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You've eaten too much candy at Christmas...but have you ever eaten the face off a six-foot stuffed Santa? You've seen gingerbread houses...but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You've woken up with a hangover...but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving coll You've eaten too much candy at Christmas...but have you ever eaten the face off a six-foot stuffed Santa? You've seen gingerbread houses...but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You've woken up with a hangover...but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimlet-eyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.


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You've eaten too much candy at Christmas...but have you ever eaten the face off a six-foot stuffed Santa? You've seen gingerbread houses...but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You've woken up with a hangover...but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving coll You've eaten too much candy at Christmas...but have you ever eaten the face off a six-foot stuffed Santa? You've seen gingerbread houses...but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You've woken up with a hangover...but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimlet-eyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.

30 review for You Better Not Cry Unabridged Audiobook CD

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ After recently coming off a Burroughs’ induced Halloweeny high from the delightful Toil & Trouble, there was no chance I was going to let the holiday season go by without picking this one up. Once again this selection of stories reminded me of my Darling David in that the snapshots of life may have contained some dark aspects and the storyteller might have been a bit of a Negative Nelly, but the humor and sentimentality worked to (for Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ After recently coming off a Burroughs’ induced Halloweeny high from the delightful Toil & Trouble, there was no chance I was going to let the holiday season go by without picking this one up. Once again this selection of stories reminded me of my Darling David in that the snapshots of life may have contained some dark aspects and the storyteller might have been a bit of a Negative Nelly, but the humor and sentimentality worked to (for the most part) keep spirits bright. Included in this collection are tales about: Eating Santa’s face – without ingesting some bathsalts first; Building a gingerbread house tenement; Asking for a pony; Waking up hungover at the Waldorf Astoria next to Santa; Waking up in a gaggle of homeless people; Waking up to find your dream house flooded; and George. Oh George . . . . . That one was a heartbreaker. Kudos to you AB for making me have a feel. And for being my kindred spirit when it comes to the advent calendar . . . . My mother surely must have regretted ever introducing me to the advent calendar, because now she could never take it away. It would be like getting your child hooked on heroin and then withholding their needle. For the last eighteen days, it had been the single focus of my life. My mother would not allow me to open a new door before eight o’clock in the evening. By seven each night, I was sitting on the floor in front of the refrigerator like a dog, staring up at the calendar and asking her every few minutes, “Is it almost eight o’clock?” Luckily I’m the adult in my house (and the advent calendar belongs to me because my children are Grinches who only are interested in Christmas for the presents and spend the rest of their lives holed up in their rooms), so I open the day’s little door as soon as I get up each morning . . . .

  2. 5 out of 5

    Schmacko

    In the realm of today’s gay memoirists, there are two legends: David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. David Sedaris (The Santaland Diaries, Naked, When Engulfed in Flames) tells charming, quaint stories to his wacky Geek family. His stories include odd jobs (being a holiday elf for Macy’s) and strange stories that hide a sweet humanity (like when his sister brought a hooker home for the holidays in “Dinah the Christmas Whore.”) Sedaris is kooky but cuddly; he started telling his stories on Nationa In the realm of today’s gay memoirists, there are two legends: David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. David Sedaris (The Santaland Diaries, Naked, When Engulfed in Flames) tells charming, quaint stories to his wacky Geek family. His stories include odd jobs (being a holiday elf for Macy’s) and strange stories that hide a sweet humanity (like when his sister brought a hooker home for the holidays in “Dinah the Christmas Whore.”) Sedaris is kooky but cuddly; he started telling his stories on National Public Radio; people can titter at the unusualness, but still be captivated by his warmth. Burroughs has gone a slightly different route. His mom was a drunk with a long history of mental problems; she once turned him over to be raised by a mentally instable psychologist (as captured in the bestseller Running with Scissors). Burroughs’ dad was a distant drunk whose infrequent messages of love were also scary and threatening. Augusten’s older brother has Asbergers, a mild autism that makes people mechanically gifted but socially awkward and frigid. Augusten himself suffered through drug and alcohol addiction that made him lose high-paying jobs and once had him purposefully living on the streets with the homeless (in the book Dry). As a whole, Sedaris is more Mark Twain, Burroughs is slightly more Edgar Allen Poe, I guess. Sedaris can tell a joke and turn a phrase, but Burroughs is better known for asking complex questions and creating thought-provoking stories. We may think Sedaris and his cute stories might have cornered the fuzzy-cuddly holidays. With You Better Not Cry, Burroughs challenges that idea. Burroughs again offers us a collection of holiday stories; they fill in gaps in Burroughs’ dark family history and drug addiction. These stories also together define a gay man who comes to reclaim holidays which were once taken from him and sullied seemingly beyond repair. In the end, Burroughs lets us see that each of us has a right to a merry Yule; he speaks to the disenfranchised and lonely among us more than Sedaris does. I’m probably making You Better Not Cry humorless. Yet, Burroughs has a lot of comedy, couched in between the tales of dearth, death and dysfunction. As a child, Augusten believed Jesus and Santa were the same person, and in hilarious example, his Pentecostal grandma tries to set the poor boy right. Later, after a few days using the homeless for warmth (literally), Burroughs tries to remember the events of his catastrophic blackout; seemingly puzzling pieces like an empty bank account are only answered by the worship Augusten receives from the other alcoholics and drug addicts living on the street. Yes, You Better not Cry is funny, but in a dark, sardonic way. However, this grimness promises to pack a deeper, more meaningful wallop. In ugly times when many of us face scant, hollowed-out holidays, Burroughs book tells a story of hope, that each of us has the power to reclaim the warmth of the season.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Oh, Augusten Burroughs, why do I love you? You infuriate me sometimes, but I just can’t quit you. “You Better Not Cry” is not laugh-out-loud hysterical, but rather chuckle-in-the-back-of-your-throat cynicism laced with pull-at-the-heart-strings-despite-yourself sentimentality. The funny thing about Augusten’s breezy Christmas anthology is that for all the times you feel like it is an anti-holiday holiday book, it is actually filled with some extraordinarily lovely moments of … well, the Christmas Oh, Augusten Burroughs, why do I love you? You infuriate me sometimes, but I just can’t quit you. “You Better Not Cry” is not laugh-out-loud hysterical, but rather chuckle-in-the-back-of-your-throat cynicism laced with pull-at-the-heart-strings-despite-yourself sentimentality. The funny thing about Augusten’s breezy Christmas anthology is that for all the times you feel like it is an anti-holiday holiday book, it is actually filled with some extraordinarily lovely moments of … well, the Christmas spirit. Augusten’s Christmas spirit may not be couched in the same terms as Linus’ speech at the end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” (after all, Linus didn’t have drunken sex with a lascivious 60 year old Santa Claus, did he?), but in the end both stories leave me with the same feeling of gratefulness and warmth. I will have to say, though, that with Burrough’s book I felt like I needed a Silkwood shower to get to those feelings of gratefulness and warmth, but I got there just the same!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Monn

