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I Am What I Am (John Barrowman Memoirs #2)

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  1,065 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
Intimately exploring aspects of John's current life, this personal memoir is full of exclusive anecdotes from recent and ongoing projects, all told with John's trademark charm and humor. Full of juicy tidbits from behind the scenes of "Doctor Who "and "Torchwood," this memoir also offers heartwarming family anecdotes and personal revelations, including John's perspective o ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 6th 2010 by Michael O'Mara Books (first published November 15th 2009)
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Mar 25, 2014 TL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved the way John/Carole wrote this book... it felt like I was invited into the house and was sitting there, sipping a drink while listening to John tell his stories... the beginning before the narrative got going and the end also set that tone wonderfully. The footnotes here hilarious as well sometimes... cute to see John interrupting himself.

*some spoilers for Torchwood if you haven't seen the show yet*

The first thing I did was to check out the photos included in the book hehe...

John's ha
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
I enjoyed browsing this book.
Nov 17, 2011 deejah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another memoir?? Yep - I am sure it will be the final one for me in this project. This is another book given to me by my pal Lara . She asked if it would be a book that I would be interested in checking out because she knew that I am a sci-fi fan overall and a Torchwood fan specifically. See, for the uninitiated, John Barrowman plays Captain Jack Harkness on the Doctor Who and Torchwood franchises. He is a Scottish-born actor who grew up in the US. He is fla ...more
I am a fangirl so when I saw this copy in a library sale I picked it up. I love Torchwood (A spin-off of Dr Who) and Captain Jack Harkniss (played by John Barrowman) is a fabulous television character.

The book is one you either love or just don't. Every single page has footnotes at the bottom of the page - Every single page. It makes reading the book incredibly difficult, and yet it is the perfect representation of John Barrowman's character. He is so busy and has so many trains of thought goin
Lizabeth Tucker
Feb 22, 2013 Lizabeth Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, television
Reading a book from John and Carole really is like sitting down with him and listening to family stories and discussing whatever subject might come up. Once again the chapters are entitled by the names of songs that pertain to the contents within. This time chapters are divided by Family Table Talk moments where you hear a more intimate remembrance or talk.

As before I would suggest not reading this in public, unless you don't mind people looking at you strangely for breaking out in laughter. Joh
Jan 02, 2010 Grumpyworld rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a slow reader. People have leant me books and then not seen them for up to a year. So when I tell you that I got this book...and FINISHED this book, in one day (almost in a single sitting, I stopped for tea) then I am saying something.

It's very well written, with an great sense of humour, honesty, and mixture of tales and thoughts. You get the sense that Barrowman is holding nothing back, and it makes the words even more special. There are parts that will make you laugh out loud, parts tha
Mar 03, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cried tears of laughter and sorrow, reading the second installment of John Barrowman's life story. He goes into further detail talking about family "table" tales, tales which are constantly reviewed at the family dinner table.

Be it his swimming dog from his childhood, or the "emergency flapping", or the bear on a walk in the woods one day. All his tales are beyond funny, and I found myself laughing out loud, oh so often (much to the amusement, or annoyment, to other library-goers)!

Oct 05, 2009 Shelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: JB fans, clearly
Shelves: whoniverse, media
John Barrowman, I love you so much. But I think everyone knew this already. This was laugh out loud funny and a delight to read. It dragged a bit in the middle - he touched on a lot of very recent events that were so familiar it felt like a retread, and since he referenced things as recent as June, this may not have been as revised/edited as the first one. Also, I pushed myself through this in one afternoon/evening, which might have contributed to it. But his stories about his family and Scott w ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally carved out some time to finish up this book in more than a few minute spurts just before bed. I must say the book is much more enjoyable when you can just sit and read it, than to do so as a before bed read.

I learned quite a few things about John from this book, and it was a lovely follow up to Anything Goes: My Autobiography
In contrast to John's earlier book, Anything Goes, this is not so much an autobiography but a book full of stories - and lovely ones they are! John is every bit as cheeky and fun as he is during his shows or on TV and reading the book simply guarantees you having a great time. It should come as no surprise then that there's 5 stars for this book of my favourite performer - Mr. John Barrowman!
Rosina Scott
Jan 17, 2010 Rosina Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
learned some nice things about John's partner and a few more interesting tales of family life.

