Thursday, January 10, 2008

Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs

I just finished rereading Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs. Although this book of memoirs didn't sell as well as Running with Scissors or Dry, it's still one of my favorites. I love that the opening paragraph is about the author's first crush, an Eastern Airlines Stewardess. (I'm partial to stories about stewardesses because I used to be one myself.)

Burroughs describes himself as having a mean brain, and his sense of humor can be a bit caustic. For instance, he admits that he prefers watching medical TV shows in England because they are taped live, so he's more likely to actually see someone die. (He's a sick-o, but I love him.)

Like Randy Newman, Burroughs isn't afraid to express his disdain for short people. Check out his description of the
Skidmore Holiday Inn elevator:
The ceiling was low, which made me feel hugely tall. A short person would be extremely happy in this elevator, I thought, because they're always looking for ways to feel better about their deformity.
Once I spotted Burroughs walking his bulldog in the Upper West Side. I didn't bother him, though, because I didn't want to invade his privacy. I think I was also a little afraid of him.

His next book, A Wolf at the Table, is due out this April. I really can't wait. For now, I get my
Augusten fix by visiting his blog and rereading his old books. Visit your local library where you can read his books for free!