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Extended Audio Sample A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father Audiobook, by Augusten Burroughs Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,758 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Augusten Burroughs Narrator: Augusten Burroughs Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9781427204264
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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 difficult, distant, miserable father – which he reads himself, effectively. Original music by Patti Smith, Sea Wolf, Ingrid Michaelson and Tegan Quin – composed for this audiobook – graces the final CD. Canada.com
  • A flawless audio adaptation of his alternately riotous and heartbreaking memoir. Publishers Weekly on Running with Scissors
  • [Burroughs's] performance blends self-deprecating black humor with wise-cracking confidence. His natural (or hard-learned) wit and charm keep the listener rooting for his success. AudioFile on Dry

  • Among shortlisted titles for Audie Audiobook of the Year Finalist, 2009
  • Among longlisted titles for AudioFile Best Voices, 2008
  • Among longlisted titles for AudioFile Best Audiobooks, 2008

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerry Kelly | 2/17/2014

    " Very heavy psychological issues between father and son. Mother's mental state plays important roll in family instability. Interesting read. Recommended A "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catie | 2/12/2014

    " seeing as i have read all of his books and he is one of my favorite authors i love this book he is dark and scary, funny and very very real. his memoirs are a dark look into how strange and bad life can be on how things do sometimes have a somewhat happy ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amritha Prasad | 2/8/2014

    " A very haunting and powerful novel that is extremely serious compared to Burroughs' other novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 2/7/2014

    " He is as very good author but this book is disturbing and I tried to read one of his others and it was too much to even finish. Talented writer but tough material and very brash. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tricia Sutton | 1/23/2014

    " Not as good as the other memoirs he wrote. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Moen | 1/21/2014

    " A bit depressing, but a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeri | 1/18/2014

    " I don't know if it is because I listened it to on CD instead of reading it, but this is the first time I've not read a book the whole way through. I simply could not get interested in this book and stopped at the beginning of the 2nd CD. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reed Rayborn | 12/24/2013

    " Not as humorous as a few of his other books but deffinately a must read for Burroughs fans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Prisy | 12/20/2013

    " It was a great read and it gave me more insight to his family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 12/6/2013

    " Don't read this before reading his satire. It twists everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Hansen | 12/3/2013

    " I have really enjoyed all of Burroughs memoirs. Most of them have been fairly light with a dark edge...this book was just plain scary. The final line gave me chills. I also really wanted to give Burroughs a huge hug. The part with the groceries pissed me off. It also made me appreciate my family! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Gamble | 11/17/2013

    " Another great book by him! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ainsley | 11/16/2013

    " Heart-wrenching and funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli | 9/24/2013

    " I enjoyed this book..Sad life he lead in many ways. Makes me grateful for so much. Just when you think you might have had a tough childhood you find others had it much tougher! I look forward to reading his other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diannah | 9/16/2013

    " It was really good, but extremely hard to read. I kept having to put it down because parts were so upsetting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drewacard | 9/2/2013

    " Sad but interesting. I like the way this author writes. He is one of my favorites along with David Sedaris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 travelerblue | 5/20/2013

    " more insight into Buroughs odd life... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robin | 3/19/2013

    " well written but horrifying. Without the humor, it's just too tragic to enjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 3/3/2013

    " Wow, what a great book, I couldn't put it down....I really enjoyed his other book.....and I wasn't disappointed with this one! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jimmy | 10/14/2012

    " I understand why his father didn't like him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 3/8/2012

    " This was one of the most heart breaking stories I've ever read. I had to put the book down at least three times to collect myself and face the rest of the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Del Zimmerman | 2/6/2012

    " Much darker than his other memoirs but a compelling read... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tami | 12/29/2011

    " This book is a tough read and not because it isn't well written. The story of his father is raw and sickening at times. I applaud A. Burroughs for having the balls to write such a heartbreaking book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamra | 11/1/2011

    " Very dark reading - a memoir of the author's father who was alcoholic, slightly sociopathic, and a very neglectful father. Interesting because his writing is good and he allows a look into the mind of a child in a chaotic, abusive family situation. His mother was mentally ill to make things worse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Francine | 8/22/2011

    " I picked this book based on a review that I read. I cannot imagine growing up in a household like that. It reminded me of The Glass Castle in as much as that type of household is foriegn to me. It was very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawnekins | 6/16/2011

    " I deeply respect the author, and loved all of his works, but have to say this is least fave of all. It still earns 4 stars for good reason however... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 6/3/2011

    " Completely intense and kept me thinking waaaay beyond the last page!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skye | 5/16/2011

    " really picked up once it got to the part with the death threat phone call. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/14/2011

    " Great book, but a little depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 5/11/2011

    " An addictive, well-paced analysis of a sociopath. Memories of my own childhood flooded back, even though there wasn't a resident sociopath. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gooby | 4/14/2011

    " I actually didn't "read" it, I listened to the audio. I'm always willing to read the next installment from Burroughs, but next time I don't think I'll be able to listen to him again. Burroughs has a nice voice, but he is a HORRIBLE actor and the incidental music is atrocious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brendan | 4/10/2011

    " Compelling memoir about Augusten's dark childhood. Great cover artwork. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 4/10/2011

    " This was a difficult book to read. Well written but tragic story. "

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About the Author
Author Augusten Burroughs

Augusten Burroughs is the author of the autobiographical works Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking, Possible Side Effects, and A Wolf at the Table, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. Running with Scissors remained on the bestseller list for over two consecutive years and was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film starring Annette Bening.