Saturday, May 25, 2019

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography - Memoir Review

Goodreads: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Rating: Just Okay
Source: Blogging For Books/Purchased (Audible)

Description:  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!

Genre: Nonfiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I like Neil Patrick Harris and was super curious to see how this worked.

My Impression:  Honestly - I was never a big fan of those Choose Your Own Adventure books that were everywhere when I was a kid.  I mean I liked the basic concept but I always died really quick and than I would lose patience trying to try all the different options.  However, I love Neil Patrick Harris and was curious about how the Choose Your Own Adventure format would work for an autobiography - with some silliness and craziness being a given.  I had actually tried to read this in book form and had a similar experience to those childhood Choose Your Own Adventures and lost interest pretty quickly.

The audio worked way better for me.  Not only does Neil do a great job with the narration (hardly surprising) but I found the actual autobiography part easier to follow.  Granted there was still a lot of silliness and general off the wall nonsense but the core of the audio was the actual Neil Patrick Harris' thoughts and journey which was quite entertaining.  I would have liked a bit more about How I Met Your Mother as I really enjoyed the bits about his theater career and his family.  The book itself definitely had a gimmicky feel and I never felt quite as connected with him as I had with Anna Kendrick or Kunal Nayyir after listening to their autobiographies.  If you're not already a big NPH fan I don't think you'll get much out of this book - and honestly while I've enjoyed some of his TV work and interviews I'm not sure I'm a big enough fan.  In addition to the random side trips into nonsense land there's a bit of rambling.  While not a must read it is entertaining though I'd definitely go with the audio version over print.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Probably not though I would listen to just about anything he narrated.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Not really unless you're a huge NPH fan and even then I'd suggest getting it from the library.


  1. I read this but wasn't a big fan of it.

  2. I used to ADORE Choose Your Own Adventure books! I also used to really like Doogie Houser, M.D., but not enough to read an autobiography of NPH. I know he's written some kids books, so I might check those out. Glad he was a fun narrator, though!

  3. Hmm I never read a read your own adventure although I used to see some of students reading them, just didn't appeal to me. Interesting that the audio worked out better.

  4. I have been curious about this book. I'll have to see if Hoopla has the audio. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 👍✨

  5. He is so creative to present his autobiography in this way.