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Anything Goes: The Autobiography [Hardcover]

John Barrowman with Carole E. Barrowman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Jan 2008
Anything Goes lays bare John's story for the very first time, in his very own words. Describing his life from his Glaswegian childhood and American adolescence to his current incarnation as Captain Jack Harkness in the ever-popular Torchwood and Doctor Who, this exclusive book provides a no-holds-barred insight into the extraordinary experiences of one of the best-loved figures in show business.

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Anything Goes: The Autobiography + John Barrowman Live At The Royal Albert Hall [DVD]
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (24 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843172895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843172895
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A charmingly lurid memoir -- Daily Telegraph, February 2, 2008

Gossipy, fun and endlessly entertaining -- The Daily Record, February 2, 2008

"Multi-talented John Barrowman, the star of the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, tells of behind-the-scenes celeb high jinks, hilarious memories and the sometimes moving story of his two decades of work in the film, TV, music and theatre industry in this open and entertaining autobiography" -- The Glasgow Herald, Jan 08

Anything Goes is a refreshingly honest, funny and engaging read that hooks readers from the opening chapter. -- Woman's Way Magazine (Ireland), Feb 08

John Barrowman is on a bit of a roll at the moment. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold and this heart felt autobiography is no exception ...This is a charming read that really gives us insight into John Barrowman.
-- Beige Magazine, April 2008

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The Sunday Times Bestseller

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An invitation..... 18 Jan 2008
By JB Fan
As a long-time fan of John, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of his autobiography. It seems an age ago that the announcement was first made. In reality, it was only last June. Imagine the lovely surprise then, when I arrived home from work yesterday, and there it was, my copy of the book, a whole week ahead of schedule!

First impressions are good. The front cover has a true-to life photo of John looking natural and very happy. Colour theme is blue and silver - his colours, and very classy.

The book is short - just 245 pages, so no room for wasted words! Many more pictures inside. And a final treat - on the back cover one of him as a boy, one as Captain Jack, and one of him in his bathers!!!!! At that stage, I melted all over the floor.

And so, at 11pm last night, I started to read. And I just HAD to finish in one go. Forgive me if I'm not making sense today; I turned the last page at 4am. I don't ever do well on two hours' sleep, as my family will testify. But maybe adrenaline is keeping me going, or perhaps some of John's legendary energy levels evaporated off the pages and into my brain, because I really don't feel too bad today.

In the introduction, John asks us to imagine that we're sitting in our pyjamas in the lounge of his Cardiff sitting room, sharing a drink, some music and the memories. That's almost an invitation isn't it??????

The book is divided into chapters, each named after a song from some of John's favourite musicals. So themes such as "Being Alive", "Live, Laugh, Love" and "High, Flying Adored" very aptly set the scene for what is to come.

The events described in the book are not arranged in chronological sequence, but as a series of reminiscences.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I think all the reviews to date have simply voted for or against the man. I think the book is actually more entertaining than the critics state, and less revellatory and angst-wridden than the 5-stars want to see. I think its just a vaguely interesting tale, written honestly and in the main in good humour. Noone can doubt the hardwork and effort that it takes to get all the way from Glasgow to Cardiff via the US and the West End. but in simple, autobiographical terms - it aint up there with the greats. and why should it be - he's a musical theatre leading man who wrote it himself (aided by his sister). nevertheless it IS entertaining and endearing. Its impossible to read this and not like the man and his family. May be in another 10 years, and with a little more depth to all the major areas covered including his west end break and his time on the couch with the good lord, it would rate higher. by the way - buy it for you mum. i guarantee that ALL mums will like it. RC
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anything Goes A Bit Too Often 5 Aug 2009
By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE
The title is very apt because if John Barrowman mentions the show once, he mentions it a hundred times. It's a very chatty book, this one. That is its strength and its weakness.

Certainly, it comes across as a very honest book; you get to know the man warts and all, as it were. Some traits are learnt from reading between the lines and noticing what he does not say about himself as well as what he does.

It's a jog through contemporary musical theatre circles as well as Barrowman's life from Glasgow to the States and back. He has certainly been a very lucky man as well as talented and determined.

However, the book does leave you with the impression that certain nights in his company would be very wearing indeed.

The constant "witty" footnotes are wearing and slightly arch, rather too much campy posturing.

That said it is great to hear the stories about showbiz folks, none of them wild or scandalous, but full of the joy and honesty that goes with theatre performance. It isn't a round of highs and highs and there are some touching moments about other people's lives. The man is sensitive and not just a go-getter; you do get a perspective on a rounded person, not just a showbiz junkie.

A great read for anyone who's into John Barrowman, but also good for people who like to read about the business call show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC READ 10 April 2009
By Mrs. A. M. Chadwick VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've always been a fan of John Barrowman; he's a great actor and has a great voice. So when his autobiography came out in paperback I couldn't wait to read it. :-)

It follows him from his Scottish roots, (he was born in Glasgow) and then to America as the family decided to immigrate, with it came new challenges and new friends.

He got his first big break starring along side Elaine Paige in "Anything Goes, starred in movies, but more people will know him as "Captain Jack" in "Dr Who" and "Torchwood". John has also won awards for both theatre and television.

John Barrowman has been very frank about both his personal and professional life. There's plenty of emotion in this book as he tells you about his life, it made me laugh and cry.

If you are a fan of John's, or just have a love of reading autobiographies it's defiantly a book to have and it's worth every penny. :-)

It's only a short book, (256 pages), compared to others I've read, but I can safely say that the quality is excellent and that's what many readers want. The book is well written and includes some lovely photographs. :-)

You won't be disappointed; it's a compulsive and extremely enjoyable read. Personally I can't wait for the sequel to this, and I hope John will do a follow on at some point. :-)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb item and superb delivery. Many Thanks :)
Published 1 month ago by Sharon Hooley
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed this book it was fast paced, with plenty of interesting stories. John's personality came out in the writing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Book Worm
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Its great and funny in parts i love
Published 3 months ago by karen lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Man of my dreams !
Published 3 months ago by linda charles
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
I read this book in a day. It was great to get to know John Barrowman, and in places he made me laugh. I recommend this book.
Published 4 months ago by Trish Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
A really entertaining and amusing book, laughed out loud at times and felt it was written with really honesty and humour.
Published 6 months ago by L A Markham
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
john Barrowman is my favourite. I think he is great & a wicked sense of humour. This book tells it all, a really great read. Recommend to anyone.
Published 6 months ago by Di
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is a must for anybody who loves John Barrowman such a great and funny book loved it couldn't put it down best book I've read in ages
Published 9 months ago by helen mąrsh
5.0 out of 5 stars anything goes.
i bought this book for my wife beryl as a mothers day presant.she said she realy enjoyed it.and would say to all johns fans read it you will enjoy it.
Published 11 months ago by beryl.stirling good seatto use inour wet room.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
John's first autobiography is brilliant. A true entertainer. I'd recommend this book to everyone it really is a great read.
Published 11 months ago by Emily
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