Tell Us What You Really Think

Janet Maslin takes an ax to The Wolf at the Table in today’s New York Times (I had to check the byline twice to make sure it wasn’t Michiko Kakutani). A few other reviewers have been disappointed that Burroughs has abandoned his usual pain tinged with humor, but Maslin goes further, “Determinedly unfunny, awkwardly histrionic and sometimes anything but credible, it repudiates everything that put Mr. Burroughs on the map.”

In contrast, the Washington Post’s critic, as we quoted earlier, sees the change differently

Burroughs is doing something new here: ripping the scabs off emotional wounds without his usual acidic humor to deaden the pain…Still, Burroughs retains his capacity to move the reader: There is gorgeous writing on every page….Burroughs is to be commended for addressing this painful material head-on and with such sobriety, but I can’t help missing his crisp, biting humor and the immediacy of an author who typically puts his reader right alongside him for the journey. As much as I admire his brave effort, I felt relegated to the back seat. With Augusten Burroughs, I want to be riding shotgun.

People magazine gave it four stars out of a possible four.

A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father

by Augusten Burroughs

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (April 29, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0312342020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312342029
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $29.95
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio; (April 29, 2008)
  • Reader: Augusten Burroughs
  • ISBN-10: 142720425X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427204257

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