Review: You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs
Title: You Better Not Cry
Author: Augusten Burroughs
Publication: St. Martin’s Press; October 27, 2009
Rating: 1.5 Bookmarks
A collection of bleak, holiday-themed essays, most that left me feeling like jabbing an icicle into my eye and skipping every Christmas until eternity.
With a mere 183 days until Christmas, what better way to herald in the season than with a collection of holiday essays by a darkly witty author? Sadly, instead of putting me in the mood for the season, this book left me feeling melancholy. I wasn’t expecting some feel-good book but didn’t think this would be such a spirit-crusher!
As a memoir fan, I’ve read all of Augusten Burroughs’s other books–I even read his brother’s memoir–and have liked them well enough. But with this one, as with Jen Lancaster’s most recent, it seems that both of these authors are struggling with the same memoirist malaise that comes from running their respective story wells dry.
Burroughs’s holiday collection ran the gamut from his less-than-idyllic childhood holidays to his sometimes-drunken adult ones. The laughs weren’t forthcoming as in previous books, and some of the situations were so depressing–losing entire days in a drunken stupor only to find himself huddled with a group of homeless people on the street on Christmas morning–that I almost couldn’t finish the book.
I soldiered on but was ultimately disappointed by Burroughs’s latest installment.