This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.
May 25, 2012 UPDATE: News flash for Burroughs fans. I wrote this review long before the book was released. Now it has been out for a few weeks, and it is receiving a big thumbs down from people who have loved his other books. Personally, I found his previous books more dark than funny, but I seem to be in the minority. So pay attention here. THIS IS NOT LIKE HIS OTHER BOOKS. There are a lot of angry readers out there who ordered the book without reading advance reviews, and now they're all bent out of shape because it's not what they expected.If you've read the author's autobiographical works, you know he's been through more ugliness than most of us. Here he shares a distillation of his life's lessons, and the techniques that did and did not work for him along the way. This Is How is a catch-all self-help book for the desperate, the disillusioned, or the merely curious. The laughs are there, as expected, but Augusten Burroughs is very much in earnest with his messages. There are 28 short chapters ranging from How To Be Fat to How To Let a Child Die. Burroughs is the kind of friend you want to have around when it's time to stop whining and wallowing and get serious about change. He'll give you that boot in the backside followed by a gentle exhortation to be hopeful and optimistic. "Stop lying to yourself, but don't you dare give up" is the overarching theme in the book. A lot of what you'll find here is common sense, but Burroughs's delivery motivates you to use that sense in a practical way. His style is often hard-hitting, occasionally punctuated by coarse language. What's surprising, though, is the tenderness and insight that accompany his boldness. One-size-fits-all looks a little different on each person, but there's something here for everyone. What I found irrelevant may be just what someone else needs to hear. Even the parts that don't apply to you will have information to help you be more sensitive to the struggles of others. For me this is the best out of all of Burroughs's books.