Patrick's Reviews > Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris by Neil Patrick Harris
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Nov 09, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-would-blurb

I expected this book to be witty. I expected it to be clever and fun. And it was. It was all of those things in spades.

But I didn't expect it to be sweet and sad and honest and touching. I mean, it's framed as a choose-your-own-adventure. You don't expect those to be heartfelt, emotional stories....

Perhaps I should start by saying that I came to know Neil Patrick Harris in a different way than people. Most of you probably know him from his two big TV shows: Doogie Howser or How I Met Your Mother.

Not so with me. I was aware of those shows, even watched them. But I came to appreciate Harris by watching Undercover Brother. Later, my admiration grew when I saw him play a deranged version of himself in Harold and Kumar. And last I came to love him through Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Oddly enough, it was the last of these that shot my respect for his craft as an actor through the roof. (And, to tangent briefly, still makes me think he would do a great job of playing Bast, should my books ever make it to the screen.)

I mention this to let you know that I came at this book as a fan, but not as your typical sort of fan.

So. The book. Simply said, I loved it. As I mentioned above, it was everything I expected and more. It was funny enough to make my laugh out loud more than once. And sweet enough to make me cry on an airplane twice.

Specific things I enjoyed:

I liked that he spoke frankly about how he came to grips with the fact that he was gay, as well as the conflict of coming out publicly. It was extraordinary insightful.

There are little pieces of the book written by various celebrities Harris has interacted with over the years, Penn Jillette, Sarah Silverman, etc etc. These were lovely, quirky additions to the book.

What's more, the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure aspect worked remarkably well. At first I thought it was just a gimmick, but I quickly learned this is a great format for an Autobiography, as it gave me the chance to skip to the parts of the book I was most interested in. Then, later on, I went back and read it again.

Simply said, it was a great book. It's the only autobiography I'd be tempted to read again in the future. And it's only one I've ever considered buying multiple copies of as a Christmas gifts.

Lastly, speaking as a writer, it was irritatingly well written. It just doesn't doesn't seem fair that Harris should be able to sing, dance, act, AND write this well.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 9, 2014 – Shelved
November 9, 2014 – Shelved as: books-i-would-blurb
November 9, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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message 1: by Kelila (new)

Kelila Oh my god. Neil Patrick Harris as Bast would be the best thing. Like, ever.


Melanie This has been on my "to read" list for a little while...your review just shot it to the top. Thanks!


message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason NPH as Bast is PERFECT! I always had trouble visualizing him, now I'll never be able to see anything else.


message 4: by Juanita (new) - added it

Juanita And in an instant, NPH became Bast, and Bast became NPH. Once seen, it can't be unseen.


message 5: by Edmo (new)

Edmo Suassuna NPH is Bast. Bast is NPH. So it shall always be.


Valyssia Leigh "Lastly, speaking as a writer, it was irritatingly well written. It just doesn't doesn't seem fair that Harris should be able to sing, dance, act, AND write this well."

This is cute, very cute. You made me laugh, Patrick. I could see you shaking your fist in the style of an old movie villain.

You also made me want to read NPH's bio even more. So well done, you.


message 7: by Jean (new)

Jean Marcotte Yep. Found our Bast..


message 8: by S (new)

S You just made me audibly gasp. NPH is Bast. I *never* think of celebrities as characters, but this cannot be undone. Make it so.

I got to know of him through the Harold and Kumar bit, then Dr Horrible. I didn't realize it was the same person at first. He's ridiculously talented.

I've been holding off on buying this so I could save it for when I'm in a book slump, but I'm off to order it right now!


message 9: by Agustín (new)

Agustín I can't believe this. Don't ask me why, but I've always imagined NPH not as Bast, but as Elodin...

So now my mind is in conflict :(


message 10: by Crissy (new) - added it

Crissy Moss Exactly what I was hoping the book would be. I'm ordering this tonight.

I liked Doogie Howser growing up, but Dr. Horrible made me LOVE NPH, along with all the little web things he's done, and the Tony's. He's simply incredibly talented in so many things. It makes him a wonderful person.


message 11: by Skyemberr (new)

Skyemberr Nooo, not NPH as Elodin. I could see a very reedy and neurotic Christian Bale as Elodin, perhaps. NPH could be a good Bast, but he seems slightly old for that role. I wonder who would make a good Auri?

I will check out this autobiography at some point. he's an inch testing guy.


message 12: by Madeleine (new) - added it

Madeleine It sounds really original. I'm a huge fan of his and not typically a bio-reader. Thanks for the informative review. It's going to go on my list.


Alisa Heskin David Tennant as Elodin and Matt Bomer as Bast. I could see NPH as Elxa Dal, Dr. Horrible in wizard gear ^_^


message 14: by Jiz (new)

Jiz Mae OH my God !! NPH as Bast !!


Ginger Pierce NPH as Bast? Yes, please!


Karin Agree with everyone else. I just read your short story in Rouges and I can completely see NPH in that role. When the next one comes out, that image will come back.


message 17: by Joye (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joye Gill This is a very fun book to read
I loved it


message 18: by Crystal (new)

Crystal "Lastly, speaking as a writer, it was irritatingly well written. It just doesn't doesn't seem fair that Harris should be able to sing, dance, act, AND write this well." Thank you for answering my question Patrick. I will definitely read this now. (=


Justin Clowater Don't forget that he can do magic too!


message 20: by Em (new) - rated it 4 stars

Em Robbins NPH would be the PERFECT BAST.


message 21: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie Alisa wrote: "David Tennant as Elodin and Matt Bomer as Bast. I could see NPH as Elxa Dal, Dr. Horrible in wizard gear ^_^"

Shit, David Tennant as Elodin! I love it!!!


message 22: by Chrissy (new) - added it

Chrissy eckert gawd, wasn't Dr Horrible just the best thing ever? I rewatch it often when I need something joyful and comfortable and sad and real and fantasy, all at once. I love NPH so much I named my dog after him (Neil Patrick Hairless). Great review.


Kelsey  York YES Dr Horrible!!


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