A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father

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A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father

by Augusten Burroughs
Read by Augusten Burroughs, Patti Smith

Picador | March 31, 2009 | Trade Paperback |

5 out of 5 rating. 250 Reviews
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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.

 

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: March 31, 2009

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0312428278

ISBN - 13: 9780312428273

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father

A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father

by Augusten Burroughs
Read by Augusten Burroughs, Patti Smith

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: March 31, 2009

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0312428278

ISBN - 13: 9780312428273

About the Book

"The Instant National Bestseller from the Author of "Running with Scissors

With "A Wolf at the Table," the prequel to his bestseller "Running with Scissors," Augusten Burroughs re-creates the unspeakably terrifying relationship between a sociopathic father and a son yearning for unconditional love. Emotionally unflinching and brave, "A Wolf at the Table" is a truly devestating look at the distance that can separate fathers and sons.

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 Sitting in my high chair, I held a saltine cracker up to my eye and peered through one of the tiny holes, astonished that I could see so much through such a small opening. Everything on the other side of the kitchen seemed nearer when viewed through this little window. The cracker was huge, larger than my hand. And through this pinprick hole I could see the world. I brought the cracker to my lips, nibbled off the corners, and mashed the rest into a dry, salty dust. I clapped, enchanted.   The hem of my mother’s skirt. A wicker lantern that hangs from the ceiling, painting the walls with sliding, breathing shadows. A wooden spoon and the hollow knock as it strikes the interior of a simmering pot. My high chair’s cool metal tray and the backs of my legs stuck to the seat. My mother twisting the telephone cord around her fingers, my mouth on the cord, the deeply satisfying sensation of biting the tight, springy loops. I was one and a half years old.   These fragments are all that remain of my early childhood. There are no words, just sounds: my mother’s breathy humming in my ear, her voice the most familiar thing to me, more known than my own hand. My hand still surprises me at all times; the lines and creases, the way the webbing between my fingers glows red if I hold up my hand to block the sun. My mother’s voice is my home and when I am surrounded by her sounds, I sleep. The thickly slippery feel of my bottle’s rubber nipple i
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From the Publisher

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.

 

About the Author

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.

Editorial Reviews

"Intense, sincere, and passionate, Burroughs offers a deeply felt, intimate portrait of the most disastrous period in his life.  He holds nothing back, and in fully giving voice to his emotions, he makes each moment immediate for the listener." - AudioFile   "In audiobook form, Burroughs''s memoir is an unforgettable experience that will resonate with many." - Library Journal , Starred Review   "...There are books that were born for bells and whistles, and Augusten Burrough''s Wolf at the Table is one.  This fifth memoir of abuse and excess is read, bleated, rumbled and, at times, tearfully shouted by the author himself. The audio book includes sound effects and occasional instrumental music, and it breaks new ground by presenting four songs written expressly for the productions. There is one each from Patti Smith, Ingrid Michaelson, Sea Wolf and Tegan Quin." - Washington Post   “I felt that because this book is different than anything I have written before, it deserved a very unique, special treatment and production.” — Augusten Burroughs on A Wolf at the Table   “I wanted an audiobook for the iPod generation – for people who love books but also love music and film.  I wanted to bring the book to life as fully as possible.” — Augusten Burroughs on A Wolf at the Table  in Publishers Weekly “Bestselling author Burroughs has written a brutally frank memoir about his father – his diffic
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Bookclub Guide

About this Guide

The following author biography and list of questions about A Wolf at the Table are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach A Wolf at the Table.

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