Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, A Book Review

9780385346993Tired 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 to 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, and make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

My Review: I have always been a fan of Neil Patrick Harris, as far back as the Doogie Howser days! I’ve enjoyed him immensely in How I Met Your Mother, and also in his role as Dr. Horrible. I also have fond memories of reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a child, so this book definitely interested me!

First of all, I adore NPH’s writing style. It’s fun and offbeat and you never know what he is going to say next. I also love that he makes up words. I like to do that too! I enjoyed hearing so much about his life, however…I felt that some of it was a bit too descriptive for my tastes. I could have done without knowing certain details of his life. I also don’t know if it’s my OCD personality, but I found it much harder than I ever remember, reading this book in Choose Your Own Adventure style. I wanted to read the book in it’s entirety, so after going through, choosing my adventure, I went through and finished all the sections I had skipped. It felt awkward to me, but like I said, I’m very much a read from front to back kind of person.

All in all, a very cleverly written autobiography.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


About the Author

Neil Patrick Harris is a Tony and Emmy award-winning stage and screen performer, famous for his roles as Barney Stinson in the popular CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and as the iconic and beloved Doogie Howser, M.D. He’s been in many movies, hosted both the Tony and the Emmy Awards multiple times, performed in several Broadway shows, and enjoys the Twitter (follow him at @actuallyNPH). Oh, and he is an accomplished amateur magician on the side. And the father of twins. And he’s Dr. Horrible.

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