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Anything Goes (John Barrowman Memoirs #1)

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,828 ratings  ·  216 reviews
From his Glaswegian childhood and American adolescence to his starring role in the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, this memoir traces the life and career of actor John Barrowman. John made a name for himself with remarkable West End achievements, including an Olivier Award nomination and success in the movies The Producers and De-Lovely. Television success was also assured w ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Michael O'Mara Books (first published April 28th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Meghan
Reasons to listen to John Barrowman read his autobiography:

He laughs.
He sings.
He does funny voices.
He does his own Scottish accent.
He gets emotional.

It's a very anecdotal book, and it's lovely to hear him tell these stories himself. The audio book is abridged and I do plan to read the complete hard copy version, but this reading is delightful.
April
Aug 25, 2012 April rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: barrowman fans
*this is a gif infested review

Please don't judge me for the three star rating! Three stars are the maximum I award to anything that's biographical in any way because truthfully I'm not that interested in reading constant facts - even when it is someone I've adored since I was around nine years old.

Anyway, moving on

MY PRIMARY DESIRE THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK:
description

Pivotal moments (and stuff I remember the most):

1. John first finding out he is going to be Captain Jack. (Leading to the leaping-over-vigorous
...more
Gena
Mar 28, 2008 Gena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all musical theater fans, and everyone who wants a positive read about an extraordinary man
What can you say about John Barrowman that he doesn't say himself? Nothing. The man is shameless - but in the best possible way ever.
For those of you not familiar with John Barrowman, he is a Broadway musical star, a TV star, a frequent talk show guest (in the UK) and an all around amazing talent. His autobiography reads like a list of "fun things you should try". Really. I think he's embraced every aspect of his field and tried to do each and every one of them well.
I was moved by his story, hi
...more
Dina Roberts
Entertaining memoirs.

To me though, Barrowman seemed a bit full of himself. Most of us are. It's just some people wear it much more prominently on their sleeves.

There's a lot of talk about Barrowman's handsomeness, his talent, how wonderfully fun he is, the famous people he's known and met, and the expensive things he's bought and experienced. But I found him most endearing when he talked about his poop accidents and farting.

I also liked the bits about his superstitions. And his coming out story
...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
The Book Report: The life and times of fabulous Captain Jack Harkness, I mean I mean JOHN BARROWMAN of course I do, silly me to get the two confused, he of the TV show Torchwood, in all his dimpled and smiling glory. With butt shots. Two.

My Review: One knows what one is getting with celebrity memoirs, right? Whitewash, excuses, justifications, and a little catty score-settling. It takes a pretty damned big ego to write an "autobiography" (which this ain't, it's a memoir) in the first place; to d
...more
Jeremy
John Barrowman's a hoot. Sure it may have a touch of self-aggrandizement, but so does my blog. That's the balance between autobiography and regular biography - one-perspective best-light autobiography, or dry, impersonal 3rd party bio. Which would I rather? The one with the most life.

John's a pleasure to listen to (which is why I got the audiobook, even though it was abridged), and I sensed a wonderful concern for his family. Even though he may have highlighted the best times, and left out the s
...more
Ashley P
I don't know what I was expecting when I picked up this book but it certainly wasn't this. This book is cleverly written, amusing, heart tugging and wonderful.

John Barrowman is charming, outrageous and possibly certifiable in someways, all of which show up in this book. I loved learning the stories about his earlier life, his relationship with Scott, his wonderful bond with his nieces and nephews and his reaction when he first got the role on Torchwood. He isn't one to mince words, and will cal
...more
Sandra
Re-reading this about a year after I first got into this man and his work, the book probably impressed me more than before. Part of this had to do with the fact that I now know nearly everyone & the works he mentions, which helps drive this book home just that bit more.

John (or actually his sister, Carole) writes easily, with wit and charm. She really makes the autobiography come to life in what definitely sounds like John speaking. He just tells these funny stories about his life. And what
...more
Heather
I gained a greater respect for the amazing actor, and I love him a bit more. This book had me laughing out loud quite a few times; it was as entertaining as he is and very inspiring. If you're a fan, or even just beginning to be one, this is definitely worth a read!
Kristina
I thoroughly enjoy John Barrowman's performance as the dashing and handsome Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood so when I stumbled across this memoir I thought, what the hell. I have no obsessive love of Barrowman but he seems to have an engaging personality. So....

