A Wolf at the Table Book Review/ Analysis

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Augesten Burroughs’s: A Wolf at the Table Augesten Burroughs’s childhood was not one like most of ours, full of stability and love. Instead Augesten spent his adolescence pining for what others had naturally. In his memoir A Wolf at the Table he reflects mainly on the time before his parent’s divorce, which was a time of high tension and a constant uneasiness with conversations that “lingered like a third person in the room.”(Burroughs 14) Through numerous anecdotes told with a tone of dark humor about his grim situation, Burroughs recreates the tragic impression his dysfunctional household of violence and detachment had on his childhood. The stories range from the minutiae to bizarre fast-paced psychotic episodes but in a uncertain unison these memories were put in writing to emphasis the brutal and hollow hole left in Augustan’s life by his relatively nonexistent father, the wolf at the end of the table. From the start of his life things are wrong; Augesten is born into a forced marriage. His parents argue constantly and his brother is unloving toward him. He is frequently relocated away with his mother to live with her parents or to live with friends in Mexico. When he wondered why there dad wasn’t coming with them his mom would always answer “We had to get away from your father. He’s not safe to be around “.(Burroughs 13)The fighting and absence reflected onto Augustan’s relationship with his older brother, John Elder. John was not only eight years his senior but also made it habit to torment the very young Augesten, who summed his thoughts on him by stating,” My hatred for him nearly caused my skin to steam, and I was constantly plotting revenge for one thing or another.”(Burroughs 24). The lack of emotional support lead Burroughs’s to find solace within his own self. Nevertheless, a juvenile Augesten yearned for a certain comfort he has been devoid of

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