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Friday, April 16, 2010

Augusten Burroughs Week: Day Five - A Wolf at the Table Book Review

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Augusten Burroughs Week: Day Five - A Wolf at the Table Book Review

About the Book:  “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.

Our Take: We felt that it was important to take the time to honor Augusten with an entire week here at Book Legion, so we're posting one of his titles each day this week!   For the final day we thought that we'd take a look at 'A Wolf at the Table', because this is the first rather serious take that we get from Augusten, as he addresses his relationship with his father.

The book opens with Augusten recounting a scenario that may be a dream and may be a reality that his mind has tried to supress.  This father is chasing him through the woods, trying to kill him.  The memory is vivid and whether its true or not, its a great analogy for how it feels to have an abusive father.  Augusten really opens up and gives his great perspective on the events of his youth in this one.  I feel that its very theraputic for someone that has experienced similar abuse and may serve as an eye-opening look for those that haven't.

This is our final book in the Augusten Burroughs tribute week.  We hope that you enjoyed this look into his work and don't forget to check out his classic title, 'Running With Scissors', too!

How to Buy: or the MacMillan Website