Book Reviews of Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood

Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood
Devil in the Details Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood
Author: Jennifer Traig
ISBN-13: 9780316010740
ISBN-10: 031601074X
Publication Date: 2/9/2006
Pages: 272
Rating:
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 88

3.3 stars, based on 88 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

33 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 347 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Hilarious! Author spent her teen years trying to observe Jewish ritual in a non-observant mixed-faith family (her mother is Catholic). Since she had no actual religious instruction, as such, she sort of "improvised" as she went along based upon a sketchy reading of biblical injunctions, resulting in compulsive behavior, tenuously related to the Torah - at best! Her tolerant parents just assumed she was nuts.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
OMG, this book was hilarious. This poor girl suffered from OCD from the age of 4. And for years nobody even knew what that was. Thankfully, her family was great. They dealt with her with humor which I'm sure was her salvation. Well, that and eventually meds....She is a great writer and I hope to see more from her.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is a very unusual memoir, filled with memories (not in chronological order) of a child who had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Very honest, humorous, and sad at times. Good read! Got a little tedious toward the end.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 222 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
While OCD is a very sad and disturbing thing to have and to live with, I know, my sons have it, this book was highly entertaining. she talked about her obsessions and compulsions in a way that made me laugh at loud even tho I am sure at the time of them, she and her family were not amused. its great she could be so candid about this terrible disease. She too had it in the 70's and 80's before we knew what the heck was wrong with our son. We knew he did some very odd things, but couldnt make him stop so just got frustrated. I think anyone with a family member, friend or even themselves with this condition should definately read this.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 7
Man this book was boring! I just couldn't stomach through dozens of pages of religious obsession and self-hatred. Writing style is mediocre, and not all that entertaining. I totally failed to see any humor in it. File it under "overhyped", skip it, and spend your credit on a Haven Kimmel or a Julia Scheers.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A great book about an obsessive compulsive girl trying to incorperate the jewish part of her heritage. Really funny!
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I feel badly about laughing while reading as the writer was obviously suffering, but her decriptions and delivery are hysterical. I found myself reading bits aloud to friends and family, most notably the "Interstitial" sections between chapters. If a book about mental illness can be funny, well, this one's a riot!
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A friend of mine gave me the most coveted of all gifts (to me anyway)... a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble! Yes! I can go get a nice shiny new book... oh, there's nothing better in the whole wide world! I knew I wanted the new Frank McCourt book, but I wasn't sure what else... then I saw this book. The cover has these perfect rows of M&Ms lined up... I *had* to buy it. It called to me...

I'm glad I did. What a delightful book! It's a memoir of this girl who grew up in the 70s, is Jewish (and decided to be Orthodox no less!) and has OCD. I learned a lot about the Jewish way of life, but even more about OCD. The way the two intertwine is really funny. The author does a wonderful job of portraying herself, her disease and keeping her sense of humor. A great memoir!
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 344 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A wonderful view of a different sort of child and teenagehood. However, I did find the book a bit disjointed at times which is the only reason I'm not giving it five stars! A great read despite that flaw.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Fantastically funny and well-written story of a youth plagued not by garden variety OCD, but by scrupulosity, a more rare form that's possibly more fascinating. She also reflects eloquently on her half-Jewish, half-Catholic upbringing.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 106 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I just couldn't get into the audio of this book at all. The narrator's voice just grated on my nerves. I don't believe it is one that I would pick up in paperback either - I listened for about 20 minutes, and the story line wasn't capturing my interest at all.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Amazing book. Funny and honest.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very funny.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 2
I was cracking up and laughing out loud reading this book. OCD with Judiasm is a deadly combination. Jennifer Traig has an amazing ability to self depricate without seeming bitter. I'm glad she made it through the other side to being successful because her voice humanizes OCD and mental illness.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 1
The author spent too much time pointing out over and over and over again that she came from a mixed faith family.

She also kept pointing out that she looked so Jewish etc. I looked at photos of the author online and honestly if I saw her walk by me I wouldn't automatically think "she is Jewish".

