PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
You've already made a great choice by picking up the audio edition of Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography. This hilarious book has been adapted especially for the audiobook edition so you’ll hear all of the same fun and humor from the printed version but you don’t have to make any decisions or jump around - just kick back, relax, and listen. Plus, it features exclusive bonus audio of young Neil delivering an adorable speech! That’s audio you won’t hear in any version of this book other than the audiobook!
©2014 Neil Patrick Harris (P)2014 Random House Audio
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
Neil Patrick Harris tells all in a unique and humorous Choose Your Own Adventure style memoir! Choose Your Own Autobiography uses second-person pov just like the CYOA books and puts the reader in Neil Patrick Harris’ (NPH) shoes. “You” are in the driver’s seat and get to jump to “your” career and personal highlights as you go.
I am a fan of humorous memoirs and of NPH the personality, so I had a feeling this book would be lots of fun. I know NPH from awards shows and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog but haven’t seen an episode of Doogie Howser or HIMYM. This book is great for casual fans that want to learn more about the actor, and longtime fans will get a kick hearing behind the scenes anecdotes.
This is one of the more entertaining memoirs I’ve read/listened to. The CYOA format is nostalgic and clever and helps keep the story flowing in an interesting way, and I didn’t mind the second-person perspective at all.
I like this kind of celebrity memoir that includes behind the scenes info from the entertainment world as well as personal glimpses. NPH dishes about his evolving career including his performances on TV, stage (I wish I got to see Hedwig!) and film, even mentioning his recent turn in Gone Girl. We also get to hear his coming out story, and about meeting husband David Burtka and how they became parents. NPH also discusses his love of magic, Disney, an epic 40th birthday scavenger hunt, and lavish vacations with Elton John.
Special guest testimonials from Sarah Silverman, Nathan Fillion, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth MacFarlane, and more also appear in the book. (The actors’ voices do not appear on the audiobook though) These provide humorous interludes and it’s nice to hear from the actor’s NPH has worked with over the years.
In addition to NPH’s life story, the book is sprinkled with magic card tricks (have a deck of cards handy), cocktail recipes (like Dr. Pourable’s Drink-Along Grog) and David Burtka’s recipe for Bolognese Sauce. Audiobook listeners will be able to access the food and drink recipes (and a cryptic crossword!) in a PDF that comes with the book.
The audiobook is a very entertaining and fast listen. NPH is an engaging reader who obviously brings a lot of personality to the table. You can’t skip around in audio format the way you are meant to do with the CYOA print version, so the audio edition tweaks the formula a bit. With NPH saying “If you want to do this keep listening, or wait a while longer/be patient.” In the audiobook, you also get to hear a bonus audio of young NPH performing a speech. Listening to NPH give his all in this audiobook and hearing about his experiences as an award show host makes me think he will be an awesome host for next year’s Oscars.
If you are a fan of NPH or humorous memoirs I think you will love this very creative autobiography!
Other than a few great card tricks (and some drink recipes that sound intoxicatingly good) NPH doesn't have much up his sleeve these days since coming out of the closet in '06. Anyone with a TV is familiar with the former child actor Dr. Doogie and has seen his successful transitions to adult actor, Broadway star, multi-talented host and entertainer, and committed partner and parent (absolutely darling twins, you should look up their yearly Halloween photos!). It's clear that in a relatively un-tumultuous life (by Hollywood showbiz standards) the guy has had a pretty smooth trip chasing his destiny toward the big bright lights. He's kept his cute little boyish nose clean, side stepped a few bad reviews to keep plugging away, and stayed pretty steady.
So, keeping it all humble... what could possibly carry the autobiography of an actor that has only lived 40 something years...without a drug addiction, reality show, or other scandal or dark deed featured on a magazine cover in the checkout line at the grocery store? Wait for it...showmanship, gratitude, and pizzazz in spades. Harris is even entertaining in print; funny enough to laugh hard at himself, down to earth enough to talk about the humility of being able to be a parent, and real enough to express the love he has realized by having his own family.
Sure it's largely gimmicky owing to the format--but this is personal revelation and show biz at it's most fun. The magic tricks alone sound worth the practice to awe your family and friends; the drinks good enough to make a few trips to the liquor store; and the instructions and recipes are PDF included!! (And I howled out loud with laughter when David disappeared off the edge of the mountain while they were...read and find out--this is very funny stuff, I'm laughing again right now!) Like a Broadway show itself; fun entertaining book--and don't miss the PDF download. Sometimes it's nice to hear from a person that could have anything, that family and friends matter most.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
In my top 20. Took a while to get into but after the first couple of chapters I was riveted.
NPH seemed most candid with his heartfelt story. He was honest about his 'likes' yet brutal about his 'dislikes'. My heart went out to him when he talked about his sexuality and how it had been kept a secret.
So animated and fun. I felt as if I was witness to a 'one man Broadway' show. Loved it.
Yes. I listen so long last night that I could barely keep my eyes open however I kept laughing out loud!
Not really for the kiddos and any one who gets easily offended. Love this book and will read it again and again. Hopefully NPH will write more in the future.
Neil Patrick Harris has had an interesting life and has a great story to tell. He tells it well in this book, but all that is overshadowed at times by the "choose your own autobiography" plot device. I don't really care what the irrelevant and ridiculous alternate scenario is- Neil's story is enough to keep me interested on it's own. The "you" pronoun and silly alternates are distracting. Neil is a great reader and obviously knows his own story well enough to perform it well. If you overlook the plot interruptions and focus on the real story, this book is worth a listen.