This book was written collaboratively with Carole Barrowman, John's sister. Each chapter is a song from a musical that represents a particular time in Barrowman's life. The book is arranged thematically rather than chron
...more
Lizabeth Tucker
An autobiography of the star of Torchwood and the West End theater in London. I was expecting to enjoy the book as I love to read and adore biographies in particular, but I didn't expect what I got from this book. The set up of John's reminisces give you the impression that you are sitting in his living room listening to the man's stories.

I found myself laughing uncontrollably at certain sections, snickering at others, and going "ahhhh" once in a while. I do recommend that you do not read this
...more
Shelley
Feb 08, 2008 Shelley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: JB fans, naturally.
John Barrowman, how are you so awesome? It surprises no one that I had mad love for this book. It was extraordinarily funny in many places. He has a great sense of humor as well as a great ability to laugh at himself - I wager that most people, let alone famous people, would not tell some of the embarrassing stories that he had no problem sharing. It was dishy, gossipy, with mentions of backstage shenanigans at Who and Torchwood, but it was also introspective without being navel-gazey. A hard li ...more
Sevia
Od této chvíle už nejsem schopná brát Johna Barrowmana vážně.

(nezapomenutelné čtení o životě a divadle očima člověka, který je povahově můj pravý opak)
Mahra_m_145510
This book was my first autobiography that I have ever read and I really enjoyed reading it. The reason why I have chosen John Barrowman is because I am a huge fan of his work where it started from Doctor Who; this autobiography covered his career path. It talked about how he got into singing, theater and acting. What I really enjoyed about this autobiography it was funny and what I loved about him, he mentioned everything and didn’t leave any details out, such as names. I really can’t wait to re ...more
Morgan Dhu
Hilarious. Barrowman (with editorial assistance from his sister Carole Barrowman) is a natural raconteur. Randy and profane, breezy and bold, Barrowman's narrative name-drops its meandering way from his childhood love of singing, through his career as a musical theatre leading man, to the joys of shooting Doctor Who and Torchwood in Cardiff.

I really did laugh out loud a few times. And was delighted when he interrupted his storytelling to rant about theatre-goers who set of flashes during perfor
...more
Lynne
Good, sort-of-clean fun.

This book reads like I imagine a long, somewhat tipsy conversation over a marathon evening with John would go. It's a little all over the place, being organized thematically rather than chronologically.

Cheeky, brash, fun, and completely honest about being happy with his life, which is pretty darned good. John is a natural storyteller. A ripping set of yarns about a guy who is clearly in love with his life and his work.

I really enjoyed it!
Nick Duretta
I liked John Barrowman in Torchwood, so when I found this in a second-hand bookstore for a good price, I decided to give it a go. It's about what one would expect from something like this. Barrowman comes across a tad too self-celebratory, but he leavens it occasionally with a bit of humility and humor. What was most impressive is how an openly gay actor can be successful these days with relatively few career speed-bumps.
Jasmiina F
Wow. This is the first autobiography I have ever read and wow is all I can say. I've seen John Barrowman in Doctor Who (Captain Jack is a wonderful character) and I follow the man in twitter but I learned so much about Barrowman from this book.. And while I've been reading this I've also been listening him singing. He has an amazing voice. I'm in love.
Allie Seiwert
While I loved John Barrowman's character Captain Jack, I thought his memoir was an over the top opportunity for John to name drop and talk about his love of himself, wonderful voice and good looks. It was quirky and entertaining at times, but over all long and boring.
Juli Monroe
I listened to the abridged version of this years ago, and always wanted to read the full version, but I didn't want to buy it again. Then it showed up in Scribd!

It's a fun story about an interesting actor whom I admire. I like the stories about how he got into acting, his coming out as gay (why did he wait so long?) and of course everything about him family. I did get a bit tired of hearing about farts and the number of times he mooned people, but it's part of who he is, so I was okay with it.