    Such a great holiday memoir. Endearing and comical. My full review will be up on my booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/peterlikesbooks Such a great holiday memoir. Endearing and comical. My full review will be up on my booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/peterlikesbooks

  5. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This is my third book by Augusten Burroughs and I am beginning to understand him. Maybe because I was just prompted by Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man that made a tremendous impact on me and I was able to relate to his character – an aging gay literature professor. I am aging but I am not any of the other three but still the very moving prose of Isherwood made me emphatize with middle-age gay guys like Burroughs. In my mind, gays come in two types: the quiet decent sometimes-closeted type an This is my third book by Augusten Burroughs and I am beginning to understand him. Maybe because I was just prompted by Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man that made a tremendous impact on me and I was able to relate to his character – an aging gay literature professor. I am aging but I am not any of the other three but still the very moving prose of Isherwood made me emphatize with middle-age gay guys like Burroughs. In my mind, gays come in two types: the quiet decent sometimes-closeted type and the loud screaming all-out type. In the Philippines, we call the first one baklang tago and the second one palengkerang o parloristang bakla. For me, Isherwood (based on his character in the above-mentioned novel) belongs to the first group. Burroughs definitely, without any iota of doubt, belongs to the second group. He just does not only scream. He curses. He’s the primero uno when it comes to drama – gay drama. He exaggerates just to be noticed. He flagrantly flaunts that he is gay and he does not give any damn if you don’t like him. He enumerates the guys – by mentioning their profession or even names! – who he had sex with. He even mentioned about a Calvin Klein model who was more interested on him rather than the other way around or his friend’s friend Charlie who did not allow Burroughs to call him when he was in the office because he ”ejaculates upon hearing Burroughs’ voice.” All these mentioned (printed) on this book about Christmas! However, those are in the second half of the book. The Christmases when Burroughs was already a young promiscuous gay man. The first half includes the Christmases when he was a young gay boy and his experiences and innocence were adorable. He thought, for example, that Santa Claus and Jesus were one and the same and when he saw Jesus nailed on the cross, he thought that Santa Claus made a mistake in giving gifts and one father nailed him up there. Not sure if this is possible since Jesus is slim and trim while Santa Claus is fat and bearded. But then again, Burroughs is fond of exaggeration to get his message across or to elicit laughters. Some people call this poetic license and fiction writers have this in their arsenal of writing tools. Overall, not a totally bad book to read for Christmas season. There are funny parts. There are disgusting parts. Not for anyone whose squeamish about gay sex. In the Philippines, being a Catholic country, the Christmas season will end this Sunday, January 8th 2012 as it is the Feast of the Three Kings or the Epiphany. So, my reading of this book, including this review, is still on time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I give 3 stars to the first few stories and 1 star to the last few for an average of 2 stars. The first couple of stories tell about Burroughs's childhood memories of past Christmases. Two stories are about how he used to confuse Santa with Jesus and also when he bit the wax face off of a life-size Santa Claus and I was actually laughing out loud while reading them. They were funny and easier to relate to than the stories he recounted of his adulthood. Burroughs's childhood stories are lighter t I give 3 stars to the first few stories and 1 star to the last few for an average of 2 stars. The first couple of stories tell about Burroughs's childhood memories of past Christmases. Two stories are about how he used to confuse Santa with Jesus and also when he bit the wax face off of a life-size Santa Claus and I was actually laughing out loud while reading them. They were funny and easier to relate to than the stories he recounted of his adulthood. Burroughs's childhood stories are lighter than the rest of the book but are still darkly humorous. The last half of the stories though are a somber solemn affair and not anything I likely would have read by themselves. I wouldn't have picked this book up if the childhood stories hadn't been included. I understand this is his life he's writing about, but when I think of Christmas I don't think of drinking until I black out, or wanting to spend the holiday alone, or doing the opposite and spending the holiday with a bunch of bums on the street, literally. The last half of the book is bleak and without much hope, and that's just not what I personally want to read about. The transition from early childhood to adulthood could have been handled better as well. We go from one story where he's in elementary school to the next where he's a black-out drunk waking up next to a naked geriatric French Santa Claus. After doing a bit of research on the author it's probably safe to say that he didn't have too many fond memories of childhood Christmases, but I would have liked to read more of them because those were the ones I enjoyed the most. Toward the end Burroughs flies off into the land of melodrama and it starts to become hard to take him seriously, especially the story when his newly built house floods unexpectedly.I backed out of the kitchen and turned around. Dennis was at the bottom of the stairs, heaving, unable to catch his breath, as his eyes surveyed the room. He brought both of his hands to his mouth, his fingers touching the bottom lip. "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no," his voice warbled, and what began as a whisper was almost instantly a howl; a sound that resonated with loss and terrible ache.Now it's true, it was his boyfriend that had this reaction but I really think Burroughs over exaggerates things. My parents' basement flooded twice when I was in my teens, and my room was down there. One of the times it got so high it reached the bottom of my mattress. So, yeah, it sucks, but nobody died. There's a story that Burroughs recounts of time he spent with a boyfriend that later died of AIDS. It honestly felt like the destruction of the one floor of the house held more emotion than the death of his loved one. It's hard for me to connect with the Christmas stories of Burroughs's adult life when he acts so unrealistically. I had been eager to read more of Burroughs's writing after reading the first 100 pages or so of this one, but after finishing it up I'm not so sure anymore. Some people like to read darker stories while others only want fluffy happy times. I want something kind of in the middle. I also have a hard time understanding the mind of an addict, it's just not something that makes sense to me, and so it was hard for me to connect on a personal level to the bulk of Burroughs's stories. I don't necessarily regret reading this book, but I'll keep the stories I read first more in the forefront because they honestly did make me laugh.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I have never read any Augusten Burroughs, but this is the 3rd one I've listened to. Running with Scissors and Dry are two of my favorite audiobooks ever. I also have a touch of OCD, and I can never ever ever ever ever not finish a book. If it's awful, I'll try and read it as fast as possible, but I'll ALWAYS ALWAYS finish. So, the first 2 stories on this cd were SO BAD that I nearly quit listening and called it a day. I was getting ready to go on a long drive, and listening to this was going to dr I have never read any Augusten Burroughs, but this is the 3rd one I've listened to. Running with Scissors and Dry are two of my favorite audiobooks ever. I also have a touch of OCD, and I can never ever ever ever ever not finish a book. If it's awful, I'll try and read it as fast as possible, but I'll ALWAYS ALWAYS finish. So, the first 2 stories on this cd were SO BAD that I nearly quit listening and called it a day. I was getting ready to go on a long drive, and listening to this was going to drive me insane. Burroughs read soooooooooooo slllllllllllooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwlllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy that you just wanted to scream. The first 2 stories took place in his childhood, and were not funny, and grasping so hard to be Santaland Diaries and reeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaadddddddddd in that sllllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwwww voice that I thought - "Did he ALWAYS sound like this? What could have been wrong with me when I liked it before?" I've got to get a new audiobook. But......I kept listening. Then the 3rd story, about his one night stand with a drunk old French Santa, was a bit more like the Burroughs I remembered. The slow reading stopped, (maybe he was trying to sound childlike?) and the dark, debauched, gay train wreck I know and love was back. The fourth story, about his Christmas spent with a homeless opera singer was more of the same, But the 5th story. Oh the 5th story. At first, I can't figure out how it related to Christmas, but when it did, it had a jaw dropping twist that is what I love in literature. And now, when I was thisclose to being able to break my OCD habit of needing to finish everything, said habit has been rewarded, because I loved story 5 so much I just wanted to start over and hear it again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan Anderson

