Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened? Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.
Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a guest stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!
Neil Patrick Harris is the kind of person I’d love to have lunch with. More than that, the kind of person I’d like to be friends with. He’s witty, honest, sharp, and down to earth. And there’s no denying he’s fun! Not to mention so incredibly talented, and a decent writer to boot.
I devoured this book. I loved the choose your own adventure format, though it will no doubt alienate readers who prefer chronological storytelling. The technique kept me engaged, and kept me interested. And it reminded me of being a kid, when I used to read these kinds of books. And yes, I actually read it the way I was supposed to. All three times. (I probably still missed something, but the beautiful thing is I can DO IT AGAIN.)
NPH tells us about his childhood, his youth, and his adulthood in a way that makes you feel you experienced it with him. While he touches on deeply personal and intimate moments, they’re presented in such a way to be lighthearted. There’s nothing in-your-face inflammatory here… Just the depiction of his life, or at least what he’s chosen to share with us. It’s both touching and entertaining at the same time. Reading it, you get a sense of who he is, and that’s not something I’ve felt from the majority of autobiographies/memoirs I’ve read. Hopefully he’s not just lying.
Though if he is, I’m content to live in ignorant bliss.
What I loved most though was the passion that comes through in his writing. Whether talking about his family or his career, it’s clear that Harris is in love with his life and thankful for everything he has achieved. He loves what he does and who he is. And, truthfully, so do most of us.
Thanks for sharing your life with us, NPH.
I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.