Running with Scissors Study Guide

Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Running With Scissors is a memoir in which Augusten Burroughs recounts his unusual childhood after his mother sends him to live with her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, at age twelve. There are few rules in the Finch household, and both Augusten and Dr. Finch's other children do mostly as they please, including smoking pot and having sex. At age thirteen, Augusten begins a sexual relationship with Finch's thirty-three-year-old son. Despite this unorthodox, and at times damaging, parenting method, Augusten comes to think of the Finches as his family.

Troy Burroughs is Augusten’s older brother. Essentially, he is an extremely intelligent person with a knack for all things mechanical and technological, but with poor social skills. He is unkempt in appearance and shares none of Augusten’ fashion sense. He has an abrupt manner, starting nearly every sentence with a grunt, and communicates largely with one syllable words.

At one point he is employed by KISS (yes, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehly and Peter Criss) as the designer of their guitars. He flies Augusten to New York where he meets the band, where Gene Simmons jokingly offers to take his pants off in front of Augusten.

Troy also has an obsession with trains. He will follow them in his car, often going off road to do so.

Later in life, we are told, Troy is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

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