The #1 New York Times Bestseller An Entertainment Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year Now a Major Motion Picture Running with Scissors is the true story of a. RUNNING WITH SCISSORS: A Memoir. Augusten Burroughs, Author. St Martin's $ (p) ISBN Running With Scissors is the memoir of Augusten Burroughs. At the book's beginning, young Augusten enjoys dressing in his mother's.
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Running with Scissors book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The true story of an outlaw childhood where rules were un. Running with Scissors is a memoir by American writer Augusten Burroughs. The book tells the story of Burroughs's bizarre childhood life after his mother. Running with Scissors may refer to: Running with Scissors (memoir), a book by Augusten Burroughs; Running with Scissors (film), a film based on .
These are just a few possible reactions to a book. In his new book he has successfully merged two other popular American television modes or genres: the confessional and the sit-com. Or if the Farrelly brothers had bought the rights to film Dave Pelzer. Or if Roseanne had read Douglas Coupland. As a pitch it's, like, totally out there, totally now - know what I mean?
Hope Finch Dr.
She is the first one to befriend Augusten when he comes into the house. Natalie Finch Dr. Neil Bookman A patient of Dr. After meeting Augusten, he becomes his lover at the age of 33 while Augusten is still only Agnes Dr.
Deirdre and Fern leave each other after Fern refuses to leave her family to continue to be with her. She takes time off of school to visit Dr. Finch, and meets Deirdre through him. She is a rich, African American woman who seems to only like Deirdre because of her love of extremes in life. She paints her nails depending on her mood. Augusten adores his mother for her southern accent and for the fact that she is in his eyes a "star".
He is also a severe alcoholic with a skin condition and a dour personality. The only time he spends with his son are the infrequent trips they take to the garbage dump. She recites it into an unplugged microphone and to friends over the telephone. When she asks Augusten his opinion on any of her poems, his stock reply is to say that it will surely be published in the New Yorker, which is her goal.
Augusten himself is fascinated by clothing, jewelry,stardom and doctors. He spends his time listening to Tony Orlando and Dawn albums, and dreaming of being an actor, a doctor, or better yet, playing a doctor on TV. In one described episode his drunken father attempts to strangle his mother, who pushes him away , causing him to cut his head severely enough to produce a small puddle of blood, but no real injury. The result of the continued hostility is Dr.
Finch, a family counselor who resembles Santa Claus. Augusten likes Dr.
Finch and befriends the receptionist in his office, Hope, who turns out to be one of his many children. Finch-some of which involve Augusten who inquires about a small room in the rear of the office. Finch then reveals that this is his "Masturbatorium" in which he relieves himself sexually between sessions, and sometimes during excusing himself if the session is "particularly tedious". Augusten and Deirdre are invited to see the room.
Upon entering, they find Hope Dr.
Finch is seemingly furious with his daughter but asks Deirdre to confront her about the invasion of his privacy. Hope and Augusten talk in the lobby afterwards, about the Masturbatorium. Augusten, is very excited to visit the home of a doctor and looks forward to a glamorous, upscale house. Unfortunately the Finch residence is a pink, rundown affair that sticks out sorrowfully from its pristine white neighbors. While Deirdre is in her session with Dr.
Finch, Augusten, who is now 12, spends his time with Vickie and Natalie, Dr. The two girls are the unkempt opposite of Augusten, who tries desperately to keep his clothes free of the animal hair which is quite prevalent in the house. The three decide to play with an old electroshock therapy machine.
Fortunately, they do not plug the machine in. As their game begins, they are joined by Poo Bear, the 6 year old grandson of Dr. Finch who roams the house in the nude. The false shock treatment scares the child who then runs away. The three go after him only to find him defecating beneath a grand piano onto wall to wall carpeting. Natalie and Vickie cheer for the child, while Augusten is disgusted and goes to seek his mother.
When he finds her in the kitchen she tells him that his father may intend to kill them and that Dr. Finch is the only one who can save them. He is then informed that his mother is going to live in a motel while he, Augusten, will stay at the Finch residence.
