A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father

By Augusten Burroughs

Nominated for the 2009 Audiobook of the Year

"As a bit boy, I had a dream that my father had taken me to the woods the place there has been a lifeless physique. He buried it and instructed me i have to by no means inform. It used to be the single factor we might ever performed jointly as father and son, and that i promised to not inform. yet not like such a lot desires, the reminiscence of this one by no means left me. And sometimes…I wasn't altogether certain approximately something: used to be it only a dream?"

When Augusten Burroughs used to be small, his father used to be a shadowy presence in his lifestyles: a sort at the stairs, a cough from the basement, a silent determine smoking a cigarette at midnight. As Augusten grew older, anything sinister inside of his father started to unfurl. anything darkish and secretive which may no longer be named.

Betrayal after stunning betrayal ensued, and Augusten's early life was once over. the type of father he sought after did not exist for him. This father was once far-off, aloof, uninterested…

And then the "games" all started.

With A Wolf on the Table, Augusten Burroughs makes a quantum jump into untapped emotional terrain: the novel pendulum swing among love and hate, the unspeakably terrifying dating among father and son. advised with sizzling honesty and penetrating perception, it's a tale for somebody who has ever longed for unconditional love from a mum or dad. even though harrowing and brutal, A Wolf on the Table will eventually go away you buoyed with the profound pleasure of easily being alive. it is a memoir of wonderful mental cruelty and the redemptive energy of hope.

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They combed his hair till it was once as tender and effective because the satin hem of a baby’s blanket. They unscrewed a lipstick and informed him, “Pucker, like you’ve obtained your self a lady to kiss,” and my father might pucker in obedience, imagining his mysterious mother—pale, nearly obvious, gorgeous, hardly visible. Then they'd observe the lipstick, blot the surplus with a tissue. “So pretty,” they might say, all 3 ladies status in the back of him and searching at his mirrored image within the reflect. Even during the rouge they can see that he was once blushing, yet his belief in them used to be entire. by no means may they shriek, “Fooled you! ” and chortle at him, then run screaming and guffawing from the room. the ladies had a hot, narcotic impression upon my little boy father, lulling him right into a kind of drowsy, perpetual gorged pleasure. within the sweltering warmth in their Georgia home’s small, rosebud-papered rooms, they did every thing for him. And he, enchanted by way of those 3 sweet-smelling, cool-fingered creatures, was once dedicated to them, totally. Granddaddy Dandy used to be beside himself to have a bit guy in the home. whereas he loved his daughters, he did have 4 of them. certain, he knew that with those ladies there will be extra hassle forward. He couldn’t retain the lads away with a shotgun eternally. in the end, all of the remainder of them could fall in love after which there will be weddings and tears and extra kitchen home equipment to shop for. He couldn’t have recognized it then, yet in precisely many years, Dixie the infant might elope with certainly one of Dandy’s personal jockeys—an abomination! —and they'd flee to Havana, hysterical newlyweds at the run. Dandy might take off after them along with his Winchester, have the wedding annulled, and threaten the jockey’s existence if he ever lots as dreamed of his child Dixie back. Dandy might be suggest as a snake while he needed to be, and with 4 daughters, he needed to be. So yes used to be he that those women would—sooner instead of later—be the top of him, he’d already bought his plot on the Chickamauga cemetery. therefore, to have a boy, finally! Like a drink of cool water from the deep, deep good. Hand in hand, they walked each morning to his drugstore at the major highway. “Young sir, do you want to do us the dignity? ” he requested, passing the bronze key to my father. status up as immediately as he may perhaps, perhaps even emerging up on his feet, my father unlocked the door and Dandy into the rear place of work. Dandy spent the day status in his starched white coat in the back of the drugstore counter, filling orders to appease the diseases of the Chickamauga electorate: Dr. Pitcher’s Castoria Mint (known as “the friendly laxative,” and continuously requested for in a furtive whisper), Pinex Throat drugs (both the sheriff and the mailman might testify to its efficacy), and, in fact, Azomis child Powder for decent, rashy babies, and DeWitt’s Golden Liniment for burns, scalds, toothaches, and normal lameness. It was once rumored that Widow Henderson even used it as a good looks cream underneath her eyes, a weird self-importance that used to be commonly forgiven end result of the unspeakable nature of her tragedy as any such younger widow.

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