"It's been agony, but I couldn't have done it any other way." - Quentin Crisp
I'd say that the best parts of this book are his stories about show business and celebrity gossip. It's surprising how often he names names considering how "nice" the rest of the book is.
Things that wear thin after a while are the fictional choose-your-own-adventure bits and the fact that all the pointless bits written by other people are read by some guy with a British accent doing a Masterpiece Theater sort of shtick.
It's great the NPH seems to love his life, but for me I guess he came across as a bit glib and unreflecting. I'm sure there is a tension when you're writing something like this because you still want to keep some private things private, so hard's hard to know if NPH is a glib and happy-go-lucky as he seems or if he's presenting that sort of image on purpose. Either way, it became a little boring for me sometimes.
I've never read a biography before where nothing particularly bad ever happens to anyone. I mean, he's got to be in his early 40s; someone close to him has to have died or experienced something terrible that affected him in some kind of way.
When I think of the celebrity autobiographies I have particularly enjoyed (Katharine Hepburn, Tina Fey, Mia Farrow, Kathy Griffin...) the common thread, aside from excellent writing, is that they all give you a sense of them being very interesting people outside their careers. In these other books, it was moving to hear about how they all met the tragedies that life gave them.
Here, the writing is fine, if unremarkable, and you seldom learn anything that makes you see NPH as anything more than a decent, in-the-moment, "aw-shucks" sort of boy next door.
The book is funny sometimes, but by the end of it, it felt monotonous and overlong. He's reading of it is often dynamic, but I found his pacing too slow and ultimately changed the speed in my played to 1.25x.
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." --Lemony Snicket
This came highly recommended by a fellow celebrity-memoir-loving colleague, and was just a lot of fun. From Doogie to Barney and everything in between, NPH expertly delivers a really interesting life story. He comes across as humble, grounded, and the kind of person you'd want want to be friends with (even if the 'choose your own adventure' schtick gets a little old after a while).
beautifully produced and a great performance by the author. I can't imagine reading this book- it must be listened to!
it made me laugh out loud more times than I can count
I'm not the biggest Neil Patrick Harris fan. I've enjoyed his work at award shows and in How I Met Your Mother. But to say that I'm NPH's biggest fan would be a big overstatement. So why buy his autobiography? I genuinely was curious how he would write his "Choose Your Own Autobiography" like the old school choose your own adventure games.
The results of this so called choose your own adventure were pretty good. NPH brings the enthusiasm and attitude that you would expect. Its a fast moving often entertaining read. He has some interesting stories from his youth all the way up to present day. He's had an interesting career both on screen and on stage. I really enjoyed the parts which he talked about his love for magic. Those section overflowed with pure child like joy which was fun.
For me though it just felt like he didn't have enough yet to write an autobiography. It feels like he is just hitting his stride with his career. That the best stories and adventures for NPH are still to come. And yet I enjoyed my time with this weird often quirk autobiography of NPH. He's an amazing figurehead (even if he doesn't want to be) for the gay right movement not only in the US but around the world. When he writes about the great lengths he and his partner took to have their surrogate children I couldn't help but just be happy for the guy. All in all its a pretty run of the mill autobiography that might have been written ten to twenty years to early.
Great writing with an outstanding performance by the author. Funny and tender. Comments by guests would have been better in their own voices.
NEIL Patrick Harris is incredible!!!
He Writes, he reads, he acts!!! And he does it with enthusiasm!!!
If U like wit and wit on Wit, then this book is for You!!!!
If U like an adventure read with enthusiasm, then this book is for You!!!!
I am exhausted after listening to this book!!
I can't say enough about the way he read his autobiography!!
It was thrilling, heartwarming, exciting. What could I say, I Luved everything his book!!
"Neil at his best...again!"
Really well delivered, funny, touching and classy. As you might expect, there are child doctors, musicals, the king of Bro's and of course Elton! Thanks for sharing Neil
"Fascinating and Fun"
An unusual way to present an autobiography: imagining you are the protagonist in the story, as the author describes events as "you are.....", establishes a unique rapport with the reader.
I didn't know anything about Neil Patrick Harris, other than he had been the star of Dougie Houser, which I'd watched as a kid.
This upbeat account of his life in showbiz, coming out as a gay man, then raising kids with his life partner is full of wit and humour while being inspiring and revelatory.
"Fun and intriguing"
Neil Patrick Harris may not have the longest autobiography in comparison to some, but makes up for the shorter run by adding the choose your own adventure style. it adds humour of course, and lengthens the story but it also offers an insight into how Neil constructs a joke and performs.
It is genuinely on of the most interesting audio books I have listened to and I will almost certainly listen again.
"Love it love it love!!!"
Ok. I think this is the first time I have binge listened an audio book. I could not stop!!
NPH should have issued a warning at the beginning saying that you may not be able to stop listening.
He is funny, charming, Dougie, Whitty and an around nice guy.
I would love to interview him! Based on the audio book I'm now an even bigger fan!!
This audio book 'is not just for gays anymore'. ;)
Read with humour, heaet and soul in a refreshing format. A real pleasure to listen to
"a.wait for it.mazing"
NPH may still seem like a youngster to have an autobiography, but he's managed to fill it with truly entertaining stories. Whilst hos original 'choose your own story' approach is somewhat lost in the audio, it more than makes up for it with guest vocals and samples from original audio takes.
Really entertaining and utterly adorable at times, I fully recommend this.
"Great story, entertaining read!"
fascinating to hear the real story of a career in showbiz but what struck me most is how grounded he is and that was very refreshing!
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