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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An invitation.....
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...
Published on 18 Jan. 2008 by JB Fan

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr.Shallow? I don't think so - re-read it some of you
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...
Published on 6 April 2008 by Ginola14


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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An invitation....., 18 Jan. 2008
By 
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. So I found myself travelling, to and fro in time, as the themes developed. Good job Captain Jack is a Time Agent!

The style of the book is witty and intelligent, with just the right blend of content and comedy. I can imagine that John and his sister Carole had much fun and many a laugh whilst writing! I had quite a few laughs myself too.

What a life! John has packed more into his 40 years than many of us would struggle to manage in 400. John's explanation for this is simple, his mother taught him that, "You're a long time dead, son. You can sleep when you're dead." It's hard to imagine that John currently gets any sleep at all.

If the book has a down side, then for me it's that there's very little of John the man. I have seen and heard John many times, met him a few, and follow him in the media, albeit here with a very large shed load of salt. I have therefore heard many of the stories and anecdotes before, and for me there was very little new material. What I had been hoping for from the book was this: a better insight into the beautiful person, inside and out, that John is. His thoughts, feelings, opinions and emotions. I didn't get it. The content is very action and event-oriented. I finished the book feeling a tad disappointed that I didn't actually know John the person any better than when I started it.

All in all though, a very enjoyable and worthwhile read. The true value of the book for me is that at last I have this collection of stories direct from John's mouth, and all together in one place. That's worth its weight in gold.

And hey, this is theatre, so it's not all over till the fat lady sings. There's always Act 2, so bring it on, John and Carole!!!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr.Shallow? I don't think so - re-read it some of you, 6 April 2008
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 (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anything Goes: The Autobiography (Paperback)
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 (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Anything Goes: The Autobiography (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re: Read in an afternoon, 11 May 2009
By 
G. R. Defiore - See all my reviews
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I have always been a fan of John Barrowman when he first appeared as Captain Jack and then managed to catch one of his concerts. This autobiography was funny and the notes made me laugh, I think it is well written but does seem to flit around in timelines, there are many mentions of his musical/theatre works but what was missing for me is that there didn't seem to be much of John's own personality in it, it did seem at times fairly superficial as if he was afraid of going any deeper. he does also harp on about being gay which is unnecessary as I think everyone now knows he is gay and don't have a problem with it (if they do then they probably wouldn't be reading this book anyway!!)

I hope he writes another (I think there is one in the pipeline) and that we can get to know John, the man. The guy for me is a major all round talent in todays 'instant fame' industry unlike so many manufactured ones, he has served his apprenticeship and fully deserves the adulation he now gets. (he is also extremely good looking which helps!!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny chaos, 30 Aug. 2009
By 
Marcos Munoz Vera "KalEl el Vigilante" (Canovelles, Barcelona, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anything Goes: The Autobiography (Paperback)
Funny if a bit chaotic travel through the early life of John Barrowman, with hints of his present status as tv hero star. It's the first part of his autobiography, and full of a life of drama, love, laughs and surprises. Oh, and work, a lot of work. Musical work, mainly, to the tune that best suited him at the time. Be prepared to discover the Barrowman you love and the Barrowman you never expected...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight, 10 Nov. 2008
By 
Lauren (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
Knowing very little about John Barrowman other than his work in Doctor Who and Torchwood, this helped me learn much more about him and his life. I had no idea that he was so cheeky! He really has had an extraordinary life, and he recalls it in such an entertaining fashion. I laughed a lot while reading this. And though it concentrates a LOT on musical theatre - which I know zilch about - it didn't matter. It was entertaining anyway. Too short, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything Goes: The Autobiography - John Barrowman, 12 July 2009
By 
Barbara Lambert "CaptainJackHarkness" (New Hampshire, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anything Goes: The Autobiography (Paperback)
One of the best Autobiographies I have ever read. John talks about his life and when he realised he was gay. John is really open about his life in this book, he also seems very honest and friendly too. I feel this book is a must read. John seems like a very down to earth sort of actor, not like the many you hear about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great summer reading, 28 Jun. 2009
By 
This review is from: Anything Goes: The Autobiography (Paperback)
i bought this after i had been to see John Barrowman in concert. I enjoyed the book- it made me laugh out loud several times while i was reading it. It's just like having a chat with him-looking forward to the next installment-and the next concert!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first class read, 6 April 2009
By 
Chris IW (Isle of wight United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anything Goes: The Autobiography (Paperback)
This is a great read! even if you are not a Barrowman fan, John seems to put his "Laid back style" into print. I found it a very hard book to put down once I had started. It covers his life from the start, and goes right to the present time.
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Anything Goes: The Autobiography
Anything Goes: The Autobiography by John Barrowman (Paperback - 29 Jan. 2009)
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