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Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Well, that was weird. I went into this book not really fully thinking about the premise (and I don't think anyone involved really thought it through either). I loved Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books as a kid so I was really excited about reading this. However, the results were kind of disappointing.

The book is written as if the reader were the main character, living out NPH's life. So in the narration, Harris says things along the lines of "You did this, then you did this." This makes sense for a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, but it kind of took away from learning about Harris' life. Everything felt so impersonal and removed from him. Even the really personal details didn't feel like they were actually about him. 

Also in the vein of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories, there are "dead ends", in which something horrible happens that leads to your demise. Again it makes sense, but it's really weird to find in a book about NPH. Also, the "dead ends" were pretty much all the same with different settings, obstacles, and celebrities, but they all followed the same story arch. 

I listened to the audiobook version, which was read by Harris himself. This had certain advantages. Clips are included from a speech Harris gave as a child and other recordings, which added to the reality of the book itself. There were also lots of celebrity testimonials, some of which were really weird (WTactualF, Seth MacFarlane), but some were interesting and had funny anecdotes. 

Downside to the audiobook: it's prerecorded so you pretty much just go along and a set path. You don't actually get to "choose" anything, which is okay, but again kind of defeats the point (did anyone think this through?). What you're left with is a twisty, turny book that is not in chronological order and you end up with a bunch of mixed-up stories.

Overall, it was okay, but the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure just did not work for me.