    I'd give this five stars, except I'm not so sure about some of the stories. The first few are downright hysterical--I was crying as he described the gingerbread house. However, the later stories of grown-up Christmases are a little more introspective. Not that they're bad, necessarily, but it's like the movie Moulin Rouge, in that everything starts off funny and by the end you're feeling sort of depressed. I've liked the way Burroughs writes since I first read his books in college, and I especia I'd give this five stars, except I'm not so sure about some of the stories. The first few are downright hysterical--I was crying as he described the gingerbread house. However, the later stories of grown-up Christmases are a little more introspective. Not that they're bad, necessarily, but it's like the movie Moulin Rouge, in that everything starts off funny and by the end you're feeling sort of depressed. I've liked the way Burroughs writes since I first read his books in college, and I especially like his understated sense of humor. I also understand that the subject matter of some of the stories doesn't lend itself to being funny (the second-to-last story in particular). But even the more thoughtful of the stories are still funny in their own ways. His descriptions are poetic and beautiful and spot-on, regardless of the subject matter. Maybe it's just like Christmas itself, for me as an adult: the intense anticipation of what's to come followed by the inevitable let-down of getting what you asked for, but that things aren't what you really wanted. But read this book! It's really good! It's just left me moody and introspective now, too, which isn't a bad thing! Honest!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This is my favorite Augusten Burroughs book yet! I was a little skeptical at first. The book starts with some of his darkest stories from his childhood and early days as an alcoholic. They are fascinating in the way a train wreck is, you just can't bring yourself to look away. Slowly, as you work your way through the book, the stories begin to change as Augusten's idea of Christmas evolves. There is the Christmas a group of homeless people take him in, look after him, and teach him to accept hel This is my favorite Augusten Burroughs book yet! I was a little skeptical at first. The book starts with some of his darkest stories from his childhood and early days as an alcoholic. They are fascinating in the way a train wreck is, you just can't bring yourself to look away. Slowly, as you work your way through the book, the stories begin to change as Augusten's idea of Christmas evolves. There is the Christmas a group of homeless people take him in, look after him, and teach him to accept help from others. The book ends with two truly heartwarming stories about taking care of an HIV positive boyfriend and dealing with a flood. Make no mistake, the hilarious, sarcastic humor is still there, but added is a real love for himself and the people around him. There was more depth of feeling and true emotion in some of these stories than I've ever seen in Augusten's other books. You Better Not Cry is the perfect holiday collection - you will definitely laugh, you might even shed a tear or two, and you'll end feeling strangely better about Christmas and what it means.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Blye Kramer

