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Another great book from one of my favorite authors I bought this for my dad as well He also loved it.Favorite quotes Although my parents never attended church or mentioned Jesus except when they screamed at each other and then they used his full name, Jesus Fucking Christ.I am prone to envy It is one of my three default emotions, the others being greed and rage I have also experienced compassion and generosity, but only fleetingly and usually while drunk, so I have little memory.The thing is, I worship John UpdikeI would drink his bathwater.He tossed his head slightly, in such a way as to cause his hair to sweep back This made me feel actual pain, so extreme was my hair envy.Now maybe I m just ultrajudgmental, but I really feel that only two groups of people have any business collecting dolls little girls and grown women who lost all their children in fiery car accidents Other than these two exceptions, doll collecting is just plain creepy.For someone like me, somebody who has large vacant holes where character should beTouring a client s factory was akin to spending the afternoon with the parents of the world s ugliest baby and being forced to endure eight hours of home movies.I remained quiet for a moment because i could not risk opening my mouth and having Now listen here you stupid motherfucker come out.There s probably not a connection, but when I started drinking again, my apartment wandered back into squalor.I, with my salad bar of insecuritiesNow, I found myself having third, fourth, fifth dates with people i didn t care for Even people that i loathed and wished would get caught in a grinding, malfunctioning escalator.There is a little German in me, therefore I don t do cuddly.Be excited when you encounter cosmetic surgery mistakes Be excited when a birth defects marathon runs on The Discovery Channel But don t be excited because you had some coffee.When you insult the Midwest land of corndogs, casseroles, and all my favorite packaged food products you insult me.Give me down And give me polaroids of the fifty geese that had to die in the process.There was smooth, creamy dog shit everywhere, blended into the cedar chips like some kind of awful urban casserole.whose name had simply bounced off my forehead.She was incredibly funny, but in a way that made you say, That s horrible, before you laughed until you accidentally farted.As with most things from childhood, I eventually outgrew my love for McDonald s and my desire to be an Afro American I adjusted to my own life as a standard issue white male alcoholic.But perhaps my gay gene, the gene responsible for my desire to own platform shoes at an early age, somehow mutated because of my mother s heavy hairspray use.If a green body builder with acromegaly or a geriatric dwarf who lived in a hollow tree didn t sing, dance, or otherwise celebrate the product, I didn t want it on my plate.Any of us would happily have licked the inside of a toilet rather than attend music class. I enjoyed Running With Scissors as much as anyone else who enjoys a read that makes your family look significantly less fucked up, so I decided that I d give Possible Side Effects a shot I found this book to be a lot less organized than Running With Scissors, and the essays themselves offered little to no payoff Most of them end in the and then I found 50 fashion that is consistent with Burroughs s essay writing The difference here is that the essays in Running With Scissors were significantlyengaging, so I was able to overlook a lot of the anticlimactic conclusions Some of the stories in Possible Side Effects invoke nothingthan a so response that made it hard for me to get through the whole book On the other hand, there are a few accounts worth reading hidden inside I d say read it if you re an Augusten Burroughs fan, but don t expect too much. RE READ 03 09 2014I think my reaction to Augusten Burroughs s short stories is based on my mood.If I am in an exceptionally great mood happy, well fed, just had a great conversation or meal with a friend I think his stories are hilarious I laugh out loud and grin Oh, Augusten, I think, shaking my head in amazement You re so funny But if it s any other time then I see Augusten Burroughs as a man who has suffered through a lot of pain And I think his stories are a reflection of that.The truth is a mixture of both.Burroughs is a wonderful writer He has an uncanny way of guiding you through a story so that you end up just where he wants you to be Sometimes that s not at all the place you thought you d end up when the story started out.To reiterate Burroughs had the childhood from hell Read a review of RUNNING WITH SCISSORS And I believe that this childhood turned him into a selfish, very damaged person who is only able to see other people are selfish and damaged This makes him mean And of course, it s funny It s very funny to read someone make mean, truthful observations about life things that you yourself would never think or saybut you can t exactly fault his reasoning either.But the reason I find this less than enjoyable most of the time is because it makes me sad that he thinks humans are sowell, not exactly evil, but only out for themselves selfish and ruthless in equal parts.When I finish a book by him, I can shake off this gloomy worldview and return to my normal, cheerful self But I know that he can t.Some of these stories are about his childhood, some are about his job at the ad agency, some are about being a writer, some are about dogs There s at least 3 dog stories in this book Some are about his long alcoholic period.The best story in the book, by far, is KITTY, KITTY about a time when a severely alcoholic Burroughs buys a Wheaton terrier from a puppy mill pet store He names it KittyKitty His descriptions of the idiot dog and how it acted were truly hilarious I laughed so hard tears came to my eyes Someone heard me laughing como una loca like a madwoman and asked me what was so funny So I handed her the book