Books,  Movies

Running With Scissors

By Augusten Burroughs. On my allconsuming.net account, I ask for recommendations of nonfiction books. This was the book that most people “thought I might enjoy”. It’s a very popular memoirs, and I can see why. Many people think the book is funny, and I found some moments amusing, but most of the time, it was just strange. I think Burroughs’s prose is simple, direct, and effective as it is. Burroughs childhood and the people around him were quite messed up, but the more I read, the less perturbed I became. He also seemed to grow into the weirdness and unsettling nature of his life as he seemed to just accept what it was. Objectively speaking, a lot of the details were disturbing and sad.

I probably wouldn’t have read this book had not so many people recommended it for me as I really don’t read many memoirs of this type. I have read a lot about travel, food, and of famous people, but not on “normal” people. Not that Augusten Burroughs childhood was in any way normal. It’s a bit refreshing, and I did relate to some aspects of this. Due to the lack of boundaries placed on the characters and their disregard of societal norms and values, some of the stuff described was seemed genuinely fun and liberating to me. Often weird, but still neat. There was a spontaneity that I could see the appeal of in the stories of the mini adventures.

The book was shorter than I thought it would be, and I didn’t feel dragged down by it as a result. I don’t love this book nor do I dislike it. I think it conveys how crazy people are, but then again, maybe we have that in our every day lives. You can tell I’m not easily surprised by a lot of things that I read. Like I said, I was able to relate to it in some way showing you how we all want to be let out of our cages sometime.

So I don’t read movie reviews, but I’m fairly abreast of what films are liked and well received. I don’t remember hearing anything about this movie which usually doesn’t mean well for the film. Two of my friends did not like. One of them said the movie dragged on way too long. I’m inclined to agree. It wasn’t that bad of a movie, but it felt a bit aimless. I don’t think it did a good job of making you feel attached to any of the characters. It was slow, and took a bunch of amusing things from the book, but it wasn’t quite enjoyable or even sad enough. It felt a bit disjointed. I think the script might have looked okay on paper, but was just difficult to be cohesive on screen. I thought the acting was pretty decent since there was Annette Benning, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow (she had such few lines that she did not irk me at all in this film), Joseph Fiennes, and Joseph Cross as Augusten. The soundtrack wasn’t bad either, and there were some nice moments attributed to the director and the actors. All in all, not the worse movie I have seen, but not a great adaptation either.

One Comment

  • Callista

    This is on my TBR list as part of the In Their Shoes challenge. I’m glad you enjoyed it and that it wsn’t too long as I don’t like long books. I didn’t realize they had made it into a movie. I’ve added this to the Book to Movie listing.

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