Monday, June 13, 2005

Got anything else I can read relating to devils or details?

This weekend I finished reading Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig, which was kindly loaned to me by A. after I bought and read the wrong book (even though it did have both Devil and Details in the title.)

The book is a memoir about the author's girlhood bouts with OCD, primarily surfacing as scrupulosity, a form of OCD where the obsessions and compulsions revolve around religious practices. In Traig's case, the child of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, she chose Judaism, which has all kinds of crazy rules to follow. And, since she grew up in a town without any other Jewish people around, and no real religious education, she does a lot of improvising with the rules she decides to follow.

Everything is played for laughs and the quirky-factor -- even the dark parts of the book aren't treated very darkly. Although it was occasionally a little bit McSweeney's-y (Traig is a regular contributor), it wasn't all super-ironic and winky like those folk can sometimes be. The book is funny, engaging, and a light, quick read. I have to admit, I wasn't quite as interested in the times in the book when the OCD subsides and Traig discussed her normal teenage girl neuroses. Those are fine and all, but the crazies are much more entertaining.

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