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Anything Goes: The Autobiography Hardcover – 24 Jan 2008
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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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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!!!!
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.
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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