Much the same as the first book, but more a day to day telling of his past than anything really outstanding. Plus there was details of the scandel with the Daily Mail.
Oh my god. I'm a huge John Barrowman fan and this is probably the funniest auto-biography I have read in my life. If you want a great laugh even if you aren't a fan of his then I recommend this book.

I was laughing so hard I was in tears at points.
Tara Horak
Aug 21, 2010 Tara Horak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Antony Simpson
Dec 23, 2015 Antony Simpson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Anyone who knows me, knows I like John Barrowman. So when he brought out I Am What I Am I picked it up. It is his second autobiography, his first being Anything Goes which I haven’t yet read.

But having finished I Am What I Am some time ago, I felt it was about time I reviewed it. First off I love how the book is written. It’s like you’ve got a warm mug of tea and are listening to John recount a tale. You can almost hear the sound of his voice as you read. He uses footnotes
Laine The Librarian
As a lifelong fan of Doctor Who and just recently got into Torchwood I am a huge fan...a HUGE FAN of John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness)!! He could just stand in front of the camera and smile his huge dashing smile and I'll be content with that!! Ha-Ha!

So as a fan of the two shows and him, once I found out that he wrote a book about himself I just couldn't say no. So I interloaned I Am What I Am at my library. And I gotta tell ya...still in love with that guy!

Barrowman mostly talks about his
Dec 31, 2012 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say...This was an amazing follow-up to John Barrowman's first bestselling book "Anything Goes." John Barrowman is a singer, a dancer, an actor, and now an author. For those who do not know John let me tell you. I got my first taste of John when I first saw him on Doctor Who as Captain Jack and he was trying to win over the heart of Rose Tyler, but that's a whole different aspect of his life. I knew then and there that I wanted to find out more about this actor. I discovered his two bo ...more
Sian Wadey
I Am What I Am by John Barrowman

Having read Anything Goes I was excited to find another Barrowman autobiography. My only concern is that he'd pretty much covered his whole life in the first book, what was left to talk about?
However, I didn't have to worry, it was great, full of entertaining stories and memorable moments and opinions. I loved the 'table talk' sections about what the Barrowman's would discuss around the dinner table and I really enjoyed reading the lists relevant to each chapter.
Jan 08, 2016 Phillip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of John since Doctor Who/Torchwood, but I love his appearances on panel shows, musical shows, and was lucky enough to see him in concert in Cardiff, Wales a few years ago, as well as getting to ask him a question during a con appearance here in the States. So knowing his personality, I thoroughly enjoyed this book which is generally just him storytelling -- I have not read his prior book which I understand is more of a bio. This one is just his tales of family, fun, and experienc ...more
Susan Olesen
I love him dearly, but I found the style of the book lacked a kind of cohesiveness I expect in a biography. I still can't tell if he's that affable and lovable and wonderful, or just a pretty-boy-macho-dumb**ck who's full of himself. More a collection of essays than a meaningful autobiography, there just isn't enough background to the sections to make you really understand. OK if you want to know more about him, learn what he does away from Torchwood, but don't expect much. But, even though I do ...more
Lisa P
Feb 22, 2012 Lisa P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read for any John Barrowman fan. Some might complain that it is a bit disorganized and nonlinear...but that is exactly what I loved about it (maybe because I can relate). Have you ever started to tell a story to someone and gotten off on a tangent story, and another, and another, until finally, 5 or 6 stories later, you finally get around to finishing the original story. Well, that's kind of what this book is like...and it works! Many of the stories he tells of his friends and family had m ...more
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Borrowed this book off Becca whilst in Singapore, and read it in two days or so? I love it. I love how he’s fair in what he says – if he had a problem with someone he says he did, and explains why. So many times you see celebs do nothing but suck up to everyone and never saying a bad word about anyone, which means therefore you can’t really put weight in any of their opinions. John though, if he loves or hates someone, he’ll tell you.

I don’t live in the UK so I miss out on a bit of his news – so
Aug 07, 2014 Eri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
At the beginning of the first book JB says something like - I want you to feel like we're sitting in our PJs and swapping stories. This book, just liek the first one, gave me exactly this feeling. I've been laughing my ass off and almost snorting my tea thanks to how priceless the stories inside this book are.

