I was expecting really big things out of this book, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. The first few essays were about Augusten’s childhood and were admittedly chuckle-worthy. They involved a life-sized wax Santa with a half-eaten face and a gingerbread public housing unit. But as the book progressed, the stories became more and more melancholy. He described his drunk Christmas spent with bums in New York City, and an affair with a fat French Santa.
Overall, the book lacked Augusten’s usual sharp wit and eye for hilarious details. I wouldn’t recommend spending $21.99 on the hardcover version. With my Barnes and Noble member’s card it was $18 and some change, still a little steep. Maybe it’ll be out in paperback next year.
If you’re in the mood for a little holiday absurdity, I recommend reading “Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris. The best part is, you can buy it used on Amazon for $1.89.
I did not like “Where the Wild Things Are.” I didn’t like it one bit. Aside from having a relatively thin plot, the movie left me feeling depressed and that the last two hours of my life were wasted. Every moment of the movie was filled with discomfort and awkwardness.
Will I read this book to my kids? Absolutely.
Will I ever watch this movie again? Not a chance in hell.
I’ve been talking with quite a few people lately about “Where the Wild Things Are,” and I have drawn a conclusion. I’ve found that people who’d never read the book as a child, or had it read to them as the case may be, have trouble reading it for the first time as adults. They just don’t understand it. Reading it as an adult, you might just see a bratty little kid whom things always work out for. But I think part of the magic of this book is having it read to you while you are mesmerized by the illustrations. Being young allows you to escape into the book and pretend that you are in the make-believe land with Max.
Whether you are a first timer, or have loved the book your whole life, seeing the movie will definitely allow you to escape into that dreamland that we all long for.
For the past few weeks I’ve been happily reading “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve actually checked out a book from the library. The book is about 550 pages long, and I got about half way through, when the due date came up. At this point, you can normally go online and renew your items, but today, the fascist Live Oak Public Library decided to allow someone to place a hold on my book. My book! The book that I have invested several dozen hours into reading.
In compliance with the library’s wishes, I turned in the book today. Now, someone else may have a chance to get half way through and be thoroughly disappointed when they have to turn it in. What a load of crap.
So, now that I’m boycotting the public library, I’ve been forced to turn back to my limited collection of books. This collection contains a healthy serving of Augusten Burroughs, including one that I never finished: “Possible Side Effects.” This is another collection of essays by Augusten that recounts such jems as alcoholism, first jobs, and his first New York City pets. There is no telling why I never finished it, but I found it at the bottom of the stack and was pleasantly surprised. I love reading Augusten because I can identify with his extreme discomfort during social situations. Maybe that’s just me.
On a related note, I’m very excited for the release of Augusten’s new book, “You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas,” available October 27, 2009. Judging by the cover, this should be a good one.