He is mortified. In an upstairs room, lives a woman named Joranne who is a patient of Dr. Finch with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The woman keeps her room spotlessly clean in stark contrast to the rest of the house and only leaves the room to use the restroom.
She has her own restroom which she also keeps shining.
She also eats the caulk from around the sink. All of her meals are brought to her by Agnes, Dr. Hope introduces Augusten to Joranne as she is having an episode over a dirty spoon. Hope tells him that she will soon be ready to leave the house and live on her own. The fact that Dr. Finch could fix such a person is impressive to Augusten, but he is also fascinated by Joranne and her disorder. Deidre comes to pick up Augusten in a complete trance and barely acknowledges the fact that he is there.
Chapter 6: Just Add Water In further spending time with the Finches, Augusten trades in his blazers and preened hair for faded jeans and natural curls. He replaces a jewelry obsession with smoking. He confides in Hope that he is gay and so she introduces him to her 33 year old adopted brother, Neil Bookman, who is also gay. They go on a walk together and Neil assures Augusten that the two can discuss anything, and that he will never take advantage of Augusten.
Neil leaves before Hope has a chance to talk to him to see if he can fill in for her at the office while she visits a friend. The answer to the question, after some interpretation, can be found in the word or words that the finger lands on. All of the Finches perform this ritual, but Hope is particularly fond of it, and determines that her absence from the office will not be necessary.
Chapter 7: The Burning Bush Augusten prefers going to the movies, shopping at Chess King, and writing in his journal to school. He has figured out how to more or less get away with skipping, and agrees with Dr.
While skipping school one day, Augusten walks in on his mother and another woman having sex.
Following his intrusion, Augusten listens to his mother more or less ramble about the oppression she has suffered in her life. Chapter 8: Pure Projection This chapter focuses on further describing the Finch family. It starts with an anecdote about a makeshift parade led by Dr. Finch and involving Augusten, a reluctant Deirdre, and most of the available Finch family.
They cover themselves with balloons and pass out fliers while Dr. Upon his stern request most of the women in the parade are wearing only two balloons-one over each breast.
At one point during the parade Dr. Finch invites female spectators to "explore" his testicles. The next glimpse into the life of the Finches, is an altercation between Natalie and Hope. According to Dr. Finch, anger is the crux of most mental illness, and so fighting is always encouraged in his household. The arguments usually involve name calling and accusations that stem from psychological nomenclature, most notably the Freudian stages of psycho sexual development i. The fights would often become physical.
The one described to us in this chapter ends with Hope, who is nearly 30 at the time, being held down by Natalie until she submits. When Agnes, Dr. Finch, and nearly always due to the fact that he has three mistresses that he sees openly.
Eventually, Agnes would also recognize the humor in the situation and join in the laughter. Essentially, he is an extremely intelligent person with a knack for all things mechanical and technological, but with poor social skills. He has an abrupt manner, starting nearly every sentence with a grunt, and communicates largely with one syllable words. He flies Augusten to New York where he meets the band, where Gene Simmons jokingly offers to take his pants off in front of Augusten. Troy also has an obsession with trains.
He will follow them in his car, often going off road to do so. Chapter The Joy of Sex Preteen Edition Augusten describes his first sexual encounter, in which at age 13 he is coerced into performing oral sex on Neil, who is Neil acts violently during the episode, while Augusten struggles for breath as his head is repeatedly forced against the headboard of the bed.
Afterwards, Neil tells Augusten that he performed the act in order to show Augusten what he can expect as a gay man. Augusten is resentful and confused. Once home, he has an opportunity to confide in Hope, but chooses not to. Chapter School Daze Dr. Finch organizes a fake suicide attempt for Augusten so that he can legally stop going to school. So, after taking several pills and washing them down with whisky all provided by Dr. Finch he goes to a mental ward for two weeks.
While in the hospital he reflects on his relationship with Neil Bookman. Following their rather violent first sexual encounter, Neil apologizes and the two become genuine lovers. Augusten confesses this fact to both his mother and to Dr. Once out of the hospital, Deirdre informs Augusten that Dr. Finch will become his legal guardian. She explains that her journey to find herself, the relationship with Fern, and her poetry insisting that she will be a very famous woman some day make it hard for her to be his parent.
