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In this wacky book, Patch Adams joins forces with Jerry Van Amerongen to give the reader a practical guide in introducing laughter into the healing process. The book is divided into three sections. The first section is filled with thoughts on being well. Dr. Adams provides instruction on being healthy and then provides some action steps to assimilate faith, humor, curiosity, relaxation, passion, exercise, nutrition, friendship, service, and other positive values into your daily life. These guidelines are cleverly illustrated by Jerry Van Amerongen with one panel cartoons that bring home the message of the suggestion and motivate the reader to take action. Amerongen is the creator of the Ballard Street syndicated cartoon strip.

Section two follows the same format but offers suggestions on what the reader can do to make a visit in the hospital, to shut-ins, or someone in the community, beneficial and enjoyable for both parties. These steps are thoughtful, often neglected and easy to carry out. Again the impact of the action steps are enhanced and impacted through the humor of Jerry's cartoon illustrations.
Suggestions are also offered on how to be a good hospital patient, from gaining understanding by asking questions regarding your treatment, careful listening to instructions, and reflection on your life and what you have done and want to accomplish in the future. Van Amerongen's humor helps the readers accept the situation and are then motivated to make the most of their circumstances.

The third section deals with special concerns when visiting, children, teenagers, the elderly, mentally ill, disabled, and dying patients. These helpful suggestions make the impact of your visit pleasurable for the patient, the caregivers, and yourself. The cartoons help the reader visualize the words of the text.

Adams has also provided a very comprehensive bibliography entitled "A Booklover's Search for Understanding and Ideas."

Combining Patch Adams' philosophy of laughter in healing with Jerry Van Amerongen's humor was a stroke of brilliance. The combination has made this book an enjoyable read, and produced in this reader, many smiles, some chuckles, and hearty laughs. It also gave me a new sensitivity to the importance of "healing the world one visit at a time."

As Reviewed for Amazon by Richard R. Blake

House Calls

Patch Adams

Patch Adams Speaking Website