Your Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography was published in 2014. It is written by you. You are Neil Patrick Harris. You were born in New Mexico in 1973. From there, it’s up to you to decide if you have a happy childhood or an unhappy one. You can choose to become the star of stage, movies, internet, and television – or merely dream of these things as you work in a sandwich shop.

You, Neil Patrick Harris, are the star of Doogie Howser, M.D. You play Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. You appear in many movies, including Clara’s Heart and Starship Troopers. You star in the internet series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Neil’s Puppet Dreams. You perform magic. You perform on Broadway. You have a wonderful husband, and two terrific children. You can do any or all of these things, in any order, or you can do none at all. It’s up to you.

Neil Patrick HarrisNeil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography really is an autobiography, but it’s presented in the format of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. At various times in the story, you are presented with choices of where to go next. Sometimes, the choices are obvious: To get cast in How I Met Your Mother, turn to page 133. To hang out with Sir Elton John, turn to page 244. To meet Harold and Kumar, turn to page 102.

Sometimes, the choices lead to surprises. You go to a theater camp. Auditions start. Half of you go to the room on the left. Half of you go to the room on the right. If you go to the room on the left, turn to page 33. If you go to the room on the right, go on to the next page.

Sometimes the choices are silly. To hear from Barney Stinson, go on to the next page. To kill someone, turn to page 165.

This book is terrific fun. Buried within its non-linear pages are recipes,  photographs, a crossword puzzle, and celebrity appearances.

Have I read this whole book? I’m not sure. It’s difficult to tell with a format like this. It feels like I have. I’ve read various chapters multiple times in order to find the path to unread sections. I discovered the “hidden page” (for which the book both congratulated and scolded me) while I was flipping back to a previous chapter.

  • An autobiography
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