I'
...more
Tara
Aug 03, 2008 Tara rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tara by: Cherry-Creek customer
Not the best writing ever, but not bad either. A very conversational tale of an interesting life (so far...)
Zuzana
Well, I love both musical theatre and scifi TV. And this book is mostly about these two. :)
Danielle
ehhh. I have mixed feelings. John is wonderfully bubbly and funny, but I got really lost in the organization of the book. Desperately needs better organized chapters. Or perhaps just some little mini in-chapter dividers to show me when we're back from a flashback. He's somewhere in 1983. No, next paragraph he's somewhen else doing something with some people I don't know. So confusing with the back and forth dates and unrelated anecdotes stacked atop one another.

I know of Barrowman from exactly
...more
Ailsa
What can I say about 'Anything Goes: My Autobiography' by John Barrowman?

What a great autobiography to read. With the help from his sister Carole, John's book was perfectly put together. His book has been divided into chapters using titles from some of his favourite songs.

I have been a fan on his since I first watch episodes of Dr Who (with him in) and then of course the fabulous Torchwood.

For an autobiography, I did think it was rather short (aprx 256 pgs), but to be honest it didn't matter as
...more
yukoxoxo2000
As a new fan, I enjoyed learning about his life by reading his autobiography. The reason why I am interested in his biography was I watched his short interview on YouTube saying that he is living his ultimate dream. The notion of “living his ultimate dream” touched my heart, and I wanted to know more about his life, and how he achieved his childhood dreams.

Throughout the book, I felt his positive attitude toward life rushing toward me from the book. The diving experience in Turkey during an ecli
...more
Jenn
John Barrowman does something really well that most people can't pull off: he's incredibly cocky and sure of his own beauty and talent and STILL you love him. I saw Barrowman last year and Dragon*Con and he and Scott surprised the entire audience by dropping their pants to show everyone their superhero briefs. That might give you an idea about how this books goes.

I really enjoyed reading this. In fact, it sent me down to my basement to search through old playbills! I took a trip with my grandmot
...more
X5-494
Truth to be told, it wasn't exactly what I had expected, but nevertheless it was a nice and interesting read.

Sometimes it was a little "confusing", though, because John Barrowman tends to start with a story, then "jump" to another one and another one and another one and yet another one; and after having told two or three (or more) "smaller" stories which are (more or less) connected with the original story he wanted to actually tell you, he finally comes back to the main story - which you somet
...more
Dawn
John Barrowman is an incredibly talented man, but the written page is not his medium. He is however, a magnificent raconteur. Barrowman himself explains how he recorded his stories on his IPod and his sister, Carole (an author in her own right) turned them into this book. So basically we have a transcription of John's best party stories, less a biography and more memoir.

It being John Barrowman, the stories are far from boring. We have a lot of name dropping and few coy refusals to drop names. Th
...more
Aaron
I ended up reading this one because I am a fan of John Barrowman's Captain Jack character, who started on the Doctor Who reboot and continued into his own series Torchwood>. It is quite a humorous character with a big personality. After reading this memoir, it is clear that Captain Jack is really not all that different from the actor who plays him.

John Barrowman was born and lived most of his childhood in Scotland before his whole family moved to the United States because of his father's job.
...more
Jessie Blackwood
John Barrowman is a consummate all-round entertainer, a man who knows who he is and is not ashamed of it. He is passionate about gay rights and comes from a close and supportive family background and is very, very aware that he is living his dream, he is doing everything he set out to do and more. He has never forgotten his roots, at heart he is a Scot and proud of it. I got the feeling of a man who is loyal and steadfast as a friend and lover, a loving and dutiful son, a man who is not afraid t ...more
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843234
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
More about John Barrowman...
The Book of Beasts (Hollow Earth, #3) Exodus Code (Torchwood) I Am What I Am Hollow Earth (Hollow Earth #1) Bone Quill (Hollow Earth, #2)

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“Cut! Go again."
And again, and again, and again. Finally, after the fourth of fifth take I yelled down the hill to the director: "This isn't a fucking marathon! If we're going to go again, tell him on the bloody bike to slow down."
David turned to me and said, "Having a bit of trouble, Captain?"
"That's all right for you to say," I laughed breathlessly, "but I'm carrying a rucksack on my back with your fucking hand in a glass jar inside”
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“Honestly, the world can be a dark enough place. Light it up.” 28 likes
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