Book Group: John Walsh reviews the June book - Dry, by Augusten Burroughs
Self-absorbed, but a brilliant read
Friday 01 July 2005
Its sequel, Dry, finds our hero now 24, a creative writer in a Manhattan ad agency, a frequenter of bars – and a raging alcoholic. His 4am vodka binges, his evenings spent flooring Dewar's scotch with cider chasers, catch up with him and he is sent by his boss to 30 days in rehab.
After the exhilaration of Scissors, Dry starts disappointingly: the drinks, cover-ups, missed alarm calls, and group-therapy routines seem a little over-familiar and second-hand. But darker notes are sounded. Gradually a theme emerges: is it OK to be a profoundly vain and shallow person, when it's so painful to have feelings?
It's absurdly self-absorbed, and Burroughs' emotional handbrake turns sometimes stretch credibility; but it's still a brilliantly written, evocative and finally convincing descent into nothingness.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
X Factor 2014 review: Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole clash over Rouge Kiss
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Exhibit B: 'Racist' human zoo installation criticised by protesters outside the Barbican
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke