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A Life Lived Ridiculously Paperback – April 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A good book; well-written and the story / characters drew me in from the get go.
A Life Lived Ridiculously was a great read and definitely worth four stars. Probably a "must read" for most single women too..." - RebeccasReads

"We have all dated liars who will say anything in order to get what they want. Charbit captures everything that makes the dating scene simultaneously so exciting and so frustrating, from the exhilaration of a first kiss to the despair when you realize that he is ignoring your messages." - Baltimore Jewish Times

"I very much enjoyed A Life Lived Ridiculously." - The book Bag

"From the very beginning of this novel readers will smile; they will then reach 'all out laughter' by the second page. The amazing thing about this story, however, is that laughter turns frightening when the author offers up a twist that readers will not see coming." - Feathered Quill

Dr. Charbit does indeed use her vast experience with the subjects of the book to pull the reader in with remarkably developed characters.  Especially for a first novel, A Life Lived Ridiculously succeeds in its stated purpose: it makes us aware of and think closely about our stereotypes and generalizations in the mental health world - PsychCentral

From the Author

A Life Lived Ridiculously ebook will be released and available for sale from April 12th 2012.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Publishing & Entertainment; 1st edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984642862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984642861
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,327,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Annabelle R Charbit grew up in London, UK, and has been writing since 2006, when her comedy play, Sound Advice, was performed by CP Theatre Productions in London. In 2007, she was published in The London Paper and in the British Neuroscience Association's Summer Bulletin. In 2010 she wrote for TheFrisky.com, an online magazine who commissioned her after noticing her humorous blog, Crazy in a Crazy World.
Dr Charbit holds a PhD in Neuroscience from University College London and has been researching pain and addiction at UCSF in San Francisco, about which she has published in scientific journals. The inspiration behind A Life Lived Ridiculously stemmed from Dr Charbit's research work as a neuroscientist, which motivated her to write a story from the point of view of people suffering from distorted thinking.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. For me it was an eye opener. I believe I have come across 2 or 3 of these guys in my former dating life. This book was funny but thought provoking. It made me realize that if I have an uneasy feeling about someone, I should probably heed the warning. With 1 in 25 of the population being a Sociopath, it should make you aware to be on guard for these type of people entering your life.

Funny but insightful.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wilfried Voss on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Just lately, after enduring disappointments by the writings of some vastly successful authors in the mass-market genre, I found myself in need of refreshment, a change, something quirky and original, a treat for the serious reader. That truly much-appreciated treat came in the form of the perversely enjoyable A Life Lived Ridiculously by Dr. Annabelle R. Charbit.

In short, A Life Lived Ridiculously is about Maxine, a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) who falls in love with a sociopath, Sam, a smooth-talking charmer with sufficient incurable diseases to eliminate a small village and living a life so grave that it makes a Greek tragedy feel as depthless as a prime-time soap opera.

Nevertheless, Maxine, against the well meant, but futile advice of friends and family, follows her twisted instincts and welcomes Sam as her salvation, and while that scenario is already a warrant for a delectable read, Charbit blends unexpected insights, twists, and thoughts that could only spawn from the obsessive compulsive mind of the main character, Maxine.

Charbit has a strikingly skillful hand with words, and her razor sharp and charmingly offbeat insights and descriptions are intriguing. A Life Lived Ridiculously is one of those books that one may open at any page to get a feel of writing style and story line, and Charbit's intelligently satirical style draws the reader immediately into Maxine's life with the urge to learn more.

And yes, A Life Lived Ridiculously is not for the narrow-minded, conservative, or easily shocked reader, but it represents a refreshing change of pace from the mass-market genre, a novel that is unquestionably worth a read and a re-read.

- Wilfried F. Voss, Editor FrogenYozurt[dot]Com
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PhysicsGirl on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story kept me up reading all night and in the carpool. Smart, funny, exacerbating, and suspenseful, I couldn't wait to see what Maxine would do next. To say "this is the story of a woman with OCD who falls for a sociopath" explains the science but doesn't do justice to a brilliantly crafted story by a neuroscientist. This is a must read for people who are looking for something unpredictable and smart. Two thumbs up from me, Dr. Charbit!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gypsarella on July 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Odd and uncomfortable book. Well written.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By blondewriter99 on February 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
The heroine of Annabelle Charbit's book is Maxine, a neurotic and intelligent Jewish Londoner who suffers from undiagnosed OCD and an unbearable family. Under pressure to settle down now that she's turned 30, Maxine finally succumbs to the attentions of Sam who, if she's not physically attracted to him, is at least Jewish, approved by her family (initially), also cerebral, and occasionally gregariously charming. But soon things go awry: After winning Maxine's affections, Sam almost instantly begins to pull away, disappearing for long stretches. He also comes down with a variety of illnesses, tumors, and cancers; refuses to have sex with Maxine; and begins complaining incessantly of his "sad life," which includes no family and the tragic early death of his girlfriend. While a Debbie Downer like this would frighten most sensible women into running for their lives, Maxine isn't quite sensible. Sam may be a pain in the butt, but he is at least keeping her occupied with thoughts other than obsessing on her lighting, furniture, and strange desire to rid herself of personal possessions. While at points it is difficult to sympathize with Maxine's predicament, it's also somewhat understandable that she keeps falling for Sam's guilt trips, given that he is supposedly dying. I won't give away the unpredictable twists and turns of the plot, but Maxine comes to the conclusion that Sam is a classic sociopath. The author doesn't explore the more obvious notion that Sam suffers from Maunchausen Syndrome, in which the affected fake illnesses (often cancer) in order to gain attention and sympathy, but, either way, Sam is certainly a bizarre, unique, and emotionally dangerous character. Charbit writes with humor and aplomb and, as a real life expert in OCD, is especially adept at getting into the mind of a person suffering from this mental characteristic. Overall, an interesting read with finely drawn characters and a swift narrative.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Naomi Rokotnitz on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
The title and the cover-art of *A Life Lived Ridiculously*, Annabelle Charbit's début novel, suggest that this is a light-hearted, good-read. And indeed, it is highly entertaining, particularly in the first few chapters, which relay an incisive portrait of a wealthy Jewish family and their idiosyncratic, and yet so very characteristic, customs, traditions, prejudices and absurdities. The story's protagonist, 30 year-old Maxi, is highly critical of her family in many ways, yet remains indulgent towards them. Similarly, Charbit's evident frustration with some of the ridiculous elements of society is conveyed with an equally accepting, and often riotously funny, wry humor.
Alongside the witty social commentary, the novel traces the evolution - and dissolution - of a dysfunctional romantic relationship. Charbit's scientific training is evident in the clinical precision with which she constructs both Maxi's OCD and Sam's sociopathy. But Charbit is particularly skillful in delineating the stages by which Maxi gradually sublimates her natural instincts, forcing consecutive "lids" (183) upon her doubts, and allowing Sam's manipulative strategies to obscure her judgment in thick "mental fog" (189). Charbit's presentation of the process of self-abnegation that so often accompanies abusive relationships, and her adept portrayal of its sheer corrosiveness, resonate both with current research and with other fictional representations of this dynamic. At the same time, Charbit's comic vein allows her anatomization of psychological distress to maintain a light and swift pace, interlaced with a flare for partying. Indeed, I would recommend reading this novel with a drink in hand, perhaps Maxi's own favorite: vodka and coke.
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