Title: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Author: Neil Patrick Harris
Genre: Celebrity memoir/choose your own adventure
Date Read: 10/02/2017 – 13/02/2017
You may know Neil Patrick Harris as teenage MD Doogie Howser, or as Joss Whedon’s Doctor Horrible, or if you’re lucky, you’ve seen him on Broadway. This book is cute and fun, and really shows that he recognises just how blessed his life has been. It was also in quirky format that would not have worked for every celebrity memoir, but it did work for this one.
As you can probably tell from the title, the book is in a choose-your-own-adventure format, where “you are” NPH. I did start off reading it this way, and probably read about half of it by choosing the various paths, but after a while, I found myself continually being given choices I’d already read. At that point, I just started reading from beginning to end, skipping the pages I’d already read.
It was really fascinating reading some of the behind-the-scenes stories about performances I was familiar with him from. I particularly liked the anecdote about his Tony Awards opening song, “It’s Not Just For Gays Anymore” and how the Powers That Be had insisted the word “sodomy” be replaced with “same-sex love”, but Neil “accidentally” sang the original lyric during the performance/live broadcast.
The anecdotes about his personal life were also fairly interesting to read. He doesn’t go into a lot of detail, which is fine. He also talks about his almost-professional hobby of stage magic, but his descriptions of magic tricks did not really translate to the page. I ended up skimming those because they were pretty confusing to read. Maybe if I’d had a deck of cards handy and could actually follow the instructions, I might have made more sense of them. The notes from his celebrity friends that were scattered throughout were also sweet, but I’m not sure they really added much to the book overall.