DEVIL IN THE DETAILS: SCENES FROM AN OBSESSIVE GIRLHOOD by Jennifer Traig

Genre: Memoir
ISBN: 0316158771
Acquired:
Half Price Books
Reading Began:
May 19, 2007
Completed:
May 28, 2007
Overall Rating:
Five out of ten

  I’m not sure how I feel about this book, even still. I was intrigued when I first heard of it a few years ago, very interested to read a true life story about the struggles with OCD. And the fact that the author wrote with a clear view of her past and much humor made it all the more fascinating. If only the book had held up to that reputation.

The writing is good, the story intriguing. But the author’s particular type of OCD is a religious compulsion and her heritage is Jewish, so the stories (and compulsions) are endless. Not to mention tedious. Had Traig chosen to tell her story without such depth of explication regarding Jewish ritual I would have enjoyed it much better. It’s one thing to inform a non-Jewish reader, but quite another to drone on ad nauseum. And entire chapters felt ad nauseum. The story would have been better served with less religious ritual detail and more social commentary, less education and more autobiography. What perplexes me still is that fact that I wasn’t truly enjoying the book but I couldn’t seem to set it aside. Somehow she made me care to know how things played out, even when I cared nothing about what she was telling me.

Jennifer Traig is a good writer, and I would certainly read more of her work in the future. I did enjoy Devil in the Details. I was simply prepared to enjoy it more, and that never came. I can’t say I’ll recommend this book to anyone, but I’m happy to have one more title to pass along to an interested party.

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About Jules Q

sharing stories of life, faith, and love for pop culture

Posted on 30 May 2007, in What I Read and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I just read this book for my local bookclub. I am looking forward to discussing it. I agree with you in regards to the tediousness of some of her religion related OCD. I would have been interested in hearing more about her non-religion related compulsions as well. But, I guess that’s how she chose to tell her story. Maybe that part of her past had the most effect on her.

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