This book is just confusing. Just plain confusing.
Is it about Howie's OCD? No, not really. It starts off with a little bit about it. He attributes his germaphobia to his upbringing and talks just a bit about his other problems with OCD. I could actually identify with a lot about what he was saying. I "check" things a lot. I don't think I have OCD, but I can identify with his helpless need to go back and make sure the door is locked over and over while realizing that it's silly. I do the same thing with my car door, the car lights, the headlights, the house door, the refrigerator door, the bathroom door, etc. There are other things I check, but doors are my main thing. So I could identify with how ridiculous he felt doing it, and how loathe he was to admit it.
Unfortunately that's about where I stopped identifying with Howie.
He says over and over that people do not take him seriously, that they think he's joking because he's a comedian. He seems to be frustrated by this, yet it really is impossible to understand when he is being serious or not. Does he really regret the loss of one of his best friendships due to a cruel practical joke? He says he does but then he follows that chapter with practical joke after joke. As he says, he can't stop himself. His impulse control is nonexistent. He desperately needs attention (something else he contributes to his childhood). It made him a good comedian but not somebody you can take seriously. It's really kind of creepy, because he just keeps doing these things to people and admitting he has no control over it.
The book jumps around in time, with some chapters that feel as though they were written in a stream of consciousness fashion, with him melodramatically saying he thinks he might be dead before the book is published (he had some heart trouble - and he's also a hypochondriac), and others that go back in time. He only shares a little bit of information about his decades in show business. Enough to make that aspect kind of interesting, and the way he rose as a comedian clear, but not enough for any real depth.
The whole book is utterly lacking in depth, actually. I hope Marc Summers' book about his trials with OCD - Everything In Its Place
- is better.