    I’ve 5-starred every single one of Burroughs’ books but this was a disappointment. #1, it was sloppily written, juvenile, the humor was forced. #2, after reading all of his heart wrenching memoirs, I recoiled at his trite stabs at his alcoholic dad and druggie mother. It was as if he’s written so much about them, they are now just objects of derision. Read halfway and got rid of this one

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carol Ann

    Our book club chose this for our November read, getting us into the holiday spirit early. I mean, how festive is that cover? And the opening line: "It's not that I was an outright nitwit of a child." Nitwit? No. Bizarre? Definitely. I'm glad his frontal lobe took so long to develop or we may have missed out on these zany stories surrounding Christmas, the author's FAVORITE holiday and yet, a day that always turned out horribly for him. Aside from a disturbing chapter involving a French Santa, I Our book club chose this for our November read, getting us into the holiday spirit early. I mean, how festive is that cover? And the opening line: "It's not that I was an outright nitwit of a child." Nitwit? No. Bizarre? Definitely. I'm glad his frontal lobe took so long to develop or we may have missed out on these zany stories surrounding Christmas, the author's FAVORITE holiday and yet, a day that always turned out horribly for him. Aside from a disturbing chapter involving a French Santa, I enjoyed most of his stories. Burroughs writes beautifully; his descriptions paint vivid images and I often felt as though I was sitting with him as he recounted these stories directly to me. I found myself responding, "Why on earth would you do that???" and "Good grief! Turn the water off already!". There are some great lines in this book, many that made me laugh and many that were heartfelt and insightful. For example, "Therapists, I felt, were like poodles; there were simply too many of them for all to be good." And this one: "There were people who had so much strength that you could borrow some, just being in the same room with them." It reads quickly, too. Had I focused myself I could have easily finished this book in one or two sittings even being the slow reader that I am. Overall, I thought it was an okay book but not something I'd rave about. Even so, I'm glad I read it and if you enjoy short stories about a non-nitwit kid making comical mixups between Santa and Jesus, along with stories of love, sacrifice, and loss, you might give this one a try.

  12. 5 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    Bittersweet memories for Burroughs. I totally relate to his early childhood reminiscences of Santa/Jesus. I think most Catholic grade school children would. But then it went dark for me. I stopped laughing when he reached adulthood. I didn't expect that. I've only read Running with Scissors and laughed continuously, so I thought this would be more of the same. There more more sad and pitiful moments on the last few chapters. Not a book to lighten the Christmas spirit, although there is some deep Bittersweet memories for Burroughs. I totally relate to his early childhood reminiscences of Santa/Jesus. I think most Catholic grade school children would. But then it went dark for me. I stopped laughing when he reached adulthood. I didn't expect that. I've only read Running with Scissors and laughed continuously, so I thought this would be more of the same. There more more sad and pitiful moments on the last few chapters. Not a book to lighten the Christmas spirit, although there is some deeper meanings in the retelling.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Topher Hooperton

