A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
A Memoir of My Father

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Synopsis

"As a little boy, I had a dream that my father had taken me to the woods where there was a dead body. He buried it and told me I must never tell. It was the only thing we'd ever done together as father and son, and I promised not to tell. But unlike most dreams, the memory of this one never left me. And sometimes…I wasn't altogether sure about one thing: was it just a dream?"

When Augusten Burroughs was small, his father was a shadowy presence in his life: a form on the stairs, a cough from the basement, a silent figure smoking a cigarette in the dark. As Augusten grew older, something sinister within his father began to unfurl. Something dark and secretive that could not be named.

Betrayal after shocking betrayal ensued, and Augusten's childhood was over. The kind of father he wanted didn't exist for him. This father was distant, aloof, uninterested…

And then the "games" began.

With A Wolf at the Table, Augusten Burroughs makes a quantum leap into untapped emotional terrain: the radical pendulum swing between love and hate, the unspeakably terrifying relationship between father and son. Told with scorching honesty and penetrating insight, it is a story for anyone who has ever longed for unconditional love from a parent. Though harrowing and brutal, A Wolf at the Table will ultimately leave you buoyed with the profound joy of simply being alive. It's a memoir of stunning psychological cruelty and the redemptive power of hope.

 

About Augusten Burroughs

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Augusten Burroughs is the author of Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking: True Stories, Possible Side Effects and You Better Not Cry. He is also the author of the novel Sellevision, which is currently in development for film. The film version of Running with Scissors, directed by Ryan Murphy and produced by Brad Pitt, was released in October 2006 and starred Joseph Cross, Brian Cox, Annette Bening (nominated for a Golden Globe for her role), Alec Baldwin and Evan Rachel Wood. Augusten's writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers around the world including The New York Times and New York Magazine. In 2005 Entertainment Weekly named him one of “The 25 Funniest People in America.” He resides in New York City and Western Massachusetts.
 
Published April 29, 2008 by St. Martin's Press. 278 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for A Wolf at the Table

The New York Times

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Augusten Burroughs's new memoir, about his relationship with his father, is more Stephen King than David Sedaris.

Apr 24 2008 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

The New York Times

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The author of “Running With Scissors” returns to his troubled childhood.

Jun 08 2008 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

The New York Times

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Determinedly unfunny, awkwardly histrionic and sometimes anything but credible, Augusten Burroughs’s new memoir repudiates everything that put him on the map.

May 01 2008 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

Publishers Weekly

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Superb production values transform an ordinary audio into a special experience.

| Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

Entertainment Weekly

In passing, the author mentions his dad had psoriasis so severe that it bloodied his shirts (which disgusted Burroughs), and arthritis so excruciating he couldn't play catch (which Burroughs resented).

Apr 18 2008 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

Suite 101

A Wolf at the Table is a memoir of brilliant honesty, revealing the horror Burroughs experienced as a child growing up with a neglectful, yet terrifying father.

Oct 03 2009 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

Teen Reads

Over the long years of Burroughs's lost childhood, his father became paranoid and his mother the trembling prey for his fits of anger.

Apr 29 2008 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

About.com

This nine-hour unabridged audio version of A Wolf at the Table also includes author commentary and an original soundtrack written and performed by Patti Smith, Ingrid Michaelson, Sea Wolf, and Tegan Quin as a musical response to A Wolf at the Table, Burroughs explains, capturing the essence of a ...

Jan 29 2013 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

Gather Books

I will let the author describe his book.

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

The Sydney Morning Herald

The main story ends with the flight to Dr Finch, but a few summary chapters provide an interesting update on how Burroughs's relationship with his father evolved after the Scissors and Dry years.

Jul 28 2008 | Read Full Review of A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir...

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