Her struggle with OCD was interesting and what was more interesting was her parents reactions to it. Her mother and father seemed quite funny/witty and I would have loved to have heard more about them. Her mother in particular seemed like a very interesting/funny woman.

There is one photo in the book and really it would have been great if there had been more, especially as the author refers to her looks,clothing many times but she also specifically mentions photos from her Bat Mitzvah and also pictures from a trip to France.

Some parts were really good/interesting and then in too many parts the author just kept pointing out that everyone in her family had different religious beliefs(Her family came off very tolerant and accepting of what her beliefs were so why she kept bringing it up I don't understand)
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book in one day. It is now part of my top 10 favorite books of all time. I laughed outloud so hard sometimes that it was hard to believe that I was reading instead of watching TV or hearing a good joke. Everyone has a little OCD in them and will relate to Jennifer's behavior, even in the slightest bit. This is definitely a page turner that I would reccomend to just about anybody who is looking for a good, fresh read.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Went on and on with no real plot line. The author appears funny in some parts, but then it totally looses it.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 1
Man this book was boring! I just couldn't stomach through dozens of pages of religious obsession and self-hatred. Writing style is mediocre, and not all that entertaining. I totally failed to see any humor in it. File it under "overhyped", skip it, and spend your credit on a Haven Kimmel or a Julia Scheers.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Funny and poignant, this honest book about obsession, family and overdoing religious ritual made me both laugh and think.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought I'd love this book because I like to read of people's struggles, etc (does that make me a bad person?). But this one just went too far and was a little too much. I had high hopes, but was a little disappointed.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 1
True, hilarious, enlightening, and fascinating. What more could one ask?
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 139 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I just finished this book and I really liked it. The beginning had some particularly funny bits that made me laugh and feel a little sad at the same time. Personally, I enjoyed the religious discussion because I am fascinated by Judaism in general, and Orthodox Jews in particular. So, following the author's religious journey really appealed to me. Overall, one of the funniest memoirs about mental illness I've read, which is definitely NOT a sentence one hears every day. :) Of course, it isn't laugh out loud funny throughout because the author was dealing with a serious mental illness in a time when it wasn't understood. I feel she wanted us to see the lighter side of her pain, however, so that she could feel more at ease with her past and not carry that pain into her future.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
So funny! The author is able to look back and laugh on her struggles with anorexia and OCD. I found it really interesting. Loved it.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I LOVED this book! It's a memoir from a woman who struggled with severe obsessive compulsive disorder and anorexia in her childhood and teens, but she is so funny and good humored that the book is so much fun to read!
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fascinating, bizarre story. Really extreme OCD - hard to believe some of the things she did. But also very funny.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 217 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I guess my years of working with mentally ill adults has worn on me. I found absolutely nothing about this book humourous. It was not at all what I expected and I gave up reading about 40% of the way through. I found the character sad and somewhat pathetic.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 2 more book reviews
Interesting read
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 6 more book reviews
This book is about 250 pages too long. The writing style simply can't sustain the entirety of the novel. It feels more like a transcript of stories told to friends over coffee. Calling this a "memoir" is a loose interpretation of the word. It's more so a selection of self-centered, repetitive stories. And to make matters worse, the stories aren't even really in chronological order. In between chapters, there are these little inserts that I assume are supposed to be funny on various topics, such as how to wash your hands. They get quite obnoxious after the twelfth one, which says that you must wash your hands. If you must get this book, read the first chapter and enjoy it; I did. But know that after the first chapter, it's all just a rehash of the same thing...for 250 more pages.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 2 more book reviews
Really hilarious. Think Jewish OCD Sedaris, but funnier.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on
One of the funniest books I have EVER read! Like a female David Sedaris in that laugh-out-loud, snort-soda-through-your-nose way.

Don't miss this one!
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 49 more book reviews
Even though this book covers a serious topic it is written light-heartedly. It is an easy and enjoyable read.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 32 more book reviews
This was a very funny memoir about OCD. The writing style was smooth and kept the reader (I listened on cassette) wanting more anecdotes about growing up taking religion and cleanliness to an extreme. I look forward to more from Jennifer Traig.
reviewed Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood on + 12 more book reviews
Makes you think about OCD and scrupulosity.