Blog Posts by bweiner
Author David Adam is intimately knowledgeable about OCD as he has experienced it for twenty years. He weaves many narratives into this story about his personal obsessions and compulsions, and will win over readers with the candid retrospect of his experiences.
But it is more than just a journey into the complicated tangle of ideas in his head. Adam also details the psychological, social and scientific aspects and reveals the research and treatments that have been used and are currently used for sufferers of this condition. He also speaks to the historical struggle to classify OCD; there was often conflict over its origin as a behavioral or mental disorder.
Insightful and absorbing, this book will enlighten with its fresh perspective.
This world is a brilliantly imagined, violent place, and we follow the lives of three people caught in the crossfire this drought produces. Angel Velasquez is a “water knife”, a sort of enforcer for the rich and powerful who define ownership of this precious commodity. Lucy is a cynical journalist and Maria is a dreamer who believes in better things, and together they become entangled in this drama. The people who have water have the power, and therefore the control, which they often use with reckless abandon.
The story begins in New York City where identical twins, Edith, the retired librarian and Kat, the free spirit, find peculiar phosphorescent mushrooms growing in their closet. Their landlady Vida is a Shakespearian actress, although she is mostly recognizable for a female sexual enhancement pill commercial she recently did. Vida lives upstairs, as does Ashley, the runaway Russian au pair who is hiding in her closet. When Vida also discovers the funky fungi sprouting in her apartment, the health department condemns the building, sends in the Hazmat team, and life instantly changes for this unusual group of nomads.
To say more would be to give away parts of the story that you should discover on your own. There is a message here about the transitory nature of our existence and the ability we possess to transgress our difficulties. Quirky characters, clever plotting, bizarre humor, and some seriously solid writing make this a very worthwhile read.
Yet, it is not only the tragic loss of a young life that makes this a compelling read. Award-winning, foreign correspondant Richard Lloyd Parry navigates us through Japanese society with an adroit hand, and we examine the culture through the eyes of the Eastern and the Western world.
Even more fascinating is the picture Parry paints of every person involved in Lucie's life and death. Lucie's family: her mother, father, sister and brother are all present and plugged into this story. Lucie's friends and acquaintances provide insight into her character and actions. Parry contributes painstaking detail about Japan's legal system and the people who represent it. Probably the most unsettling element of this tale is the intimate portrait of Joji Obara, the accused killer of Lucie Blackman. Parry guides us from his birth in Japan to his lengthy trial for the rape and murder of multiple young women. The key to this riveting book is the incredible detail Parry provides, and the depth of emotional intensity he packs into this sad story. Spellbinding indeed.