A Wolf at the Table

A Wolf at the Table : A Memoir of My Father

3.7 (23,090 ratings by Goodreads)
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Nominated for the 2009 Audiobook of the Year"As a little boy, I had a dream that my father had taken me to the woods where there was a dead body. He buried it and told me I must never tell. It was the only thing we'd ever done together as father and son, and I promised not to tell. But unlike most dreams, the memory of this one never left me. And sometimes I wasn't altogether sure about one thing: was it just a dream?"When Augusten Burroughs was small, his father was a shadowy presence in his life: a form on the stairs, a cough from the basement, a silent figure smoking a cigarette in the dark. As Augusten grew older, something sinister within his father began to unfurl. Something dark and secretive that could not be named. Betrayal after shocking betrayal ensued, and Augusten's childhood was over. The kind of father he wanted didn't exist for him. This father was distant, aloof, uninterested And then the "games" began. With "A Wolf at the Table, " Augusten Burroughs makes a quantum leap into untapped emotional terrain: the radical pendulum swing between love and hate, the unspeakably terrifying relationship between father and son. Told with scorching honesty and penetrating insight, it is a story for anyone who has ever longed for unconditional love from a parent. Though harrowing and brutal, "A Wolf at the Table" will ultimately leave you buoyed with the profound joy of simply being alive. It's a memoir of stunning psychological cruelty and the redemptive power of hope."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 137.16 x 205.74 x 22.86mm | 249.47g
  • St Martin's Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Picador.
  • 0312428278
  • 9780312428273
  • 75,080

Review quote

"A serious departure . . . a moving depiction of fear and powerlessness from a child's point of view . . . compelling."--Deirdre Donahue, "USA"" Today""Shocking and terrifyingly thrilling, hooks the reader immediately."--"The Washington Post""An infinitely darker work than the author's previous takes on family dysfunction. Before his mother sent him to live with the loony shrink he immortalized in "Running With Scissors," Burroughs was a kid at the mercy of a father he believes was a sociopath. . . . Burrough's famous humor is mostly absent from this account, yet "Wolf "is not a grim book. How did he survive? . . . Writing--luckily for him and us--helped save him."--"People," A four-star "People "Pick"With his new book, Burroughs breaks our hearts. Big time . . . "A Wolf at the Table "skillfully reminds us that the past never goes away. It's in our blood."--"Rocky Mountain News "(A)"Whether your childhood was a fairy tale or a horror story, you'll be engrossed. . . . Even fans of previous work will be shocked by this story, the first chapter of a remarkable life."--"Parade " "A searing, emotional portrait of a son who wants nothing more than the love his father will not grant him, Burroughs's latest memoir is indeed powerful."--"Publishers Weekly," Starred Review"As the pre-eminent writer of family dysfunction, Burroughs makes a convincing new case for the common heartbreak of distance between fathers and sons."--"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"show more

About Augusten Burroughs

Augusten Burroughs is the "New York Times "bestselling author of "Possible Side Effects, Magical ""Thinking," "Dry," "Running with Scissors," and "Sellevision." His work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. He lives in New York City and Amherst, Massachusetts.show more

Our customer reviews

This is the first book I read by Augusten Burroughs. I found it to be an enjoyable read because the author was so brutally honest. He didn't hold anything back and shares his emotions with you in great detail. Burroughs has survived a nightmare of a childhood. He brings a whole new meaning to a "dysfunctional family". The book describes mostly the event is the authors childhood. He father was an abusive alcoholic and his mother was emotionally damaged. His father tortured Burroughs and his family in many ways and you get to experience it all through the authors thrilling details. Augusten Burroughs is a survivor. After everything he was put through he made it out and turned his life around. Most people would be permanently damaged, or stuck in self-pity. But Burroughs is incredibly strong and truly motivating. Though I do wish Burroughs was so focused on himself. I wish he tried to understand what made his father such a terrible human being and explore those thoughts in his writing. Burroughs was so caught up with himself that there was no room for the other people in his life to be analyzed.show more
by Samantha
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