Lust & Wonder | Augusten Burroughs
I'm living in a post- Augusten funk again.
Admittedly, I'll read anything this man writes. His wit, candor, authenticity, and openness draw me in. And he's self-aware and a bit crazy, which are two combinations that I just love. Lust & Wonder is Burrough's 10th book and his first full memoir in 10(ish) years. It’s called lust and wonder, but there are many more stages that get explored. It essentially picks up from his relationship with his former partner Dennis and leads readers through their demise and his realization of who he is and who he feels he's been in love with all along. Fans will follow him into this “more mature” Augusten, but critics might long for his old style. Personally, I like this version. I appreciate that he shared about his partner's health and the reality that many couples go through. He’s happy and deeply in love, and writing for him is no longer about just keeping his wits about him.
There were items that get repeated more than once (was raised by his mother's psychiatrist, the effect his boyband’s laugh has on him), but it wasn't anything that took away from the story for me.
My recommendation to you is this: read Magical Thinking and then dive right into Lust & Wonder. In between don't read Augusten's bio if you want to be surprised at what the 10 years brought. I loved the way in which he described his relationship with his then partner in Magical Thinking:
In exchange, I get unlimited access to the one person I have met in my life whom I automatically felt was out of my league. My favorite human being, the single person I cherish above all others. This is the person I get to share the oxygen in the room with .
And for this, I will happily scrub the toilet.
Swoon, right? I couldn’t possibly imagine anything happening to this relationship! But, as they say, life goes on and people change. Luckily, we’re allowed to peer into the details surrounding the inevitable fail of the past relationship and the creation of this new one. As always, reading Augusten Burroughs made me laugh, got me teary eyed, and made me feel less bad about my own bad parts.
Quotable: I know now: what is all that matters. Not the thing you know is meant to be, not not what could be, not what should be, not what ought to be, not what once was. Only the is.
The is. That's all that matters.