Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review of Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Crown October 2014
304 pages
From the library

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

From his numerous television and stage performances, we know Neil Patrick Harris is a talented actor. His interviews and hosting gigs suggest that the real Neil is also a fun and fascinating person. But he might be the only person who would think to tell his life story through a Choose Your Own Adventure. 

Harris covers many of the things that have happened in his life so far. He recalls his childhood and his first experiences as an actor. He writes about his time in Broadway shows and his beloved television roles as Doogie Howser and Barney Stinson. We are also privy to much more personal moments, as he shares his thoughts on being outed as gay and becoming a father. 

One of the greatest things about this book is the transparency and humility that shine on every page. He is candid about his discomfort when another actor was unprofessional or unprepared for a role in a show. But then Harris confesses his own mistakes as he tried to balance television and stage roles and went onstage totally unprepared for his role in Company. His genuine gratitude for everything he has received and his joy that he is able to play for a living is apparent from cover to cover. 

The Choose Your Own Adventure format is really interesting and fun. I enjoyed it for a while, but unfortunately found myself getting the same endings again and again. Eventually, I had to give up and just read it from start to finish in order to ensure that I got to read the whole book. It's evident that Harris has a lot of fun with a totally original format, which means he can include annotations from his husband David, comics, quick synopses of the terrible TV movies he starred in, and magic tricks. Yup, magic tricks. 

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography is a fun look into the life of a man who is a wonderful performer and just a genuinely nice guy. It's a book that will make you laugh, make you cheer on an awkward kid from New Mexico, and it just might make you do a few Netflix searches so you can get your NPH fix. 

Have you read any unique biographies lately?


  1. I keep seeing this around, but I'm definitely not a huge fan of the "choose your own" format, so that's been my main deterrent in picking this up.

    1. I think you could read it straight through. You just would have to think for a moment which versions are true and which are made up!

  2. I love NPH is How I Met Your Mother but I don't know anything about him as a person. He sounds like an awesome, interesting person and after reading your review, I'd love to pick this up!