Saturday, December 8, 2012

Book Review: The Obsessive Chronicles by Josh Greenfield

The Obsessive Chronicles: a novel
by Josh Greenfield

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: (December 23, 2011)
  • Purchase Link: Amazon

Book Description:

The Obsessive Chronicles is a coming of age story, told in a conversational first person voice, recounting a young man's trials in overcoming mental illness. The novel follows Jordan Fineman's descent into severe obsessive compulsive disorder while working in an Alaskan salmon cannery through his attempt to integrate into the New York City work force as a paralegal in the late 1980's. A tale as humorous as it is harrowing, sure to provide hope and encouragement to all who must follow a similar path, and to those who can identify.

My Review:

Jordan Fineman is a young man who travels from the east coast to Alaska after taking a break from college. He has aspirations to spend the summer at a cannery making money and memories. In the midst of his Alaskan adventure, Fineman begins to experience the onset of mental illness, specifically severe obsessive compulsive disorder, and manic depression.

Upon arriving back home in New York City, his world begins to unravel. Jordan Fineman starts to see a therapist who prescribes him medication and the journey of treatment gets underway. A mental institution, therapy sessions, mood swings, repeated job loss, and a spontaneous flight cross-country all occurs.

Josh Greenfield gives readers a truthful insight in the life of someone living with mental illness. While some may think that taking medication equals a quick resolution, it’s not and we see that in The Obsessive Chronicles.

Jordan comes across as your average introvert while we follow him in Alaska, but once he arrives in New York City, his demeanor swiftly changes as his mental illness rises to the surface and rears its ugly head. Jordan is matched up with a wonderful doctor who encourages him to get up, dust himself off, and face the day again, no matter how frequently he gets knocked down.

While I admit, the novel started off slow for me, I became sucked in once I reached the part where Jordan returned home. I applaud Greenfield for his upfront writing and showing the day-to-day battle that so many people face.

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