Howie Mandel is a popular figure on American TV but this side of the Atlantic the chances are that unless you watch St Elsewhere or America's Got Talent you will never have heard of him. If that is the case you probably won't be interested in this book; I wouldn't have been neither if I hadn't have picked up a battered copy for a few pence at a car boot sale. This is a shame because this is a terrific book, certainly one of the funniest and most entertaining showbiz autobiographies that I have read for some time.
Whilst judging on America's Got Talent Mandel comes across as being a warm and good natured man. These qualities are conveyed in his autobiography in which he charts his rise to fame, starting on the comedy circuit before moving onto TV and movies. This is all good stuff, particularly when he writes about the consequences of his slightly anarchic sense of humour. What sets this book apart though, is that Mandel writes candidly about two disorders that he suffers from - OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). These are conditions that I didn't have much prior knowledge of so Mandel's frank account of the effect that they have on his life and how he is able to cope makes for enlightening reading.
on 29 October 2010
I remember Howie Mandel from his St Elsewhere days & was interested to read his book as I can relate to many of his problems. The book is brutally honest about his mental health issues & thus makes uncomfortable reading at times - but the humour and warmth of Mandel's personality lightens the load.
Personally, I would have liked to have read more about his St Elsewhere days - six years of his life gets very little attention. However, some of the stories made me laugh out loud, which compensated for any disappointment.
A searingly honest but touching book. You cannot help but warm to the author, even if some of his practical joke stories have a cruel twist to them. He is the first to be the subject of the last laugh & his humour at his own mental health problems gave me a new way of looking at my own issues.