... by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
Once again I've changed my mind about the book I was going to read for WHAT'S IN A NAME READING CHALLENGE - 'Books with a life stage in the title' category - which was The Growing Pains Of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend, instead opting for ........
Ed's life was thrown into turmoil when his mother, the centre of his universe, died. Unable to articulate his sorrow and his pain, he became increasingly isolated from his friends and family, and his grief began to manifest itself in bizarre physical affectations. Over time he developed an extreme case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Thirteen years on, living alone in a basement, Ed was consumed by the idea of stopping time from moving forward.
Meticulously counting and rewinding every action he made in an obsessive and illogical attempt to prevent time from progressing, Ed was now suffering from a debilitating form of the disease.
Ed spent his days and nights imprisoned in his basement. He had spiralled into the depths of hell. And then he met Dr Michael Jenike.
Providing Ed with friendship, hours of support, and expert medical care, Michael was determined to help. But nothing seemed to work. Then, when all hope was lost, something broke through to Ed. For the first time, after years of physical and mental torture, Ed found the strength within himself to fight back, break down his own OCD and heal himself.
...... From the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: In the picture perfect, white-shuttered two-storey house with it's welcoming front porch, nestled among tall trees with delicate lilac bushes etched against its windows, Rita had created a gentle, loving environment for her children.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: He has mastered perfect English in reverse. His fluency is extraordinary. He can read this sentence as quickly backwards as he can forwards. .sdrawrof nac eh sa, sdrawkcab ylkciuq sa ecnetnes siht daer nac eH
Mainly the memoirs of a boy (Ed) who developed OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD) after the death of his beloved mother, this book also deals, though not in such depth, with the doctor (Michael) who helped him overcome this terrible illness whilst struggling with his own demons.
Very interesting and informative though not in a text book kind of a way, I was, however, less moved then I thought I would be. Perhaps this was due to the way the book was written in such a matter of fact way and the physical results discussed at great length with the emotional impact taken second place.
Quite repetitive in places with the author going over the 'steps' it took for Ed to complete certain every day tasks several times. To me less is sometimes more and going over these things more than once or twice somehow lessened the impact.
Also, it seemed to take such a long while for Ed's OCD to develop from his earliest difficulties to the stage where he was literally imprisoned within the confines of a basement room and such a relatively short time before he, ok, wasn't cured, but was able to live a fairly 'normal' existence within the confines of his illness which somehow did not seem realistic to me but then I'm no expert on the condition.
An ex-library book read.
Recommend or not? Yes, it is an informative and insightful read without being too heavy going.