you might someday want to read. I shudder to think what other places would come up with after reading the likes of a Sedaris memoir – probably Mein Kampf or some other cringe-worthy selection.) Burroughs’ story was like a train wreck. I simply could not stop reading. Also, even though he’s a gay, bald male living in NYC and I’m a chubby, straight woman living in flyover country, it somehow always seems like I’m having a coffee with my BFF when I’m reading his stories. He meanders through his tales of romantic success and failures in a conversational tone and offers ZERO apology for the random thoughts that pop into his brain at the most inopportune moments . . .

“Briefly, I wondered, is a terrorist attack a poor reason for taking our relationship to the next level?”

He leaves book/movie quotes and pop culture references in his wake with no explanation. You either are going to get it or you aren’t . . .

“I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage, that’s all.”

I adore him and I’ll read ANYTHING he writes.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I’m obviously honestly enamored with Augusten Burroughs.

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