Carole Barrowman did wonderful job turning Johns's talks into written text. It's catchy, it's pleasure to read, and if I had more time I'd read this in one sitting.

Btw - given my backgroun
Oct 15, 2009 jillbertini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Barrowman is a consummate entertainer. This book is nothing short of entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud through.

It's not organized in a typical chronological fashion, but more thematically. I haven't read his earlier book, so I think there were some holes that were missing.

As a fan of both Barrowman and Torchwood, this was an enjoyable read. It was great to learn more about both of them. I had read a review of Anything Goes that said Barrowman didn't delve too much into dark stu
Feb 28, 2014 Taksya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seconda biografia per John Barrowman, incentrata sulla seconda parte della sua carriera.
Come per la prima, il racconto segue una sorta di canovaccio, ma gli aneddoti si accavallano tra loro, dando al racconto una sorta di tranquilla colloquialità.
La parte dedicata ai vari talent show è di interesse relativo, non avendo assistito agli show in questione e non conoscendo buona parte dei nomi citato.
Più interessanti le parti legate a Torchwood e Doctor Who e quelle collegate alla famiglia e ai nomi
Jules Jones
Second volume of Barrowman's memoirs, written with his sister Carole Barrowman. While the first volume was a largely chronological memoir of his life so far, this volume is a selection of stories arranged more by theme than by time, and including a lot of material in direct response to questions he was asked after the first volume was published. As with any good actor biography, part of the appeal of this book is a more general look at the side of showbusiness that the public don't see for thems ...more
May 28, 2013 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The moment I started reading this book I knew it was going to be just as fun as reading Anything Goes. What I wasn't expecting from this book were the different emotional states. Sometimes I would laugh hysterically, other times I would cry. I also felt angry, sad, embarrassed, and pleased. Reading this book made me have a conglomeration of feelings that I hadn't experienced in a while. John and Carole's writing style always makes for a great read and I can't wait to read their new children's se ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Gareth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
JB's follow-up autobiography has the usual problem of such books - he used all his best stories in the first one and only so much can happen in 18 months.

Nevertheless there's a great anecdote about filming in a squalid zoo and his accounts of being a talent show judge and making ""Children of Earth"" and ""The Making of Me"" are diverting.
The more domestic stories about his partner and family were not so enthralling but then I'm less interested in that side of celebs. So it's a thinner book but
Jul 05, 2012 Vittoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I brought this almost immediately after reading "Anything Goes", Barrowman's first autobiography. As with the first, this is filled with Barrowman's personality, sharing details of his life, some hilarious bits, and some more somber moments. I have to admit, I was choking up a couple of times. A very well done second autobiography - not easy to do - and fantastically written, though Barrowman does have a tendency, as others have noted, to skip back and forth between memories, which can sometimes ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Is it really necessary to write a 2nd memoir (at the age of 42)and publish it a year after the first one? The first was mildly interesting as it chronicled his early years in Scotland and how he began his career in musical theater. This is just a collection of stories, in no particular order, that he finds interesting. It is extremely self-indulgent, and I can't help thinking that while the first memoir helped me to know him better, the second one made me like him less. It is also riddled with f ...more
This book lovely. John Barrowman is adorable. I like that this didn't read like a normal autobiography, it was just like John was talking and being silly. I loved all of his random footnotes and when he mentioned behind the scene stuff about Torchwood and Doctor Who. Sometimes he tended to go off on tangents but that kind of went along with the conversation like format of the book. All his mentions of Torchwood really made me wish the show would come back and that Captain Jack would be back on D ...more
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John Barrowman was born in Scotland, and moved to Illinois when he was eight years old. He is bi-dialectal, doing much of his stage and acting work in his American accent, but speaking with family in his Scottish accent.

He moved back to Britain in 1989 when he was hired to play the lead in Anything Goes. He took on a number of West End roles, including the leads in Sunset Boulevard and Miss Saigo
More about John Barrowman...

Other Books in the Series

John Barrowman Memoirs (2 books)
  • Anything Goes

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