Picks and Pans Review: Dr. David Reuben's Mental First-Aid Manual
by David Reuben, M.D.
Subtitled Instant Relief from Twenty-Five of Life's Worst Problems, this book is everything you ever wanted to know about how much gall one individual can develop. In his introduction Reuben, who since his hit sex book in 1970 has written three books about nutrition, graciously concedes, "Obviously in a single book it is impossible to cover every one of life's worst problems." But he whizzes right on through the chosen 25, which run from Alcohol and Anxiety through Unemployment and Unhappy Love Affairs. He presents most of his solutions in the form of dialogues with imaginary patients. In the priceless chapter on Female Orgasm, for instance, he explains some surefire techniques to "Cynthia." When Cynthia interrupts, Reuben responds, "That's what I was just about to say." Cynthia replies, "Oh, I'm sorry, Doctor. This is so important to me that I guess I'm just getting a little excited." "That's all right, Cynthia, I understand," he consoles. There are aphorisms such as "Burning out is not the end, it's the beginning" and "Get the best treatment available." In his epilogue, Reuben writes, "The best way to deal with the suffering and unhappiness that come from life's worst problems is simply to avoid those problems. Does that sound too easy?" Well, Dave, now that you mention it... (Macmillan, $13.50)
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