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Know Your Neurosis: An Analysis of Frank Bruno’s It’s OK to Be Neurotic

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book reviews
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  1. Introduction
  2. The flow of the book
  3. The presentation of It's OK to Be Neurotic
  4. Bruno portrayal of neurotic individuals
  5. Conclusion
  6. Work cited

I picked It's OK to Be Neurotic: Using Your Neuroses to Your Advantage by Frank Bruno from the bottom row on the third book case in the self-help section at Barnes & Noble because the title on the spine was so obnoxiously bold and it was shelved at the wrong end of the alphabet. They say not to pick a book by a glamorous color, and I don't think you can get any less glamorous than plain old bold, white, block letter font in the family of Times New Roman. I am pleased to say my haphazard selection process proved fruitful in the end. It's OK to Be Neurotic is exactly what it seems: an aide to being neurotic. That's right: a self-help book that is not trying to force upon its readers ten easy steps to changing their entire lives. As the author states, he does not want to ?cure [the reader] of [his or her] neurosis,? but instead ?provide guidelines for living with [a] neurosis? (Bruno 3). I honestly did not expect such a book to exist let alone prove successful, but Frank Bruno presents an honest case that is undeniably helpful to everyone, neurotic or not, even in the smallest of ways.

[...] Bruno does not care exactly what may have sparked a fear of death in a person; he is only concerned with providing that person with a way to cope with fear of death as a whole, as a neurotic disorder, as something that cannot be cured but can be aided greatly. Since Bruno is only providing coping strategies to neurosis, and not seeking an overall cure, there are no real issues of falsely attributing causality when it is a case of correlation. [...]


[...] Bruno has provided a book full of them, a book with so many opportunities that, even if the reader finds only one that helps, that is one way to cope that he or she never had before. Most self-help books make no sense. Even when consumers are swayed by advertisements or colorful marketing displays, deep inside they know the book is not helping. These books seem to ignore the portion of their genre, instead focusing on the ever-illusive to pain. It's OK to Be Neurotic is an example of a true self-help book, promising [...]

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