Review: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

nphTitle: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography 

Author: Neil Patrick Harris

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Source: Purchased

Check this book out on Goodreads.

Buy it at: Chapters | Book Depository

3 stars

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! (Source: Goodreads)

This autobiography written by Neil Patrick Harris features cute stories about his kids and partner, intense discussions on coming out, marriage, work, and an unusual format. Harris makes use of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” style to tell his life story through multiple streams often giving you a closer focus on just one aspect of his life rather than others. It was a unique read with an interesting sort of novelty in the formatting but it was also kind of a pain to read.

I adore NPH, he seems like such a great guy and such a great dad. I am not a crazy fan but just think he’s a generally cool dude. This book really just proved all of that. He writes very honestly, he’s just a regular guy despite being kind of a mega-celebrity since he was young. He tells all kinds of stories from his childhood, TV days, broadway, hosting, raising kids, meeting celebrities – everything you can imagine and he does it openly and honestly. He doesn’t hold back opinions on people or observations he just tells it how it is. I was really impressed and awed by this open honesty.

I did have issues with this book though. A hurdle that for me really lowered my enjoyment. The format. The whole “Choose Your Own” thing didn’t work for me. I did think it was fun, if a little gimmicky, it’s just not how my brain works at all. Skipping portions of the book just gave me a headache and some chest pain if I’m being honest. I kind of feel like I need that linear structure. I think it was a fascinating way to tell the story and it certainly challenged me but it also stressed me the hell out.

There were a lot of sections that I never hit by the end of my first readthrough of this book. I went back and made new decisions and it was kind of fun but mostly really annoying. Eventually there were about 9 sections I never hit, and didn’t want to go rifling through the book to try and find the paths to so I just read them. Page 38, I never found a path to you so y’know….awesome.

I do recommend this book but be prepared for a little bit of stress, a lot of laughs, a lot of fun honestly, but stress too…so much stress.

Ramble on,

Have you read Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own AutobiographyLet me know your thoughts in the comments!
Check out Neil Patrick Harris at his website.
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