Leigh's Reviews > Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession

Compulsive Acts by Elias Aboujaoude
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's review
May 18, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: ownership-library-books, subject-psychology-mental-illness, genre-nonfiction
Read in March, 2010

Not impressed. The stories are interesting in themselves, but Aboujaoude's attempts to fictionalize them and use the assistant's storyline for continuity feel incredibly strained. There were a lot of ways this book could've worked--e.g., changing names and minor details rather than getting, um, narratively creative; letting it stand as a short-story collection rather than as an awkwardly loose sequence--but here Aboujaoude's pretty clearly a doctor and not a writer. It's a shame; I think I would've liked this better if it read like a straightforward doctor's account, rather than being made unnaturally "literary."

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