A Wolf at the Table is Augusten Burroughs’s fifth autobiographical book. Five memoirs does seems like a lot, but he’s had a pretty eventful life. For anyone not familiar with his work, Running With Scissors is about his crazy experiences as a child who was adopted by his mother’s shrink. Dry is a memoir of his alcoholism as an adult. Magical Thinking and Possible Side Effects are both collections of short pieces, that jump around through time and tell us more about Augusten, his parter Dennis, and their awesome dogs.
A Wolf at the Table is Augusten’s also his darkest memoir yet. Which seems unlikely, since Dry covered drug addiction, alcoholism, and a friend who died of AIDs. But Dry was full of humor despite its subject matter, whereas it quickly becomes apparent that Augusten’s troubled relationship with his father probably had a deeper impact on him than his other childhood drama (Running With Scissors) and his substance abuse problems as an adult (Dry).
Despite it being less humorous than the previous four, A Wolf at the Table is still classic Augusten, and everything is described to the reader with Augusten’s pleasant description and spot-on comparisons. It is also his most affecting memoir. I want to talk more about how heartbreaking certain parts are, but I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone.
I like what the amazon review says about it best: “It is profoundly sad, remarkably tender, and fueled by a sense of love and reverence that only a child knows.”
If you’re interested, head to http://www.augusten.com/ for lots of neat content about A Wolf at the Table. A free chapter is posted there, as well as a sample from the audio book (sort of scary) and really cool photos of Augusten as a child and his family.
A Wolf at the Table will be out on 4/29.
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