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Publisher's Summary

"...on top of everything else, the audiobook features a multi-textural and atmospheric full-cast performance.... This is a wild, spookily engaging take on a memoir from an iconic writer." (Paste)

From the number-one New York Times best-selling 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. Vampires. Zombies. Homeopathy. Bigfoot. Canola oil, because there's no such thing as a canola. Note that 'witches' and 'witchcraft' are absent from this list. When really they should be right there at the top. 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." (From Toil & Trouble)

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. 

"[Toil & Trouble] is fully brought to life in a complete and unabridged 'theatre of the mind' audio book experience by the narrative team of Augusten Burroughs, Anne Bobby, Robin Miles, and Gabra Zackman." (Midwest Book Review)

©2019 Augusten Inc. (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • reader
  • 02-10-2019

"Witches don't wear a pointy black hat..."

I used a credit yesterday to get the new Augusten Burroughs. I knew nothing about this memoir, it's one day old. But oh, My. God. I had to stop to go to work, but I will get right back to it on the commute home. The story is mesmerizing, and the author does a wonderful job bringing his story crackling to life. What I didn't expect is the way Burrough's mother plays a major role in this memoir. Five stars to the casting department --- because the voice of Burrough's mother is exquisite and droll --- those who've read RUNNING WITH SCISSORS won't be disappointed. But they will get a new angle on her. It's a fascinating journey through everyday events and supernatural ("natural") episodes. Interestingly enough, it's packed with witchy facts and ephemera, Most importantly, Toil and Trouble has a compelling and delightful story line, which is the author's madcap life and vibrant relationship with his husband. If you don't believe in witchcraft, well. It hardly matters. The artistry is there and Burrough's exuberant humor and earnestness shines through, Do yourself a favor and get this one.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Pamela Harvey
  • 16-10-2019

Slime Flux

Wow. A crack in an old tree offends the author by its resemblance to an “old crone’s vagina” and its oversized wooden labia threaten to open up and suck Augusten into the slime flux contained within. I’ve been entertained, enlightened, edified and educated, (OMG 5 E’s) but never shamed by a body part. Augusten, what a pu$$y hater you turned out to be!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Minette S
  • 04-11-2019

Talk Little, Listen Much

I really enjoyed this audible book. Okay, once you get over the way Mr Burraughs speaks (sorry no offense), and you are actually listening to what is being said. I found this book really resonated with me. It also hit a lot of points that has happened within my own life. Its funny because I never do Memoirs of other peoples lives and yet, I did this one. Thank you Mr Burroughs for this book it was funny and inspirational and eye opening.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy Chattoraj
  • 30-11-2019

This is a fantastic memoir

Loved this book! It was more than I hoped for! The narration was entertaining and interesting! If you like supernatural stories that are well told and true you will like this!

2 people found this helpful

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  • elisabeth
  • 15-10-2019

Fantastic

I’m listening to Toil & Trouble for a second time immediately!!! So full of intrigue and laughter, Rich with vivid language and uniquely performed by the Author with his particular cadence and humor. Thank you Augusten! ~Girl Friday 9/16

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-2019

Had to Return

I wanted to like this book and generally love Burroughs memoirs, but his narration of this is truly baffling. I’m not sure why he inserts so many pauses or makes everything sound like a question. It sounds like a child reading aloud to a parent. Hopefully in the future they hire a professional to read his work!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 21-11-2019

Strange Cadence

I love his books and wanted to enjoy this and just could not get beyond his narration. The cadence was just OFF, not conducive to story telling. Sorry, I couldn't even finish listening.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Shrimp Ramen
  • 07-10-2019

OMG on the valley girl uptalk overkill!

I'm a huge Burroughs fan and appreciated his latest installment. It ran a bit long and concerns itself with much more domesticity than previous books, given that he's married and living on a historic estate in rural-ish Connecticut with even more dogs to boot. Love his reveal on being a witch and can totally see that--with hindsight being 20/20--on his previous writing and philosophies about focus, achievement, and getting stuff done. Long story short: I didn't think it was possible to put that much uptalk inflection on that many words in the same sentences and paragraphs, but leave it to Burroughs to be a savant at that. I was of the persuasion that people eventually grew out of uptalk, and here again, Burroughs proves an exception. Yep, totally going back to old-fashioned reading his books from here on out. I'll still always want more writing from him! Also, this book delivers super poignant moments on his connection with his now deceased mother. I think he honors both the extreme difficulty of having a narcissist for a mom while still acknowledging the gifts within his overall experience. He doesn't divulge his forgiveness process, yet I do believe he did get to a real forgiveness without a convenient spiritual bypassing.

6 people found this helpful

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  • laurie dunn
  • 11-03-2020

intriguing but flawed

story wanders but characters are fascinating. I had difficulty with the narrator's style and pauses

1 person found this helpful

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  • T. Wells
  • 24-11-2019

I love Augusten and his new book!!

I thoroughly enjoyed Running with Scissors and was delighted to see he had written another book. I tend to be a free spirit/live and let live type of person and I get the biggest kick out of Augusten's life. It made me wish I too was blessed with his "gift". Please, write another one soon!!

1 person found this helpful

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