If you're fat and fail every diet, if you're thin but can't get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can't get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you feel like it's your destiny to be a star, if you believe life has a grudge against you, if you don't want to have sex with your spouse and don't know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you're lost in life. If you have ever wondered, How am I aupposed to survive this?
This is How.
In this hilarious and searingly straightforward memoir, Burroughs (Running with Scissors) turns the self-help genre upside down with his advice on matters ranging broadly from "how to be fat" and "how to lose someone you love" to "how to hold onto your dream or maybe not" and "how to finish your drink." On "how to find love," for example, he counsels, "be the person you are, not the person you think you should be if you want to have a chance at meeting somebody with whom you are genuinely compatible, never put your best foot forward be exactly the person you would be if you were alone or with somebody it was safe to fart around." On "Why Having It All Is Not," Burroughs commends the virtues of limits and the ways that such limits force improvisation; he doesn't believe "you can feel deep satisfaction in your life unless your life contains restless areas, holes, and imperfections." In "How to End Your Life," Burroughs, recalling his own teenage experience, distinguishes between suicide and ending life. After his brush with suicide, he realizes that he really didn't want to kill himself; what he really wanted was to end his life, which he accomplishes simply by changing his name and walking out the door and starting a new life. As always, Burroughs is smart and energetically forthright about living and loving.