Audiobook: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

by Neil Patrick Harris
Read by the author.
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: There are eight f-bombs (yes, I counted) and some frank (but not graphic) descriptions of his sexual experiences as he was trying to figure himself out. It’s in the adult biography section of the bookstore, but if you’ve got an interested teen, it’s a lot of fun and quite accessible.

I’m a sucker for celebrity bios. I really am. I love the peek into their lives and their histories, and I’ll devour their histories. I’m curious and a bit of a voyeur. (but not a stalker. Yet.)

So, I was probably going to read Neil Patrick Harris’s bio anyway. But when I got wind of the premise — it was going to be a choose your own adventure book! I LOVED those! — I knew I had to read it.

It comes in two formats: print and audio, and for this experience I chose audio. (Event though I ended up picking up the print book as well. Just to see.) And what an experience it is. On the one hand, I missed out on the whole “choose your own” part; it’s kind of hard to do that with audio. And one of the reasons I wanted to see what the print book was like. Instead of leaping through the book following one path (some of which include fake deaths by sand trap — somehow Joss Whedon was responsible for that one — or avalanche — Big Bird’s fault — or death by bowling ball) or another (where he/you end up overweight and working in a Schlotzsky’s), he reads it straight through. So, it gets a little difficult to tell which is Truth (so, I thought the bit about Katy Perry and the homophobe at the pre-Superbowl Party was fake until C informed me otherwise) and what was Fiction.

But the positives completely offset the negatives in this listening experience. For one: it’s NEIL PATRICK HARRIS narrating. And he’s brilliant. More than brilliant: phenomenal.  Voices (I LOVE his announcer voice) and clips (the best one is the audio of 13-year-old Neil doing a speech on optimism). And (in my favorite section) the vocal annotation of David Burtka in the chapter on how they met which just slayed me with adorableness.

I could go on and on raving about this one. I loved every moment I spent listening to it. The format (using second person instead of presenting it as “this is my life”) involved me, and on top of that NPH has a wonderful sense of humor and gratitude about his life. Maybe it’s not great literature, but it was a truly enjoyable book to read/listen to.

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