Never watched Doogie Houser--don't know why--think it seemed like a kid show, though my daughter, who was a toddler when it was on, assures me it was not. Never watched How I Met Your Mother--or more cool HIMYM--seemed like Sex in The City, which didn't seem anything like my young single adulthood in that same City. But then, I didn't smoke pot or drop acid in the 60's either and I was in my 20's. Not cool, enough, I guess. And that same daughter assured me I WOULD NOT like HIMYM! So, how is it possible that I even KNOW who NPH is ( that's the way he refers to himself, ad nauseum, throughout the book--or refers to YOU, if you accept his premise that the book is about you--very confusing, this talking in the second person. But that is who he is a cutesie, gimmicky guy from small town New Mexico. And yet, the book is interesting and fun.
From his teen-age breakthrough on TV, to his almost invisible movie roles, to a successful Broadway career, that I missed since I'd left the city by then (and probably would have missed if I'd stayed since many of the shows he appeared in did not appeal to me. I saw Cabaret in its original run--didn't like the blatant homoerotic reimagining that pervades its rebirth. ) the story romps along professionally and also, personally. For it is once he is on his own in his 20's in NY playing in Rent that he starts to explore more thoroughly his sexual orientation. His description of his sexual awareness through school, to Hollywood, to NY and finally to Germany is handled so beautifully. It is obvious this is an intelligent and sensitive man speaking.
Throughout most of the book, the Neil Patrick Harris that tackles that sensitive issue in such a way is the narrator. Periodically, however, he wanders off into vocabulary and language that is strange to me. It seems immature, self-conscious and even insecure. It was difficult to tell if it is locker room speak, gay man speak, Hollywood cool speak, or just used to shock. At times, when he digresses this way, I almost abandoned the book. But, because it is scattered throughout such interesting and well told and thought out areas--meeting David, why he fell so hard for him in comparison to others with whom he'd been involved, their decision to have children, the process of accomplishing it, the joy of birth and the wonders of parenthood--I had to keep reading.
I still don't know how it is that I'm familiar with this actor. But, I'm glad to have read his story and come to know him better as a person--or at least as well as any autobiography lets you know someone. I am very familiar with the area from which he came, a bit familiar with the city where he tread the boards and totally unfamiliar with the fiction that is Hollywood, but he made the trip a magic carpet ride and he seems to have been happy taking it with his readers.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review