    Augusten Burroughs has carved a literary career from exposing his troubled family life in Running With Scissors and A Wolf At The Table. Now, with You Better Not Cry, he brings us a festive series of recollections about the disastrous Christmases he has experienced. The early stories tread familiar ground, drawing us back to the young Augusten and his fractious relationship with his mentally unstable mother, taciturn brother, and angry, alcoholic father, and the litany of failures and mishaps (to Augusten Burroughs has carved a literary career from exposing his troubled family life in Running With Scissors and A Wolf At The Table. Now, with You Better Not Cry, he brings us a festive series of recollections about the disastrous Christmases he has experienced. The early stories tread familiar ground, drawing us back to the young Augusten and his fractious relationship with his mentally unstable mother, taciturn brother, and angry, alcoholic father, and the litany of failures and mishaps (to put it lightly) that swirl about them. We find him inexplicably eating the face off a giant Santa Claus, failing spectacularly to craft a seasonally charming gingerbread house (it looks more like a tenement slum), and executing a diabolical plan to get the presents he wants from his warring parents. These stories, like his previous memoirs, are witty and often surprising, but they don't really offer any further insights into the narrative arc that Burroughs has constructed from the pieces of his life. They feel rather more like watching deleted scenes on a DVD: amusing and interesting perhaps, but unnecessary to the story as a whole. Much more interesting, however, are the later pieces, which leap forward into Burrough's adult life. Gone are the bewildered accounts of his childhood experiences, as seen through a veil of youthful confusion about the world. Instead, the adult stories bring the encroaching darkness of his later life into sharp focus. The pieces are still characterised by Burrough's biting wit, covering subjects like his waking up naked next to Santa Claus, hung-over and trying to piece together the night before. But the pandemonium that his early life has left in its wake is tangible. One of the finest stories, Why Do You Reward Me Thus, tells of a drunken three day yuletide period that he spent with some 'bums' outside his apartment. It features an exquisitely sad passage where a homeless woman sings an aria to him, as the snow starts to fall on Christmas Eve, and he gets a glimpse of how easily his alcoholism could dismantle his life. Another of the book's highlights, The Best and Only Everything, recounts the dazzling experience of falling deeply in love, and the subsequent horror of his boyfriend's HIV diagnosis, and the sad, tectonic shift in their relationship. I had approached the book with some degree of trepidation, fearing that it might be akin to a generic Christmas album released by an otherwise well-respected band: a cynical opportunity to tap into the stocking filler market, rather than a spontaneous work in its own right. Thankfully, that's not the case. Although it may lack the cohesion of his other work, there are passages that surpass his previous writing, peppered with surprising poetic flourishes. Burroughs is as funny as he's ever been, but he has also compiled a contemplative book about the intangible essence of Christmas, both its sheer joy and its sadness. As we flick through the fragments of his life, there's a real sense of the fragile line that separates any semblance of order around him with complete chaos, and the mire from which he has pulled himself. http://tvnz.co.nz/lifestyle/you-bette...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    This book is a collection of stories of Augusten's Christmases over the years, starting at childhood and ending at the time of writing the book. The stories of the younger Augusten were sweet and funny. They told of childhood wonder, of mixed up beliefs that kids sometimes get and general childhood. Augusten was a precocious and difficult child but one that saw the world in a different and interesting way. It would have been both a difficult and exciting thing to watch this kid go through life. This book is a collection of stories of Augusten's Christmases over the years, starting at childhood and ending at the time of writing the book. The stories of the younger Augusten were sweet and funny. They told of childhood wonder, of mixed up beliefs that kids sometimes get and general childhood. Augusten was a precocious and difficult child but one that saw the world in a different and interesting way. It would have been both a difficult and exciting thing to watch this kid go through life. In adulthood, Augusten has some low Christmases. The story of his time on the streets was heartwarming, really. That was a nice Christmas story. The last couple of stories are after the hard times. Augusten has found his peace and is happy. These stories are lovely, knowing that he's found his way but they were also the slowest paced. All in all, I enjoyed these and they revolved around Christmas. I preferred the stories of his childhood.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    Christmas can be such a busy time of year, the hustle and bustle of it all. Sometimes that’s fine, and sometimes you (or, more specifically me, myself and I) need a break from the “too much” of it all. Augusten Burroughs “You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas,” a compilation of chronologically told stories of Christmases past, was hopefully just the right thing to bring some merry into the picture. His tales are occasionally charming, funny, heartfelt, sweet and sad, maybe even depressing, b Christmas can be such a busy time of year, the hustle and bustle of it all. Sometimes that’s fine, and sometimes you (or, more specifically me, myself and I) need a break from the “too much” of it all. Augusten Burroughs “You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas,” a compilation of chronologically told stories of Christmases past, was hopefully just the right thing to bring some merry into the picture. His tales are occasionally charming, funny, heartfelt, sweet and sad, maybe even depressing, but overall it was a fun read. Burroughs humorous rant on the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song was one of my favorite parts

  16. 5 out of 5

    Candice

    Oh god. I hated this book so much.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    It started off bad, then got good, then got heartbreakingly good, then got bad again.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I really loved this. In the beginning, I wasn’t so sure but as I got about half way through, I discovered I’d fallen in love with it and may have to read it every Christmas!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    When will they stop allowing authors to read their own audio books? Neil Gaiman is the only one I know who does a good job of it. Augusten Burroughs is among the worst. Someone should have had the guts to tell him how awful he is. So after listening to an excruciating three chapters, I just couldn't do it any longer, but tried to be fair and thought that the text itself might actually be amusing if properly read, so I turned in the audio for a print copy. Regrettably, chapter four consisted of B When will they stop allowing authors to read their own audio books? Neil Gaiman is the only one I know who does a good job of it. Augusten Burroughs is among the worst. Someone should have had the guts to tell him how awful he is. So after listening to an excruciating three chapters, I just couldn't do it any longer, but tried to be fair and thought that the text itself might actually be amusing if properly read, so I turned in the audio for a print copy. Regrettably, chapter four consisted of Burroughs being a tyrannical little brat - nothing amusing or charming to be found. So at that point I decided not to waste another moment. Too many other options out there. Don't bother with this one. Just awful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    aaron

    another memoir by burroughs, another great read. by now you either know augusten burroughs' work or you haven't even heard of him. this is just another in his witty, slightly melodramatic recounts of his life. this one tackles the topic of christmas and gives a few looks into the disaster that christmas can turn out to be. he hits a few ages in this collection, starting from when he was young to just recently. they are all interesting looks into burroughs' psyche which just makes them an interes another memoir by burroughs, another great read. by now you either know augusten burroughs' work or you haven't even heard of him. this is just another in his witty, slightly melodramatic recounts of his life. this one tackles the topic of christmas and gives a few looks into the disaster that christmas can turn out to be. he hits a few ages in this collection, starting from when he was young to just recently. they are all interesting looks into burroughs' psyche which just makes them an interesting read. if you have enjoyed his other books then i would recommend this for you...if you haven't read his others, start with running with scissors and go from there!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jo Ann

    If your able to sit through the movie Bad santa and find some redeeming qualities in it you might like this book. If your able to sit through the movie Bad santa and find some redeeming qualities in it you might like this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    FabulousRaye

