Adhering to the stringent restrictions of ancient Jewish laws gave author Jennifer Traig's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder something of a purpose: Instead of simply washing her hands, she was purifying herself of sin; rather than zealously patting an item, she was laying on hands. At first amused, later baffled, and finally pragmatic, her parents drew up a contract limiting hand-washing, altar-building, and other rituals, but it was the amendment allowing Traig's sister to divulge the odd behavior to the world at large that put a stop to the compulsions. For a while, anyway.
With all the harrowing candor of Running with Scissors and the irresistible details of A Girl Named Zippy, Traig has created a memoir that captures the struggles of OCD sufferers without a hint of self-pity; at the same time, her descriptions of an extraordinary adolescence are smart, no-holds-barred honest, and exceptionally funny.
©2004 Jennifer Traig; (P)2005 HighBridge Company
This is one of the best books I've assimilated in a while. Traig writes a hilariously funny account of her life, which should be made into a movie (I'm thinking of Amy Sedaris as Jenny). If you enjoy a good laugh and actually know how to detect and appreciate sarcasm and off-color humor I highly recommend this book.
I think this could have been a much better book if it had a different narrator. She should have listened to some david sedaris for some pointers. Her inflections become grating and her delivery sounds like bad julia sweeney comedy. OCD can be funny (as proven by sedaris), disinterested parents can be funny (as proven by sedaris) and i just wonder if this book may have been funny and engaging if had been given an appropriate narrator.
The idea behind this book is a good one-- a young girl coming to terms with and struggling against her own obsessions and compulsions. But Jennifer Traig somehow manages to create a memoir composed of hours upon hours of stand-up comedy. Listening to this book is like being subjected to a never-ending set at The Laugh Factory. Sadly, the reader has problems with accents as well-- it's clear she speaks some French, but all other characters end up sounding Indian, even the Irish ones.
If you can tolerate 7 1/2 hours of whining and sarcasm, this book is for you! The author seems to trudge along the same never-ending path of self absorption. There are a few funny spots, but after about 2 hours, you just want to slap her and tell her to get a grip.
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