More humor than witching in ‘Toil & Trouble’
It’s called “Toil & Trouble” but “Bait & Switch” is more like it. Despite a title that references the cauldron speech in “Macbeth,” a pre-Halloween release date and marketing that positions it as the book in which Augusten Burroughs comes out as a witch, “Toil & Trouble” is just barely about witching.
Mostly, the memoirist writes about moving with his husband from their Manhattan apartments into a Connecticut mansion that needs a lot of work.
There are occasional flashbacks to Burroughs’ mentally ill mother who was the star of his “Running With Scissors.”
Whatever you want to call the small revenges against enemies and covert attempts to convince his husband to move, they make for an amusing book that carves out territory somewhere between Burroughs’ painful early memoirs and the humorous, domestic essays of David Sedaris.