    Unfunny, insufferable, and I don't believe any of it. Unfunny, insufferable, and I don't believe any of it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    ALPHAreader

    You can keep your Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp crushes. . . if I am being 100% earnest and honest, my number #1 fan-girl crush is unashamedly on gay American writer, Augusten Burroughs. I have read every one of his books and gotten a stomach cramp from laughing too hard at each one. He is my author/reader soul-mate and I’m sure that if we ever met I would fall at his feet and beg him to be my friend. I love his sense of humour, I love his brutal honesty and I just love him. . . ‘You Better Not Cry’ You can keep your Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp crushes. . . if I am being 100% earnest and honest, my number #1 fan-girl crush is unashamedly on gay American writer, Augusten Burroughs. I have read every one of his books and gotten a stomach cramp from laughing too hard at each one. He is my author/reader soul-mate and I’m sure that if we ever met I would fall at his feet and beg him to be my friend. I love his sense of humour, I love his brutal honesty and I just love him. . . ‘You Better Not Cry’ is further evidence of why Augusten Burroughs holds a special place in my heart. Augusten Burroughs (originally Christopher Robison, until he changed his name at the age of 18) started out writing fiction with his first novel released in 2000 called ‘Sellevision’. That first novel was about four greedy and ambitious people who work at a television company. The novel was good and funny, but it wasn’t until the 2002 release of Burrough’s novel ‘Running with Scissors’ that he made a name for himself and was touted as the voice of a generation. . . ‘Running with Scissors’ was Augusten Burrough’s first memoir, and it was as harrowing as it was hilarious. It told the story of Augusten’s early teen years, when his addict/poet mother gave him up for adoption. . . to her therapist. What followed was years spent at Dr. Finch’s madhouse where the good doctor frequently gave Augusten drug samples, called the family into the bathroom to see his weird-shaped bowel movements and Augusten happily played ‘shock therapy’ with Finch’s youngest child, Natalie. ‘Running with Scissors’ was heralded as a uniquely sharp comedy of unflinching honesty, and was adapted into a 2006 film. Thus began Burrough’s true writing career. In 2003 he wrote ‘Dry’, his memoir about hitting rock-bottom and getting sober. His 2004/2006 memoirs ‘Magical Thinking’ and ‘Possible Side Effects’ revisited his unstable childhood, and in 2008 he wrote ‘A Wolf at the Table’, a biography of his alcoholic father. Burroughs wrote ‘You Better Not Cry’ back in 2009 – a collection of hilariously disturbing and enlightening stories about Augusten’s encounters with Christmas and the fat man. Despite the fact that this is my second re-read of the book, my stomach still cramped from belly-laughs. . . you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into with the book’s opening quote: I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph. - Shirley Temple The short stories take place over the course of Augusten’s life – from when he was a young boy at the age of eight who couldn’t tell the different between Santa and Jesus, to his one-night-stand with a fat, French Santa when he is thirty-something. On the surface each of Augusten’s stories are just a bit of outlandish comedy. But that’s only skin-deep – if you look beyond the antics of a young boy eating a wax Santa replica, you’ll actually notice that each of Burrough’s tales has real heart and perhaps even a moral message (even if you have to wade through murky waters to get there!). Take Augusten’s confusion over Jesus/Santa. It makes sense, in a twisted way, that he would be confused in the month of December when he is bombarded by images of Jesus and Santa yet he is never explicitly told what everyone just expects his young-self to know. As a young child I had Santa and Jesus all mixed up. I could identify Coke or Pepsi with just one sip, but I could not tell you for sure why they strapped Santa to a cross. Had he missed a house? Augusten’s confusion is bitter-sweetly clarified by his Southern, devout grandmother who tries to explain Santa to her grandson; Santa Claus, she explained, did not live in the sky; he flew through it once a year on a sleigh powered by reindeer. He lived in the North Pole with Mrs. Claus and some little people who made toys for him. “You mean midget slaves?” I asked. My grandmother sucked in her air. “Goodness gracious, no, I most certainly do not mean midget slaves. Where did you even learn to combine such words? These are little leprechauns he has up there with him and – ” My grandfather blasted in. “Aw now, hell, Carolyn, don’t go twisting the boy back up in knots all over again now that you finally got him straightened out. They aren’t leprechauns, son. They’re elves. Leprechauns are those little drunk motherfuckers from Ireland.” It’s at once a funny childhood anecdote – but how depressingly humorous is it that not even the adults in Augusten’s life can give a proper definition beyond the Coca-Cola imagining of the man in red. . . Augusten Burrough’s writes a wicked combination of honesty and absurdity. The stories get sharper and funnier with a biting edge as Augusten grows into a curmudgeon alcoholic. The story of how he woke to find he’d just had a drunken one-night-stand with a Santa stand-in is particularly gross-out funny. I knew what I had become. I wasn’t trying to kid myself or anything. I was that old man on the cartoons I used to watch as a kid. What was his name? With the big nose and the ghosts? And there was a little gimp kid that trailed him around? Scrooge, that was it. And didn’t he talk to himself, too? Actually, there was a clinical term for what I had become: miserable fuck. And then there are those short stories that hark back to the true message of Christmas (if, slightly skewed). Those stories that reveal Burrough’s truly soft underbelly. . . at once heart-wrenching, unflatteringly honest and deeply funny. Like the last Christmas that Augusten spent with his boyfriend, who was suffering from the AIDS virus: And I began to let him go. Hour by hour. Days into months. It was a physical sensation, like letting out the string of a kite. Except that the string was coming from my centre. This is what Augusten Burroughs does so well. He writes funny like it’s nobody’s business, but he can turn tables and wear his heart on his sleeve just as easily and powerfully. Augusten Burroughs is the wit of a generation. He is our answer to Oscar Wilde, and if you haven’t yet had the perverse pleasure of reading one of his books, let ‘You Better Not Cry’ be your first introduction to this caustic comedian. A perfect anecdote to Christmas-backlash with an uplifting message amidst the muck.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    eeh. As a dedicated Burroughs fan, I feel like this falls a little flat. Three of his other books, "Dry" (which I tore through in two days), "Magical Thinking: True Stories," and "Lust and Wonder" are absolutely excellent and dive a little deeper into real life and his signature humor and insight than "Better Not." I did laugh through the first story, but overall, this one just didn't grab me enough to want to keep reading. eeh. As a dedicated Burroughs fan, I feel like this falls a little flat. Three of his other books, "Dry" (which I tore through in two days), "Magical Thinking: True Stories," and "Lust and Wonder" are absolutely excellent and dive a little deeper into real life and his signature humor and insight than "Better Not." I did laugh through the first story, but overall, this one just didn't grab me enough to want to keep reading.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sammi

