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Autorstwa Olga Kulig

Augusten Burroughs’ autobiographical book, Running with Scissors was originally published in 2002.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when life gives you crazy, unbalanced parents and guardians, describe your childhood and become a respected writer.

That’s the recipe for success in life that Augusten Burroughs, author of the autobiographical book Running with Scissors, used. Of course, if it weren’t for his innate talent, a handful of detachment and a ton of humor added to this recipe, it could have come out a crock. But no, the reader gets a real treat, a bittersweet description of growing up as a “normal” teenager in an abnormal and chaotic world.

The world that Augusten Burroughs grew up in is so improbable, absurd and crazy that the author has nothing left to do but laugh. Turning negative moments into funny ones is a surefire way to survive, a sign of self-preservation and, it seems, the author’s main specialty. So:

America, 1970s.


Father – university lecturer with severe depression, aggressive alcoholic.
Mother – an unfulfilled poet, falling deeper and deeper into mental illness.
Older brother – soulless genius who drops out of school and family at age sixteen, later diagnosed as an asperger.
Narrator/author – the younger child in the family, a homosexual who exhibits compulsive behavior.
Dr. Finch – the family’s psychiatrist and therapist, treading on the thin line separating genius from insanity (okay, I’ll spoiler, he’s completely insane).
Dr. Finch’s family – some are actually biological relatives, some are former or current patients, some and some are hard to tell apart.

The book

The book begins with a brawl between the parents, a bloody brawl that the then eight-year-old narrator witnesses. Later, the tension escalates and only gets worse.

The parents’ divorce is predictable. So is the young narrator’s trouble at school. But why does a psychiatrist become Augusten’s legal guardian, and why does the teenage author himself move permanently into Finch’s house? A house that is a mixture of Harry Potter’s imaginary scenery and King’s horror world? A house where everyone does what and when they want, and where a thirteen-year-old is considered an adult. Where the Christmas tree, or rather its remains, still “decorate” the living room in May.

Augusten brilliantly and humorously describes the eccentricity of the inhabitants of the house. Their funny quirks, but also dangerous follies. Friendly relationships, but also extortion, manipulation and exploitation.
This is not all.

She describes her mother’s subsequent love affairs and the lesbian writing workshops she runs in her living room.

He also describes his initiation and first sexual encounters, which by the standards of then and now fall under the heading of molestation of minors, and which were fully condoned by both the author’s mother and Dr. Finch.

And that’s still not all.

There is also an entire chapter devoted to cataloging and deciphering special messages from God sent to the household in the form of Dr. Finch’s excrement.
And that’s still not all…

But will anyone believe it?

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