Dry by Augusten Burroughs
A Memoir

72%

16 Critic Reviews

Though it never gets better than the moving section at rehab, where Burroughs' self-obsessed persona dies alongside his poisonous habits, Dry gets much of its strength from everyday torments and the unique phenomenon of addicts healing other addicts.
-AV Club

Synopsis

The Tenth Anniversary Edition of the New York Times bestselling book that has sold over half a million copies in paperback.
"I was addicted to "Bewitched" as a kid. I worshipped Darren Stevens the First. When he'd come home from work and Samantha would say, ‘Darren, would you like me to fix you a drink?' He'd always rest his briefcase on the table below the mirror in the foyer, wipe his forehead with a monogrammed handkerchief and say, ‘Better make it a double.'" (from Chapter Two)

You may not know it, but you've met Augusten Burroughs. You've seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twentysomething guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at all. Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn't really a request) of his employers, Augusten lands in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey Jr. are immediately dashed by grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click and that's when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life—and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that's as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is true. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power.

 

About Augusten Burroughs

See more books from this Author
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 23, 2013 by Picador. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Self Help. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 21 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Dry
All: 16 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

In the end, it's all up to Burroughs, and to give the end away would be criminal, for this memoir operates on a high level of involvement and suspense. Didn't think you’d ever feel even an ounce of sympathy for—let alone root for—a drunken adman, did you? Meet Mr. Burroughs.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Mar 04 2016

Burroughs strains here to replicate that zany tone and occasionally indulges in navel-gazing, but readers accustomed to his heady cocktail of fizzy humor and epiphanic poignancy won't be disappointed.

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
on Mar 04 2016

The tone of Dry is at times too odd, with a protagonist who isn’t always likeable or admirable, but we remain sympathetic because we see a man finding his own salvation on a path that is well trod but still poignant.

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Steve Adami on Feb 22 2016

The tone of Dry is at times too odd, with a protagonist who isn’t always likeable or admirable, but we remain sympathetic because we see a man finding his own salvation on a path that is well trod but still poignant.

Read Full Review of Dry: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on Jan 21 2011

For those wondering what happened to the little boy in RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, and for those meeting Burroughs for the first time in DRY, you are sure to be challenged, appalled, inspired and enchanted.

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AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Scott Tobias on Jun 17 2003

Though it never gets better than the moving section at rehab, where Burroughs' self-obsessed persona dies alongside his poisonous habits, Dry gets much of its strength from everyday torments and the unique phenomenon of addicts healing other addicts.

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AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Scott Tobias on Jun 17 2003

Where less-committed alcoholics on the mend may get by on a pot of coffee or a cold splash of water, Dry views recovery as a second career, with the days and months and years of hard work subject to instant demotion.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
Reviewed by EMMA FORREST on May 23 2003

As the story progresses, it becomes harder to read about the self-destructiveness of the author’s alcoholism, placed next to the ravages of AIDS, without wanting to shake him. Thankfully, Burroughs shakes himself (and the book) just in time.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
Reviewed by EMMA FORREST on May 23 2003

Though the author’s pain at his friend’s eventual passing is palpable, we never really get to know the man because Burroughs spends the majority of the book avoiding him...Thankfully, Burroughs shakes himself (and the book) just in time.

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Booklist Online

Good
on May 01 2003

Blessedly free from sentimentality and the predictable fall-and-rise plot of your average booze-soaked memoir, Burroughs’ characters are well drawn and fresh...

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BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Julie Hale on May 01 2004

Burroughs' narrative is full of humor, honesty and wit qualities readers have come to expect from this sensational young author.

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About.com

Good
Reviewed by Mark Flanagan on Mar 04 2016

Sometimes wickedly funny and other times cold and lonely, Burroughs vividly delivers the story of the alcoholic, as only the alcoholic can tell it.

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PopMatters

Good
Reviewed by NATALIE HOPE MCDONALD on Aug 13 2003

But above all the tragedy that Dry isn’t afraid to unfurl, Burroughs also added, “I wanted to show people that just because you stop drinking does not mean you stop being crazy and funny.”...Between the humor and frustration, luckily for Burroughs, it worked.

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People

Good
on Jun 16 2003

Dry is more than a heartbreaking tale; it's a heroic one. As with its predecessor, we finish the book amazed not only that Burroughs can write so brilliantly, but that he's even alive.

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Nights and Weekends

Below average
Reviewed by Tony Caldwell on Mar 04 2016

It makes for a dull read from an otherwise outstanding writer. If you want an example of why so many people mention Burroughs in the same breath as David Sedaris, then check out Running With Scissors instead.

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Curled Up

Good
Reviewed by Amanda Cuda on Feb 22 2016

Nobody writes about incredible, unbelievable emotional agony like Augusten Burroughs. That’s because, instead of wallowing in his pain and suffering, Burroughs treats the terrible events in his past with such humor that you end up laughing at things that aren’t in themselves funny.

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Reader Rating for Dry
86%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 631 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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