By: Augusten Burroughs
You guys, we’re getting really exciting up in here today. For the first time ever, I’m reviewing an audio book. I know, I know – big changes! But why, you ask? Well, if I’ve talked to you in the past 7 weeks, you’ve probably heard me mention (read – bitch, complain, bemoan, etc.) my 3 hour per day commute. I came to the realization last week that I should probably look out the window of my train once in a while – and that definitely wasn’t going to happen with my nose constantly buried in a book. And while diving into the world of audio books feels a tad as though I’m being unfaithful to my lovely books, I kind of just felt like a change. You know, #YOLO and all that (I’m terribly sorry for writing that. I’ll never throw YOLO into a post again).
So here goes – audio book review numero uno.
Synopsis: Tales of an ex-advertising New Yorker turned author. You’ll come to learn things that you’ve always wondered about, such as: what it’s like to date an undertaker, how to kill a mouse that has found its way into your bathtub, and the best method for dealing with a thieving dwarf house cleaner.
Thoughts: I used to listen to audio books all the time. Traffic in LA is always a bit of a monster, and audio books provided a nice distraction from road rage. The thing with audio books is that there are two components that can make or break the experience. First (and most important) is the content. A bad book is a bad audio book. Full stop. And second (also very important) is the narrator. A bad narrator can turn a great book into a painful experience. And on the flip side, a good narrator (a.k.a. the master of audio book narration, Stephen Fry, who expertly narrated the Harry Potter series) can really make a book come to life.
So first – the content of Magical Thinking. Augusten Burroughs reminded me very much of David Sedaris – just a little raunchier and a bit less funny. I think each of his stories made me laugh out loud at least once which A. is a pretty good sign and B. makes me look like a crazy on the train. My one complaint is that he seemed a tad full of himself. I think what I like about Sedaris is his self-deprecating nature. Burroughs, on the other hand, talked a tad too much about how attractive he was for my taste. But looking past that, I did enjoy most of his stories.
And the narrator. Well, in this case, the narrator was Augusten Burroughs himself. Especially in the case of a memoir-type book, I felt like hearing the stories from the author gave me a better understanding of the nuances behind some of the stories. Which, at least in my opinion, enhanced the experience.
So there you have it. Overall an enjoyable listen (and I’m sure the same goes for the read). If you haven’t read any David Sedaris, go for his stuff first. But if you’re looking for something else, this wasn’t half bad!
Overall Grade: B+