Thursday, June 01, 2006

Possible Side Effects

Possible Side Effects is not Augusten Burroughs' best work, but that by no means makes it bad. PSE is a collection of essays, rather than Running With Scissors or Dry, which are novels - memoir-ish novels, to be sure, but there's still a through-line of chronology that makes them the superior pieces. I think that Burroughs needs that. PSE feels like a fleshed-out retelling of the stories he already told in Running With Scissors and Dry, but I still liked reading them again in a new form.
It's the stuff he hasn't told already that makes this book really, really wonderful. The Sacred Cow is an essay about his dog. Team Player is a slice of one of Burroughs' book tours. The Forecast for Sommer was about some of the old stuff - his crazy mother and her crazy friends - but this essay tells a story his readers hadn't heard before, and it's a good one.
I would definitely recommend this book. I had a Borders gift card, so I could get the hardback, but waiting for the paperback might be the way to go.

Possible Side Effects - B+

2 comments:

Dustin J. Harder said...

I just read running with scissors and LOVED it! I wanna read dry now.

Chargenda said...

Yeah, I was excited when this came out, but I can wait for the paperback. I prefer paperbacks, actually. Burroughs has a way of telling stories that are very personal and sort of big-picture about his life,which makes me think his time as a successful writer might be shorter than that of Sedaris, who tells less personal and more trivial stories, giving him endless material to turn into humour, like one small event in his life.