Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me" by Howie Mandel


Howie Mandel is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment - you many know him from his stand-up, St. Elsewhere, Bobby's World, the Jay Leno show, but most likely you know him from his gig hosting Deal or No Deal.

If you have seen the game show you also know about Mandel's insistence on greeting people with a fist-bump rather than a handshake. This is because he struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and has an extreme case of "germophobia."

In Here's The Deal, Don't Touch Me Howie Mandel recounts his life - his childhood in Toronto, his entry into the stand-up world and the fame that followed. But most importantly he opens up about his struggle with OCD, as well as adult ADHD and a serious heart problem, and how they shaped both his personal life and his career.

The book is honestly written and refreshing. He is serious about the nature of his illnesses but also able to look at them with humour. Others who struggle with the same problems Mandel does will appreciate his way of dealing with the topic and be appreciative that he has spoken up to help others realize just what life is like for people who are living like him.

The book is laugh-out-loud funny in many parts. Mandel recounts some of the many pranks he has pulled over the years, which end with both hilarious and disastrous results. He describes his child self as "a lactose-intolerant, urinating outcast who fell into ditches and puddles, sometimes walked like Quasimodo, had a fear of laundry hampers, was a nesting ground for sand flies, and craved 100 per cent of the attention." (p.217) Don't worry, there is an explanation for each of those descriptions.

This is a book that is funny and serious at the same time, that deals with serious topics that affect many and deals with them with a warmth and humour that make the reader better understand the nature of the afflictions. Howie Mandel is as funny on paper as he is on television.

2 comments:

  1. I read this book and like you, loved it! It's clear that he's a funny guy without having to try to hard. It was also refreshing to hear how much he loves and values his wife and children! He makes us Canadians proud! :)

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  2. Growing up my mom used to tell the story about the library/contractor because my mom was a teacher in Toronto then and everyone in the school board knew of him. It was cool to read about his childhood and his take on what probably drove a lot of people crazy.

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