Toil & Trouble (Signed Book)

Toil & Trouble (Signed Book)

by Augusten Burroughs

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching...and just a little spooky.

"Here’s a partial list of things I don’t believe in: God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Life after death. Vampires. Zombies. Reiki. Homeopathy. Rolfing. Reflexology. Note that 'witches' and 'witchcraft' are absent from this list. The thing is, I wouldn’t believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch."

For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn't have known. He manifested things that shouldn't have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared--until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that's a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift.

From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man's journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of Satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250266668
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 312
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS is the number one New York Times bestselling author of This is How, A Wolf at the Table, You Better Not Cry, Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking, Dry, Running with Scissors, and Sellevision.

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Toil & Trouble (Signed Book) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
TUDORQUEEN 6 days ago
3.5 Stars My love of biographies drew me to this offering from Augusten Burroughs (not the name he was born with, but one he fashioned for himself). He is a gay writer who formerly worked in marketing, who has been married to his literary agent Christopher for a couple of decades. Oh, and he's a witch. There are actually a lot of witches in his family, primarily his mother and grandmother, and his Uncle Mercer- who constantly fights against the notion of being one. As the book begins, Augusten relates the story of being a pre-teen child riding along on his school bus and having a clear, sudden premonition that something bad happened to his grandmother. He jolted from the bus, on a tear to ask his mother about it. It was then that she had the heart to heart about Augusten's "gift" and the legacy of it running in the family. Augusten clarifies the realities of what a witch can do, and how the gift actually operates in contrast to what one might surmise from a campy witch movie. He had a rough time during his childhood, being treated like an outcast. He had a penchant for dressing a lot differently than the other kids, in perhaps what would be considered a garish/flamboyant fashion. He also didn't get very far in school, but through sheer talent and gumption became successful in the marketing field. He also literally willed himself to succeed in writing, and you could call it a kind of magic that he did. My favorite part of the book was when he convinced his husband to move from New York City (where Christopher had an apartment for decades) to an old, secluded house in Connecticut with lots of land around it. This new environment was fodder for many interesting stories involving an eccentric neighbor, a huge, ancient maple tree, supernatural events with paintings, etc. One unfortunate faux pas I encountered were some political slams, something that's been cropping up in a lot of autobiographies lately. Congratulations on isolating half of your audience. Otherwise, the writing quality was very good, and inflected with humor. Thank you to the publisher St. Martin's Press for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.
Jill-Elizabeth_dot_com 9 days ago
I have an on-again/off-again relationship with Augusten Burroughs books - I like his writing style, but because he's so good at drawing you into his words, but find that his painful history often means I can only handle the reading in small doses before feeling overwhelmed and too weary to continue... This is the first book of his that I was able to read straight through, without ever getting that sense of being weighed down. I thoroughly enjoyed his mixture of contemporary and historical experiences and thought he blended them in just the right measures. I sometimes find an officious tone in his writing - he admits to a certain degree of anxiety-derived superciliousness in this one, which I found refreshing and reinforcing! - and it can pull me out of his narratives to a distracting degree. There was none of that here - instead I found the writing wholly engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his take on magick, mystery, and life. I loved the exploits of moving to the country and the incredible cast of characters (from evil trees to witch realtors) he encountered there. This was a great read! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.
LHill2110 10 days ago
It’s hard to believe but this is my first Augusten Burroughs book! I’ve heard of Running With Scissors of course but somehow never managed to get to it. My loss. Burroughs is funny, clever, and writes in a wickedly delicious, entre-nous style. In this segment of his ongoing memoirs, he and husband Christopher make the move out of Manhattan. This includes convincing Christopher that he wants to move, searching for houses, and engaging with the “perfect” home once purchased. The heavy thread running over, under, and through it all (as you might have guessed from the title) are his “magick” and witchcraft skills. Regardless of your opinion on witchcraft, this is a compelling and comprehensive story, comprising personal experience, historical references, an analysis of what witchcraft really is, and lots of lots of laugh-inducing stories. I tossed skepticism aside and just ate it all up. Reading this book (and probably all of the others), it’s hard not to want to want to befriend the guy (whether he’d want to befriend us back is another story). He manages to turn his (self-reported) “spectrum directed mind” and anxiety (his “default emotion”) into pure entertainment for his readers. I’d really like to have him over for dinner. Pretty much every line is a quotable quote, but here are a few of my favs: “Once we pull into the driveway, I know right away: this house is a vampire. It will want all our neck blood and then the blood of our unborn parallel universe children.” “I’ve always been incredibly socially awkward. Autism runs in the family like detached earlobes. I obviously got sprinkled with enough of it to make me come across as a horrible snob. I wish there were more opportunities to turn this to my advantage, but so far, no luck.” “I feel off atrocious news stores the way most people today consume kale. Nutrition comes from abductions, electrocutions, capsized boats, and freeway pileups.” “Every sound of dropping signals water penetration. I wish I could be injected with ape tranquilizers.” “Being plunged into the colonial era is informative. I learn that my mental health and stability is directly proportionate to the mount of charge on my phone.” “Back in 1990, the internet was made of paper and it wasn’t called the internet, it was called the Village Voice.” “It is moving day and we are already an episode of Hoarders.”
lee2staes 13 days ago
Toil and Trouble is is a book about how to be joyful and carefree. It’s such a warm life affirming, inspirational book but at same time it’s mysterious, amusing and enlightening. I’m a first time reader of Augusten Burroughs, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was not in the least bit disappointed. This book is fantastic! I highly recommend it! My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Karenrmicone 14 days ago
Always a wonderful storyteller, Mr. Burroughs latest memoir is about witches. Well, not as it sounds. Not Halloween witch, or the wicked witch of Oz stories. But his life identifying as a witch. While giving you a history of witches, he weaves in his remarkable and book worthy experiences. Go in with an open may find out you have witchy ways also!
marongm8 15 days ago
This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I enjoyed this book so much because of the wordplay Augusten Burroughs used throughout the book that made it more interesting and I could not keep my eyes from finishing this book. What impressed me most about this book is the amount of magic Burroughs had to think of the fact that Beavers are from Satan and innocent looking trees want to kill you and take your life. I really feel that a certain crowd of people (me being included) will appreciate this book a lot more than the average reader. With that said, this book was very fun to read, easily addicting and will be a hit throughout our library soon enough. We will consider adding this title to our Biographies and Memoirs collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
CapriciousNiteOwl 15 days ago
Augusten Burrough’s new memoir did not disappoint!! It was a fascinating read about Mr. Burrough’s life as a witch, and his quirky and genuine writing style made this book a pleasure to read. It was funny and quite enlightening, I’ve learned some new things about witches and the history of their existence, (or non-existence, whichever one believes, I guess). Augusten Burrough is an excellent storyteller, and from the first pages I was captivated by his writing. His genuine and unapologetic way of telling his life stories makes his memoirs so much more special. If you loved the author’s previous memoirs, this book is a perfect read for you. Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.