Stuff by Randy O. Frost
Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

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Now comes "Stuff" by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee, scholars who have studied hoarding closely and pondered its curious causes and disturbing effects...The question is why, and "Stuff," which describes its subject in authoritative detail, has no definitive answer.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

A thoughtfully researched and fascinating appraisal of what happens when our stuff starts to own us

What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper that’s ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a person to sacrifice her marriage or career for an accumulation of seemingly useless things? Randy Frost and Gail Steketee were the first to study hoarding when they began their work a decade ago. They didn't expect that they would end up treating hundreds of patients and fielding thousands of calls from the families of hoarders. Their vivid case studies (reminiscent of Oliver Sacks) in Stuff show how you can identify a hoarder—piles on sofas and beds that make the furniture useless, houses that can be navigated only by following small paths called goat trails, vast piles of paper that the hoarders “churn” but never discard, even collections of animals and garbage—and illuminate the pull that possessions exert over all of us. Whether we’re savers, collectors, or compulsive cleaners, very few of us are in fact free of the impulses that drive hoarders to extremes.

 

About Randy O. Frost

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DR. GAIL STEKETEE is a professor and acting dean at Boston University in the school of social work. DR. RANDY FROST is a professor of psychology at Smith College and an internationally known expert on obsessive-compulsive disorder and compulsive hoarding, as well as the pathology of perfectionism.
 
Published April 20, 2010 by Mariner Books. 309 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Terzian on Apr 30 2010

Now comes "Stuff" by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee, scholars who have studied hoarding closely and pondered its curious causes and disturbing effects...The question is why, and "Stuff," which describes its subject in authoritative detail, has no definitive answer.

Read Full Review of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding an... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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