Monday, July 6, 2015

Recommended Reading: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Book Description:

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 hideous death by piranhas. 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!

A creative, interesting book. The "choose your own adventure" gimmick means it can never be too heavy, never too serious, and the short sections keep you interested. There's no way to read in chronological order even if you wanted to, so what you get is a dreamlike jaunt through NPH's memories... It's less a "memoir" or any kind of biography and more just behind-the-scenes peeks at the actor and the productions in which he's performed. As he says several times, he loves to see the secrets behind the curtain! He doesn't act like it's some great work of literature except in jest, which allows the depth it does have to come through -- his love for his husband and kids is palpable, and you can tell he's a born performer. Funny and heartwarming!

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