, , ,

“You may not know it, but you’ve met Augusten Burroughs. You’ve seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twentysomething guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at all. Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn’t really a request) of his employers, Augusten lands in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey Jr. are immediately dashed by grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click and that’s when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life—and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that’s as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is true. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power.”

I may or may not be obsessed with reading the books by Burroughs. Something about the voice he has when he is writing is just plain captivating. Even though I am positive that he and I will never meet and if we ever did I would hate him, I am drawn to him. He is a white gay man, but unlike Dan Savage he doesn’t make my blood boil. Instead he gives me this hope that being a messed up person doesn’t bar one from having the life one wants.

This book focuses around how he realized he was an alcoholic and how he got sober. The book comes from the perspective of someone who is not a Christian, but still goes to AA (which I find fascinating since AA is largely based on Christianity). He goes on to explain how he ended up in rehab, how he slept with a guy in his group therapy, and how he relapsed. It was fascinating for a sober person to read this book. He made it sound so easy at first, then he relapsed and all the pain came out. My heart broke for Burroughs more than it did in any of the other books I have read for him. He had come so far and then sprinted backwards over the pain of Pighead.

If you can make it through this book without wanting to make Burroughs cookies you are inhuman. While it is clear the author is not looking for pity or even sympathy, I couldn’t help feeling awful. An author that can make me feel differently when I read their books impresses me. Without losing the voice of someone who is funny, but in a dark morbid way Burroughs was able to drastically change my mood in a matter of a few sentences. He is an impressive writer. I will be looking for more of his books.

This is the book to read to understand the feeling of addiction. I self harmed for years, which is often considered an addiction. The way Burroughs explains how he is drawn to bottles and looks at how pretty they are instead of avoiding them to prevent temptation is the same way I feel towards knives. Seeing how pretty the object of your destruction is powerful and draws a person in. Burroughs feels like a real human in this book instead of using humor as a way to push the subject away he feels more honest in this book than others.


5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this book.

You can buy this book here.