Thursday, November 27, 2008

Devil in the Details

In this bittersweet memoir, Jennifer Traig laughs about her puzzling problems growing up with obsessive compulsive disorder in an era before OCD was a recognized disorder. With a witty humor, she describes trials that would have permanently scarred a less resilient youth. In a world where OCD is stereotyped in pop culture, TV shows, and movies it is a relief to find someone willing to provide a more realistic, though upbeat, view of this very debilitating disorder. I imagine many people will be able to find a little of themselves in Jennifer Traig, and teens now facing such issues will find the upbeat happy ending comforting. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Day After Tomorrw, by Alan Folsom

  • In "The Day After Tomorrow," Alan Folsom weaves together a wide array of well-developed, interesting characters in an international murder mystery. It begins when Paul Osborne accidentally spies the man who murdered his father more than a decade earlier. Obsessed, he initiates a man-hunt which propels him into a powerful political intrigue as well as setting himself up as the prime suspect for an international serial killer. Despite the promising beginning, Folsom fails to deliver the anticipated suspense. Folsom's attempts at tantalizing foreshadows belly-flop when, by page 300 of this 600 paged book, he feeds enough information that an experienced reader will easily guess the "shocking" end. The final 300 pages of the book tediously develop a new (scientifically and historically impossible) twist on a plot which has been regurgitated since the mid-1900's.

  • Although Folsom's writing style is generally fast-paced and entertaining, unfortunately the suspense is repeatedly interrupted by over-ambitious development of the characters' sexual identities. Some of this development is necessary, but most of it is superfluous.

  • I would recommend this book for people who read quickly and do not try to interpret foreshawdows. I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.