You Better Not Cry

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

by Augusten Burroughs

I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation, smart reviews for modern readers on Sirius XM Book Radio. The book is You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs

After writing about his, one might say, slightly unusual childhood in Running with Scissors, chronicling his drinking and non-drinking days in Dry, and more recently telling the harrowing story of life with his really bad dad, A Wolf At the Table, where was there for Augusten Burroughs to go but back to that wellspring of angst, the holidays?

In You Better Not Cry, Burroughs goes back to the well, his own life, and I personally am gratefully for his ability to access memories that other people may be glad have faded away. In remembering, he reminds us: for instance I know he can’t be the only one who confused Santa and Jesus as a kid, and I was proud to see that we watched exactly the same holiday line up on TV — Davey and Goliath, The Grinch, Charlie Brown — as a Jewish kid, believe me, it was even more confusing. Although I admit my relatives were less colorful and there were fewer trips to the emergency room.

His honesty in the face of his own behavior, his kindness in the face of the behavior of others, his ability to create hailstorms of drama out of fairly routine events, and simply his skill as a storyteller made this collection  typically, wonderfully poignant, funny and just a little mean in the right places.

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