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Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me

Review

Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me

Let me begin by saying that biographies, memoirs and
autobiographies are among my least favorite reads. However, some of
the best books I’ve read fall into these categories. So
what’s the deal? I guess I’ve just been fortunate, and
my luck continues with Howie Mandel’s offering. His story,
HERE’S THE DEAL, is not only an attempt to educate readers
about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and adult Attention Deficit
Hyperactive Disorder, but it also serves as a catharsis for the
author. He admits in the beginning that he was writing about
himself, for himself.

While we’ve probably all heard the clichés about
laughter being the best medicine, Mandel has actually survived due
to his ability to laugh and to make others laugh despite his pain.
Having suffered with these two potentially debilitating disorders
since he was a child, putting his struggles out in the open allowed
some light to shine into his surprisingly dark world. To anyone who
has not experienced some form of uncontrollable emotional or mental
issue, the fear of shaking hands or the inability to stay focused
may seem ridiculous. But the OCD fears are very real --- even
terrifying. And the nonstop thoughts can keep the ADHD sufferer
from ever completing a task.

Obviously, it is a wonder that Mandel was able to complete the
task of writing this book. As he said in an interview, “I
could maybe see myself writing a pamphlet but never a book!”
Perhaps that was why he was assisted by Josh Young --- no doubt
part of Young’s job was to keep Mandel focused. In any case,
the result is a fast-paced book with as many anecdotes as you would
expect from a primal stand-up comic. What you might not expect,
however, is the candor with which he reveals character traits that
could be very offensive to some. And with that same candor, Mandel
admits that he has ruined friendships because of his pranks and his
need to make people feel as uncomfortable as he always does.

Is it ironic when a hypochondriac actually gets sick? Yes. And
when it’s a serious heart condition and a person like Howie
Mandel is certain that each breath is his last. Even though there
are treatments for his heart condition, fear trumps logic, and only
continued support keeps him from daily meltdowns. Here’s the
deal: if you love Howie Mandel, you will love getting to know him
better through his book. And you will definitely gain insight into
some mental health issues that plague an estimated 4 to 6 million
people.

Reviewed by Maggie Harding on January 22, 2011

Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me
Howie Mandel, with Josh Young

  • Publication Date: November 24, 2009
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0553807862
  • ISBN-13: 9780553807868