    2.5 Augusten at this point is like a comfort food to me. I appreciate his humor, wackiness & the stories he tells. I feel like he’s a friend. I didn’t dislike the book it just nothing stuck to me. I appreciated his Santa-Jesus story & his George stories but much of the rest just faded in my brain. I always appreciate a holiday related memoir though!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    Augusten Burroughs really blew this one out of the water. He made me laugh, he made me sad (I can't say 'cry'), he was touching and sincere, mean and petty, spiteful and backstabbing. STORY 1: You Better Not Cry. A hilarious story of Augusten's childhood and his inability to tell Jesus and Santa apart. STORY 2: And Two Eyes Made Out of Coal. A funny story about Little Augusten's failed attempt to make a gingerbread house, ending with love for his brother. STORY 3: Claus and Effect. A story that giv Augusten Burroughs really blew this one out of the water. He made me laugh, he made me sad (I can't say 'cry'), he was touching and sincere, mean and petty, spiteful and backstabbing. STORY 1: You Better Not Cry. A hilarious story of Augusten's childhood and his inability to tell Jesus and Santa apart. STORY 2: And Two Eyes Made Out of Coal. A funny story about Little Augusten's failed attempt to make a gingerbread house, ending with love for his brother. STORY 3: Claus and Effect. A story that gives you another look at how f*cked-up Augusten's family was and also what a horrible, wretched, spoiled little boy he was. Funny. A loving mother tops the ending off nicely. STORY 4: Ask Again Later. A horrifying story about how during Augusten's alcoholic years he had sex with an old, French, department-store Santa. Extremely mean story, with a sort-of: look-at-how-alcohol-is-helping-me-make-poor-decisions message. STORY 5: Why Do You Reward Me Thus? Augusten, a curmudgeon who hates Christmas, spends Christmas with the homeless while drunk out of his mind and has some revelations. Another story from his alcoholic days and a sign he needs to give up the drinking, very well-written and insightful. STORY 6: The Best and Only Everything. This is the best story of the whole collection. It is absolutely heart-rending. It's about Augusten and his boyfriend (now deceased) who had AIDS. A wonderful, touching portrait of how the illness affects people's lives and how it affects lovers. Putting AIDS aside, it's also a rare glimpse into Augusten's actual tender feelings (they're there, believe it or not, buried REALLY deep) and an amazing intimate look at a relationship. A+ STORY 7: Silent Night. This story, I think, perfectly blends comedy and sentiment into one beautiful story. Augusten tries to make a nice, happy Christmas for himself and his husband, with disastrous results. Definitely 'A' material. Say what you want about Augusten Burroughs - say that he's a selfish, crass, judgmental, petty and shallow human being. But say one thing - he's really doing good work with his writing on alcoholism. Even though he's been sober for years now, he keeps his lessons and his progress close to his heart (which you have to do, of course, to remain sober). His funny, touching, realistic way of looking at addiction, how it's treated, and how difficult it is to overcome is excellent. I feel as if he is really doing a service by sharing his experiences with alcoholism. And addicts of anything else will be able to identify with his stories in spirit, if not the exact details. I also think his story THE BEST AND ONLY EVERYTHING really was an amazing look at AIDS and how it affects people - and how it, in some ways, can't even change what is sometimes the most basic chemistry of how two people interact. This story was touching and real without being a sapfest and I really, really think it is probably the best thing Burroughs has ever written.

