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I've always found Howie Mandel somewhat amusing, and he's clearly a smart guy who has carved out an interesting and multifaceted career for himself. I can't say I was anxiously awaiting a Mandel biography, because I never really thought I wanted to know more about the guy. But I often like bios and comedy books that are read by the author (it's like a long comedy special), so I gave "Don't Touch Me" a try. And I actually really enjoyed it.
First, it is a fast-paced, entertaining bio with the occasional guffaw-worthy moment (although not many, probably by design). Some of the attempts at humor are a little lame and even blatantly stupid, although Mandel has made a comedy career out of milking every excriciating drop of funny out of overtly stupid humor. I hate to admit that I find his rubber glove over the head routine funny, but it really (kinda) is. But I was surprised to find that the most compelling parts of this book were the serious segments that weren't meant to be funny at all. I learned things about him that I didn't know I cared about, and while nothing has changed in my life or his as a result of learning those things, it was a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
One of the biggest surprises was how much of a jerk Mandel was to his friends, family and fans, particularly for a guy who seems so amiable and always has a warm friendly smile on his face whenever you see him. It's one thing for celebrities to admit to some debilitating illness, addiction or challenge --- don't pity me; I've just had to learn to bear my burdens! -- and Mandel's severe OCD certainly qualifies as a challenge. But his willingness to show himself as a real tool and not go out of his way to excuse it was rare and even a bit refreshing. Most of all, it made for very compelling listening.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
OK, I can't even imagine someone else narrating this book. I bought this because I do like celebrity bios. I was not a fan of Howie's, although I was interested in his OCD. I was amazed at how candid he was. He truly was a jerk. I'm shocked that he admits this. BUT, he does have some nice sides to him, that make him more likeable. His wife truly does deserve an award! I bet if I had read this book, I would have put it down. I listened to this book all in one sitting. He was hilarious! And adding little side bits to the book, was great. I love hearing how the celebrities had to struggle early in their lives, makes them more human. I would recommend this audible book, as it is a great listen, had me laughing at many instances. Only Howie could have read this. Any other narrator would have killed the book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful