Lust & Wonder: A Memoir

After chronicling his wildly dysfunctional childhood (Running with Scissors) and his addiction and recovery (Dry), Augusten Burroughs tackles his largely unlucky search for romance and the man of his dreams in Lust & Wonder: A Memoir. Fans will find a new vulnerability added to Burroughs's usual mix of harrowing and hilarious confessions.

Burroughs abandons his sobriety after the death of a beloved HIV+ friend. Buying and drinking two bottles of scotch becomes a daily ritual. "I can say this with authority: a queen-sized mattress can hold a year's worth of urine and still be perfectly serviceable," he writes. He pulls himself out of his stupor by writing a satirical novel, Sellevision. Burroughs becomes smitten with his dashing new agent, Christopher, but rules out a romance because Christopher is HIV+. Instead, he starts a relationship with Dennis. "Dennis had the soul of an accountant, and was exceedingly good at cataloguing my flaws," he writes. After a decade together, he and Dennis finally admit their relationship is not happy. Suddenly single again, Burroughs wonders if Christopher has been his Mr. Right all along.

Burroughs's wit and pen are razor-sharp, and his observations are acerbically funny. He avoids becoming unlikable by saving his best jabs for himself. When he does drop the laughs, he can be vulnerable and emotionally raw, as when dealing with the slow death of his relationship with Dennis. Readers will delight in the fact that by this memoir's end, it looks like Burroughs may have finally found his happily ever after. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

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