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Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke All the Rules to Help Him Paperback – Bargain Price, April 20, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In her first book, veteran television producer Murphy, mother of an OCD patient, recounts the extraordinary, triumphant tale of Ed Zine, a man so mired in obsessive-compulsive behavior that he was trapped for six years in his squalid basement, compelled to perform an endless series of rituals meant to stop time and the inevitability of death. Jenike, a dedicated psychiatrist with extensive experience, found Zine "as ill as any patient I had ever met." Murphy traces Zine's illness from its roots in childhood trauma (his mother's death from cancer) through its full flower, shortly after high school graduation, when it began to take over his life. Unable to get Zine out of his house, leading OCD expert Jenike made the three-hour trip from his Boston office to Zine's Cape Cod home once a week. The bond between them developed slowly and with difficulty, but ultimately proved deeper than either suspected; after three years, Jenike mistakenly concluded that Zine's case was hopeless and stopped visiting. Zine, of course, would end up surprising them both with a dramatic recovery. A passionate, faithful narrative from a reporter who understands the stakes and the people behind them, this is a fascinating, hopeful read. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* By the time Eddie Zine reached the nadir of his affliction with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), the former athlete was living in a basement surrounded by scores of zip bags and bottles filled with his own waste. He could neither shower nor shave, and he was covered with bed sores. There were days when his OCD rituals made the trip from bed to phone 10 hours long. The slippery slide to this predicament had begun so gradually, after his mother died when Eddie was 12, that family and friends took little notice for several years. When they did, they had no words to describe what was wrong with him and fewer resources for helping him, until his sister learned of individualistic OCD specialist Michael Jenike, whose strongest initial qualification was that he made house calls, so the 24-year-old patient wouldn’t have to leave his basement nest. Jenike established trust with Eddie and proceeded to treat him the best he knew how. But even after Jenike had exhausted every option in his repertoire, Eddie was no better. It took an unexpected turn of events for the young man to reenter a world that he didn’t feel compelled to rewind. Murphy’s stunning portrayal of some genuinely stunning occurrences makes—dare one say?—compelling reading. --Donna Chavez --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061561460
  • ASIN: B0055X6664
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,922,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When my copy of "Life in Rewind" came in the mail this week I couldn't put it down. I could have read the entire book the first day, but I had to space it out over three days because it was so incredibly emotional for me. This is about an EXTRAORDINARILY severe case of OCD and what it can do to someone. It is a heart wrenching and remarkable story about ED Zine and his enormous struggle and courage to overcome his OCD. It is also an extraordinary story about the most Extraordinary doctor and human being I have ever known, Dr. Michael Jenike. It is an incredible story of hope, determination and inspiration.

Reading this book will help people gain great insight into this torturous illness and just what it can do to those of us with OCD as well as our families and those who love us. It's about trust, both in being someone others can trust, as well as what an incredible gift it is to have someone you can trust. Both the book and OCD is about how having the courage to trust can change your life for the better. It is also a touhing story about the value of friendship. This book reminds us of the difference one person can make in someone's life and it will restore your faith in mankind.

My heart aches for those who continue to suffer in silence with OCD. Thank you Terry Murphy for caring and writing this book SO well and to Ed and Dr. J for sharing your very personal stories with all of us. This book touched the deepest, most intimate core of my heart. No doubt, this should and will be made into a movie.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Reading this book was not a pleasurable experience.

Ed's daily life while he was in the worst of his OCD manifestation was so godawful I had a really hard time wrapping my brain around his experience. The thought processes - the OCD loop - is so foreign to me, it was a struggle to take in that this was a reality for someone.

I'm glad I read the book; I think I do have a deeper understanding of the worst that OCD can bring to bear on a human being.

I'm perplexed about Michael's ("the Harvard doctor's") prominence in the title. Although he evidently has a reputation for "breaking the rules," Ms. Murphy didn't offer much evidence to support his co-star role.

Ms. Murphy also seemed to make some sort of important distinction between the "crazies" on the psych unit and Michael's OCD. My impression was that Ms. Murphy believed Those Other People were crazy whereas Michael was simply a misunderstood prisoner of OCD, and was otherwise OK. This attitude, if my understanding is correct, is unhelpful.

Ms. Murphy was, I thought, rather unkind toward Ed's family. At best, she allowed as how they were well-intended, but uneducated. At worst, they sent Ed off into his OCD death spiral. I especially found this concerning when she described the scene in which Ed was committed to the psych unit. A pretty large dollop of blame for Ed's family despite the appalling (and I mean APPALLING) conditions in which Ed was living. Ms. Murphy makes no mention of how Ed survived financially, but his family had apparently given over to him an entire house and he was unemployed. They took food to him every day. They must have maintained the yard. Paid the utilities. With the possible exception of disability payments, they must have completely supported Ed financially. His siblings were also prisoners of his OCD, every single day.

Bottom line: I'm glad I read the book; I learned from it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for friends and family of anybody who suffers from OCD. It will give the insight required to understand the illogical power of this ailment upon the sufferer. It will bring you to view their behaivour in a whole new light so you can help your loved one conquer this disabling disease. I truly appreciate being able to share his experiences and recovery.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story about a young man, Ed Zine, whose life spiraled into a mental illness so profound he actually believed he could stop the progression of time by living his life in reverse - including walking, talking, and reading, is one of the most heart warming stories I have ever read.

The progression of his life and the Harvard doctor who worked with him
by breaking the rules of traditional medicine and offering all he has left to give - his friendship-- is astounding. This friendship becomes the unexpected catalyst for healing and produces an ending that only Hollywood could invent. But the story is true.

I totally recomend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a mother of a child with severe OCD, who battles every day of his life, he will never "get over it". NO ONE knows the pain, heartache and simple hell this disorder can do to people. Life in Rewind was totally medicinal for me. Knowing we are not alone in this affliction, and that you can grow up to be a productive, kind, intelligent human being was more than a gift for me. What a fabulous read, and truly uplifting story. We got to personally meet Ed at a book signing. A life change for my son, who met the most loving, kind gentle man who posseses more good than any one I know. My son now knows he does not stand alone in this living hell!....................A must read!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very important book for all those who suffer from mental illness and their family members. I learned a lot. It was also quite uplifting. After all, miracles are possible in the dark world of mental illness!!!! It brought me to tears and to a sense of awe!!!
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