A Life Lived Ridiculously

General Fiction, Humor, Mystery & Thrillers

By Dr Annabelle R Charbit

Publisher : Firefly Publishing & Entertainment, LLC.

ABOUT Dr Annabelle R Charbit

Dr Annabelle R Charbit
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  More...


When a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder falls in love with a sociopath, she must fight for her sanity and her life.

Maxine’s brain is stuck. Everything around her feels wrong and the only way to fix it is to check, double-check, rearrange and count everything. What Maxine can’t fix though is her parents’ constant nagging over the absence of a husband. A humiliation that is further compounded when her younger brother runs off with Miss Perfect. Then she meets Sam, a smooth-talking charmer with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and enough terminal diseases to wipe out a small village. Maxine decides that Sam is her salvation, never mind that his life is more depressing than a Greek tragedy, and others are urging her to get away from him. The problem is that Sam has Maxine under his spell. Will Maxine escape from Sam before it is too late?

I wanted to write a story from the point of view of someone with distorted thinking. As a neuroscientist, I’ve always been fascinated by mental illness, and especially obsessive compulsive disorder. I’m a little OCD myself, so had no trouble making the character, Maxine, suffer, and convincingly so. There are too many people suffering in silence from symptoms of OCD that are not written in all the text books nor publicized in shocking television documentaries. Believe it or not, many sufferers of OCD are not obsessed by hygiene, checking the oven or hoarding. These are the OCD sufferers who suffer in embarrassed silence. My aim is to use Maxine and her excruciatingly embarrassing, non-textbook symptoms to give these people a voice. Sociopaths are fascinating too, because they are everywhere (4% of the population apparently). Whether a spouse, partner, colleague or relative, most people (whether they know it or not) have a sociopath in their life. I had one in my life and found him fascinating. The way they can look you right in the eye and lie. The fact that they are capable of anything because they are not limited by the same moral boundaries as the rest of us. Even the way they talk, they have this amazing ability to monologue incessantly while actually revealing nothing. I wanted specifically to capture this trait in my sociopath’s voice. What’s particularly interesting about mixing the OCD sufferer with the sociopath is the combing of a person who feels constant mental pain with one who feels nothing at all.

Wilfried Voss: 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.

Bernie Hodkin, Baltimore Jewish Times: What makes “A Life Lived Ridiculously” so refreshing is how real it is.  We have all dated people like Sam, liars who will say anything in order to get what they want from you. Charbit, a first-time novelist, 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.

Iain Wear, The Book Bag: What endeared Maxine - and the book as a whole to me was that we see so much of her life. There are none of the huge jumps over the boring parts that often happen in the genre. We see Maxine at work and her studies and when she's rearranging her flat. She fails to see Sam's attraction to her at first and vacillates over whether to give him money he seems to need. Her suspicions that all isn't well creep up on her slowly and she has moments of doubt when mutual friends don't immediately agree with her point of view. Such natural events and feelings, but so often missing from chick-lit novels and they help to balance out the stranger events like misplacing her car and spending hours messing with lamps when she should be sleeping.

Kate Williams, Psych Central:Slowly unraveling Maxine and Sam’s story is a satisfying endeavor, pulling away layers of societal presentation in order to reveal the complex workings of the mind.  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.

Zippy, The Review Broads: I loved that Charbit pulls us deliciously and dangerously into Maxine’s world gracefully and seamlessly; we have all had these kinds of relationships, and Maxine’s world is so carefully compiled, chapter by chapter, that I felt I was Maxine in the throes of co-dependency! Ms. Charbit’s talent is in her characterizations, timing and emotional nuance. A very good first novel, and I believe Charbit’s next novel will be more compelling, as she shows every sign of an author to watch. As Maxine goes from clueless to savvy, and Sam’s dreary tale comes out, we can’t wait to turn the page to find out what Maxine will do. Well done, good read.