  27. 4 out of 5

    JP

    Initially I didn't know what to expect from this book. I guess, when it's coming from Augusten Burroughs, I always knew that it would be quirky but I assumed it could not be any weirder than his most famous piece: Running with Scissors. Eventually I stood corrected. The story revolves around Burroughs’ memory of Christmas across several points of time. However, it’s not going to be a white-Christmas-and-glowing-tree kind of story as disconcerting events and morbid conversations demand being pres Initially I didn't know what to expect from this book. I guess, when it's coming from Augusten Burroughs, I always knew that it would be quirky but I assumed it could not be any weirder than his most famous piece: Running with Scissors. Eventually I stood corrected. The story revolves around Burroughs’ memory of Christmas across several points of time. However, it’s not going to be a white-Christmas-and-glowing-tree kind of story as disconcerting events and morbid conversations demand being present in the midst of festivity. Anyway, the book actually starts off quite hilarious and comical before it leads to blatant profanity and disturbing affairs. Honestly, I almost regretted having bought this book despite getting it from clearance sale. But then, the narration takes another turn toward a whole new direction. Burroughs shares other stages of his life where he was more mature and mentally much stronger. Some events are dark, some are gloomy, others are sweet, but never any less funny. Sometimes, they might even reflect elusive wisdom and overlooked beauty; just as he beautifully explains in the simplest (although, mostly forgotten) way: “And attraction is our most ancient drive, it is why we are. Attraction is the very point of gravity; timespace itself bends to allow it. It is attraction in its pure form that holds the galaxy together. Attraction is our glue.” There is this familiar bittersweet taste that I encounter as I dive deep into his stories. I might completely disagree with how he thinks and the decisions he makes; but again, it is not my life. It is his life. My life can never be any more different from his in a lot of aspects, but how strange it is to see someone I don’t know writing down in all precision all those things that I know by feeling but haven’t been able to put down in words. And really, it amazes me to see how completely different events can make two people experience exactly the same feeling. “Acceptance, when it comes, arrives in waves: Listen with your chest. You will feel a pendulum swing within you, favoring one direction or another. And that is your answer. The answer is always inside your chest. The right choice weighs more. That’s how you know. It causes you to lean in its direction.” The right choice weighs more. Probably that passage explains very well why I ended up bringing this book home after several minutes of consideration. I am glad I bought this book. I give it three stars (out of five) for the stories, but overall four stars for its ability to evoke emotions. This is a book that will play with your feelings and allow you to experience different spectrums of emotions in just one sitting. At the end of the day, it gives your heart a soft nudge that reminds you of Christmas and the essence of being a human: to have compassion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    J

    When did Christmas become "the holiday you love to hate and hate to love" as described in the book jacket?! Hating Christmas is akin to hating Shirley Temple and Easter bunnies. I've been searching for festive holiday reading material and have stumbled into a patch of snarky & cycnical books on the 'darkside' of the holidays. I get frustrated and stressed during the holidays too, but I'm shocked that anyone would take the time to write (or read) a negative book about the holidays. I don't enjoy When did Christmas become "the holiday you love to hate and hate to love" as described in the book jacket?! Hating Christmas is akin to hating Shirley Temple and Easter bunnies. I've been searching for festive holiday reading material and have stumbled into a patch of snarky & cycnical books on the 'darkside' of the holidays. I get frustrated and stressed during the holidays too, but I'm shocked that anyone would take the time to write (or read) a negative book about the holidays. I don't enjoy these types of books. They seemed aimed at tearing down Christmas. Not cool. In this book, the red font was attractive and the grammer/language was easy to read, but the message was confused and mainly negative. It was like listening to an ex-stoner try to recall childhood memories. The stories seemed really random. And if half of the stories are true, the author needs serious mental help. It wasn't funny to me, it was scary and boring. Disturbing is an apt description. I stopped reading when the author described waking up after a homosexual encounter with an old man who looked like Santa Claus. Not what I'm looking for in a feel-good holiday novel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    The newest option by Augusten Burroughs brings together seven short biographical essays relating to some of his Christmas experiences. The stories are full of the wry wit that is found in much of the rest of his work, but I thought that the tales didn't float quite as well. In his earlier books, most of the stories had a common themed and flowed more evenly. The earliest pieces highlight his earliest confusion between Santa and Jesus since modern America seems to celebrate them equally during the The newest option by Augusten Burroughs brings together seven short biographical essays relating to some of his Christmas experiences. The stories are full of the wry wit that is found in much of the rest of his work, but I thought that the tales didn't float quite as well. In his earlier books, most of the stories had a common themed and flowed more evenly. The earliest pieces highlight his earliest confusion between Santa and Jesus since modern America seems to celebrate them equally during the holiday season. He later moves on to adulthood when he has a surprising interaction with a French Santa, a special Christmas with a boyfriend who is coming to terms with how AIDS has changed his life, and finding a great deal of holiday cheer despite things going terribly wrong with a new house. The last story seemed a little forced when it comes to the theme. It is set during the Christmas season, but that is about the extent of things. It was a quick and enjoyable read, but definitely not Burroughs' best.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    It seems like such an overused term, but this book really is a roller coaster. The first two stories, about Augusten as his childhood experiences with Christmas were rather funny, and reasonably light compared to where it went next. Then it goes to a story where Augusten wakes up next to a smelly man dressed as Santa, and I got confused. This was my first book by this author, and I had to check that this was actually a memoir because this story didn't refer to him by name. The dark humor was som It seems like such an overused term, but this book really is a roller coaster. The first two stories, about Augusten as his childhood experiences with Christmas were rather funny, and reasonably light compared to where it went next. Then it goes to a story where Augusten wakes up next to a smelly man dressed as Santa, and I got confused. This was my first book by this author, and I had to check that this was actually a memoir because this story didn't refer to him by name. The dark humor was something I grew to like though, and then the terrible/beautiful story about George. I didn't expect a completely personal book of short stories; I actually picked this up on the Christmas stall at the book fair earlier this year, next to grinning Rudolph books. I was saving it for closer to Christmas, but really went in not knowing much about it. Now I want to read the author's other books, to see how they compare. All I know is this is completely off the spectrum for what I would normally read, but I loved it! Four stars.

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