Sunday 13 February 2011

Anything Goes - John Barrowman

Basically what it says on the tin. The autobiography of John Barrowman. He writes about his life growing up and how it prepared him for showbiz. It then goes on to focus on his musical career interspersed with stories of family life. If you are looking for a book filled with stories of Doctor Who and Torchwood this isn't it (although he does talk about it in a chapter at the end).

I hate star biographies. It's a pet hate of mine (have I mentioned this before? I rant about this so often it's easy to forget). It's a pet hate of most booksellers. They clog up the Christmas releases and drown out all the good fiction (and non fiction for that matter). In the last few years there has been a steady decline in fiction released for Christmas. What's the point? The stores are being forced to push sales of the star biogs anyway. It especially sets your teeth on age when it's a child star who hasn't done enough in life to warrant a biography or the same face releasing yet another instalment you could easily read in an hour.

Despite my ranting I seem to have read my fair share of them. I have to confess that if there is someone I admire or like I am as likely as the next person to pick it up. Stephen Fry, Joe Brand, Parkinson, William Shatner and Michael Palin are just a few on my list and some of those I have still to get round to reading. Oh and I even confess to reading Billie Piper's. That's what comes from being an avid Doctor Who fan. If David Tennant had written his own that would be listed here too.

I am a bit slow off the band wagon with this one. It was released in 2008 and this is me just reading it. To be fair I have a rather large reading pile but it's only now I am being strict with it (basically no more books until I get through the pile). Like most star biographies I found it vaguely disappointing. The first chapter irritated the hell out of me. It was written as though reading a scene of a script. If the rest of the book had continued like that I would have thrown it straight into the charity pile. Thankfully it didn't and over all it was quite entertaining. Lots of funny stories of Barrowman growing up in Glasgow then the States. As I already mentioned it focuses on how he got into showbiz and musicals with some personal stories thrown in.

It was disappointing in that it was a little too fluffy. Not too serious although I get the impression that Barrowman himself isn't too serious (nothing wrong with that - life is too short as they say). I guess I just always seem to expect more. Plus he comes across as the constant good guy. Surely no one is that perfect? I don't think that I learned anything new about him. Nothing that he hasn't said in interviews. But at the very least it did keep me entertained for a couple of hours. I doubt I will read his follow up but I am glad I read this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment