Lust & Wonder
Staff Review: Lust & Wonder
After chronicling his extraordinarily unstable upbringing in Running with Scissors and his journey to become sober in Dry, Augusten Burroughs uses his latest book to explore the two romantic relationships that led to him meeting his husband, Christopher.
The first section of this page-turner covers his 1990s-era relationship with Mitch, a successful-yet-pessimistic author whom Burroughs realizes after years of dating that he’s no longer (and possibly never was) attracted to. The second (and perhaps most captivating) chapter covers Burroughs’ relationship with Dennis, a man with whom Burroughs shared a life with for a decade, despite there always being a sense of discord between the two. It’s during this period that Burroughs is most transparent, inviting you into his mind as he experiences every hope, every doubt, every second-guess and every other roller-coaster-like emotion one experiences while in a relationship.
Having read books by Burroughs in the past, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from this 2016 memoir, including cunning observations about society and self-deprecating admissions about his own shortcomings and hang-ups. Burroughs’ book aims to teach the reader that you can learn something about yourself from every relationship if you just pay attention and listen – and he greatly succeeds in doing so.