Natalie is depressed because she misses her lover, Terrance Maxwell. When Natalie was thirteen, Terrance was Forty One. Allegedly, the two had been romantically involved. Additionally, he was a millionaire. Terrance and Natalie met when he was receiving treatment from Dr. He was abusive verbally and physically to Natalie, who left him after three years, taking him to court and winning 75 thousand dollars, all of which went to Dr.
Augusten, in contrast to Natalie, is depressed because the ceiling is too low. So, the two embark on a project to knock the ceiling out, which they do. The reaction by the rest of the family is minimal, and the result of the ceiling being gone does nothing to change the depressing mood it had caused.
So, the two then talk Dr. Finch into giving them dollars to install a skylight. Instead of using the money for supplies, Natalie and Augusten remove a window from a pantry and rig it up as a skylight, leaving a seven and a half inch gap in the ceiling through which rain and snow fall from that day forward.
Augusten admires her because of her spotlessly clean apartment and for the fact that she is a cosmetologist. The only thing he does more than this is write in his journal, which he does for nearly four hours a day. One night while writing in his journal about cosmetology school, Neil Bookman pays Augusten a visit. Augusten is verbally abusive to Neil, but still the two have sex, using Queen Helene Cholesterol, a hair product, as lubricant. After both Neil and Augusten are finished having sex, Augusten becomes abusive again, referring to Neil as a dog, among other things.
When Neil, who usually just sulks when insulted by Augusten, becomes angry, Augusten threatens to go the police with a statutory rape charge. This sends Neil away without further comment. This chapter ends with a journal entry from Augusten describing the sexual encounter and the following fight with Neil. Chapter Toilet Bowl Readings Dr. Finch believes that God is communicating to him through his bowel movements after having a particularly interesting one which results in a stool with a coil pointing upwards.
He then has Hope remove the stool from the toilet and place it outside to dry. He begins doing this with all of his stools, interpreting varied bowel movements to mean numerous things diarrhea means the IRS will mess up their records and not seize the house, the presence of corn means that Hope will marry a farmer.
A bout of constipation marks the end of this communication with the divine. In the end, I decided that I was neither. The plot of the film is focused on the relationship between the mother and the son. In , the family of Dr. Rodolph H. Turcotte — , of Massachusetts filed suit against Burroughs and his publisher, alleging defamation of character and invasion of privacy.
They stated that they were the basis for the Finch family portrayed in the book but that Burroughs had fabricated or exaggerated various descriptions of their activities. The case was later settled with Sony Pictures Entertainment in October , prior to the release of the film adaptation. Martin's Press , settled with the Turcotte family in August Burroughs defended his work as "entirely accurate", but agreed to call the work a "book" instead of a "memoir" in the author's note, to alter the acknowledgments page in future editions to recognize the Turcotte family's conflicting memories of described events, and express regret for "any unintentional harm" to the Turcotte family.
And you know, the suit settled—it settled in my favor. I didn't change a word of the memoir, not one word of it. It's still a memoir, it's marketed as a memoir, they've agreed one hundred percent that it is a memoir.
Future printings of Running with Scissors will contain modified language in the Author's Note and Acknowledgments pages. Where the Acknowledgments page had read: I recognize that their memories of the events described in this book are different than my own. They are each fine, decent, and hard-working people. The book was not intended to hurt the family.
Both my publisher and I regret any unintentional harm resulting from the publishing and marketing of Running with Scissors.
In addition, on the Author's Note page—but, as the family agreed, nowhere else—the word "book" replaced the word "memoir. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Running with Scissors film. New York Times. September 8, Running With Scissors. Archived from the original on Retrieved Boston Globe. Newhouse News Service. Daily Hampshire Gazette.
October 18, Archived from the original on November 10, Retrieved April 23, Martin's Press is pleased to announce a very favorable settlement of the lawsuit over Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs ".
The works of Augusten Burroughs. A Memoir Retrieved from " https: Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.