and said Read this story She did, and when she brought the book back, she said, That was so sad What That wasn t the reaction I had or the reaction I expected her to have But she was looking at it from a different perspective Burroughs is a drunk in this story who s life is falling apart He s in no position to care for a dog and at the end of the story, view spoiler he gives up the dog for adoption because he knows he s not doing right by the animal hide spoiler Augusten Burroughs is that wonderfully witty guy in the cubicle behind the filing cabinet who sends you snarky e mails about your co worker s shoes and your boss receding hairline Oh, how I wish I knew this guy in person Fortunately, with Possible Side Effects I can pretend for a while that he is on my speed dial Side Effects is another collection of stories of dysfunctional relationships, love affairs gone awry, childhood horror stories, andtales of life in the big city Though he s covered much of this same ground before, the essays are never repetitive or boring instead, I grow to love Burroughsandas he reveals ever deeper layers of himself, his insecurities, and his quirks and foibles I laughed, even as I hated myself for laughing But that s what makes it so great. You want to know why I love Augusten Burroughs so Because he writes sentences like this And with these words I don t think you re supposed to be aware of your own heartbeat this unknown woman in a burnt orange poncho doomed me to a life of pathological overawareness of my own cardiac activity That right there is just fucking brilliant writing The chapter entitled The Wisdom Tooth where they stay at an inn owned by a doll collector is classic That essay should be studied in colleges everywhere. YAWNThe first few stories bored me to tears Boy loses tooth, NEXT Man spends days in London hotel room watching BBC, stuffing his fat face and bashing Americans Ok Men acquire naughty puppy zzz I don t need my books to be action packed, but the pace of these essays is so slow that even the punctuation is starting to piss me off Sentence fragments galore make for an even slower read In the subsequent stories I have chuckled a few times, but I am irritated at Mr Burrough s masturbatory method of writing He is just SOOOOO important that people are going to want to buy his cruddy old underwear on e Bay Yeah I don t doubt there are freaks out there who would want this kind of memorabilia, but our author seems to be a little too proud of it for me to like him In fairness, perhaps if I had read Running with Scissors first, I would have fallen in love with him and then would be amused by these glimpses into the mind of the author Stories further into the book pick up a little for me, but I m not sure if it s because they were trulyentertaining and better written, or if it s because I felt nostalgic for the places Augusten described, since I went to college in Western Mass I agree with another reviewer on the point that Augusten s attempts at sentimentality seemed phony and overdone, especially in the story about the badly burned dermatologist Puh leeze Entertainment Weekly editors must have been on laughing gas to call this man one of the 15 funniest. .FREE BOOK ⚓ Possible Side Effects ♋ National Bestseller From TheNew York Times Bestselling Author Of Running With Scissors Comes Augusten Burroughs S Most Provocative Collection Of True Stories Yet From Nicotine Gum Addiction To Lesbian Personal Ads To Incontinent Dogs, Possible Side Effects Mines Burroughs S Life In A Series Of Uproariously Funny Essays These Are Stories That Are Uniquely Augusten, With All The Over The Top Hilarity Of Running With Scissors, The Erudition Of Dry, And The Breadth Of Magical Thinking A Collection That Is Universal In Its Appeal And Unabashedly Intimate, Possible Side Effects Continues To Explore That Which Is Most Personal, Mirthful, Disturbing, And Cherished, With Unmatched Audacity A Cautionary Tale In Essay Form Be Forewarned Hilarious, Troubling, And Shocking Results Might Occur Augusten Burroughs gives me a happy While Running With Scissors contains MANY shocking graphic awful stories that are frosted with humor, Possible Side Effects provides all the giggle without the remorse of laughing at someone else s expense Burroughs essays are sheer comedic genius Truly laugh out loud funny so much so that I was CONSTANTLY inundated with what s so funny, Mom from the small people who live with me FYI the appropriate answer to that question when reading Augusten Burroughs 99.9999% of the time is NOTHING Turns out I m not a fan This is no wonder,as I am not a fan of David Sedaris, either these two authors share a lot of similarities in my opinion Both remind me of better educated Paris Hiltons Both write with a smugness that I find distasteful They both seem to share the disdain for America in favor of Europe and the laissez faire attitude that seems to prevail there They both assume that the reader knows who they are and have read all of their previous books, so therefore the reader knows all of their boyfriend s idiosyncrasies.While reading this book, I came to realize that the stories had the potential to be very funny, but because of the author s attitude, I found myself not liking HIM I stopped reading this book after I realized that Because I have come to dislike the author as a person, his stories would have a difficult time becoming funny to me. I am about halfway through this collection of autobiographical essays, and I love it every bit as much as I loved Magical Thinking Burroughs presents himself as this detached, selfish, self absorbed man, but the stories he shares reveal him to be a tenderhearted person who is acutely aware of his foibles.I love reading about his relationship with Dennis I love that he marvels that someone as wonderful as Dennis could love him so much Their unabashed adoration of their dogs hits home with me.Burroughs is unpretentious, honest, insightful and a deft manipulator of the English language Whatcould a reader want