You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs

I’m not usually much for Christmas-themed memoirs, but I found this one at The Dollar Tree and I’d read some other stuff by Burroughs, so I figured I would give it a try.

This was a brief memoir of Christmas tales, with some other stuff thrown in. I guess the point was to make one feel hopeful, to experience some catharsis, to realize that our own lives and Christmases aren’t as bad as Burroughs’, etc. I kept hoping he’d get the Christmas he wanted: simple, at home, with a tree and some food and someone he loved nearby. Unfortunately, Burroughs comes to believe he carries a Christmas curse because his are fraught with disasters like AIDS and house floods. This wasn’t the funny collection I’d expected; still, I enjoyed the parts where he was defiled by the dirty French Santa, his confusion over the difference between Santa and Jesus (I wonder if more American kids don’t actually have that same dilemma), and the stomach pumping after he eats off the waxy face of his life-size Christmas Santa/Jesus. Not a laugh-riot, but a quick and fairly entertaining read.

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