Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Review: Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke All the Rules to Help Him




Book
: Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke All the Rules to Help Him by Terry Weible Murphy, Michael A. Jenike, and Edward E. Zine

About: The story of Edward Zine, a man with very severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and his path to recovery. After his mother's death, Ed's OCD started manifesting itself, doing things in even numbers lead to doing every action a second time, but backwards, to "even things out." Soon, Ed ended up confined in his basement for years, dirty and surrounded by bags of feces and bottles of urine, his disease keeping him imprisoned. Dr. Michael Jenike, a psychiatrist who specializes in OCD, paid Ed a visit and started him on the road to getting well.


Pros: Engaging and at times tragic story

Cons: The far-too-long subtitle is a bit inaccurate as Murphy admits that Dr. Jenike only "may have" provided the spark that motivated Ed to recover (as Ed pretty much did all his recovery himself). So the book should be titled Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD. The relationship between the two men seems trumped up for literary purposes as the two did not see one another for over a year and only spoke a few times via phone after the house call. Murphy paints Jenike as some kind of super doctor who "answers 300 emails a day" from his patients and tells some patients to "pay what they want."There are a bunch of photos in the middle of the book, which I hate and would prefer them spread out over the book.

Grade: C+

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