Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shelf Life [adult]

Neil Patrick HarrisNeil Patrick Harris: Choose your own Autobiography By Neil Patrick Harris
@SPL: 791.45028092 Harri

There is probably not a cheekier celebrity around today than Neil Patrick Harris, aka Barney Stinson, aka the child actor formerly known as Doogie Howser M.D., and current darling of the Great White Way.  So naturally when it came time to pen a memoir, NPH chose to do so in the cheekiest kind of way, via the ‘choose your own adventure’ format which puts the reader right into the patent-leather shoes of NPH, and then gives permission to said reader to skip or tap-dance all over NPH’s life in them.

So, you can choose to read about NPH’s happy childhood and the moment he fell in love with performing; or, you can choose to read about his rather more miserable childhood, being brought up by Grandmapa. (Not a typo -you did indeed read that correctly.) Then, you can choose to read about the time actor Scott Caan wanted to beat up NPH, choose a response for NPH, and either survive and learn some cocktail recipes or spend a very long time in traction.

Of course, you could read it page after page like a normal memoir, but in no time at all your head would feel like a pretzel and you would miss the acres of fun and funny NPH’s “twisty-turny” life involved. Nope, best to take this memoir in the vein it was meant, and haphazardly read how NPH came out of the closet, came to believe in ghosts, was born and raised in Albuquerque, mastered magic, mastered Broadway, failed at acting, learned to make fun of himself, succeeded at acting and met many famous people who would go on to contribute nice and funny anecdotes about NPH in his Choose your own Autobiography. (Not necessarily in that order. And, feel free to question the veracity of all anecdotes.) In short, if you’re a fan of NPH or choose-your-own-adventure tales, this book is for you. If you like a memoir that is both self-deprecating and quick-witted, this book is for you. And if you need something to read in this busy holiday season that you can pick up and read at random without marking your spot, this book is definitely for you. (Also available as an audiobook, but I honestly have no idea how that would work.)

Find Neil Patrick Harris: Choose your own Autobiography at spl.bibliocommons.com under the tag Shelf Life Reviewed.

This review is published in the Stratford Gazette. Written by Robyn Godfrey, Outreach and Collections Librarian.

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