You Better Not Cry

running with scissorsWhen I was looking for books for the 2009 Holiday Reading Challenge I came across Augusten Burroughs' You Better Not Cry. I added it to my library request list never expecting it to actually get to me before Christmas. I was very surprised when it did.

I haven't read Running With Scissors but I know enough about it to not expect this to fall under the "twee Christmas book" category. The very first story pretty much confirmed that. Based on what I knew about Running With Scissors it was what I expected, as were the next few stories.

But then it shifts.

Burroughs gets softer. He goes deeper. He stops going for laughs. Well, not completely but in a more poignant manner. The last couple of stories are of love, and of loss.

In the first story he's just a boy but by the end he's grown up. I don't mean that just in an age kind of way. He's an adult in many of the stories but there's a maturity to the last few stories that's quite touching.

People who really liked the style and tone of Running With Scissors probably would enjoy the beginning of the collection more than the end, but for me the final stories rang with more truth. Burroughs didn't resort to the humor he's known for. He tells things simply, and sometime sadly. I think that I'll be doing things in the future that will remind of those stories and when I do I'll smile, a bit sadly, and be thankful that I read them.