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Anything Goes Paperback – March 1, 2009
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I think what I liked best was that he was open and honest about himself, right down to humiliating moments. There was no catty gossip about other people, only a great love of his family, his partner, friends, and life itself. The pictures are great, too.
It's a quick read, so spend a few hours with Barrowman. It'll make you feel good.
Yes, Mr. Barrowman has an ego, and rightfully so. Why shouldn't he? He won the gene pool lottery hands down! He's an exceptional entertainer, which by definition requires a larger than life personality and he's boldly breaking all the stereotypes. The whole point of an autobiography is to give the reader the unvarnished truth and this book accomplishes that with great warmth and humor.
Like he says. . . his ending is not yet written. I'm most definitely staying in my seat for the second act!
My Review: One knows what one is getting with celebrity memoirs, right? Whitewash, excuses, justifications, and a little catty score-settling. It takes a pretty damned big ego to write an "autobiography" (which this ain't, it's a memoir) in the first place; to do it before the age of sixty is, well, it's a bit uppish.
Yeah, so what, pretty people get to do what they want. And Barrowman is nothing if not pretty. Very pretty. Very very pretty. That he is also a talented actor, a fine musical-theatre singer, and a high-maintenance mess of a man makes it all the more fun that he didn't wait to write the book (with his sister, Carole). He takes it upon himself to tell us the tale of what brought Clan Barrowman from Glasgow to Illinois, what made the clan tick, and what happened as a result of this daring and quite unsettling move, made in the Malaise Years of the middle 1970s.
Wait. Make that, he tells us the tale of what happened to John of the Clan Barrowman. This is a book that relentlessly focuses on John Barrowman, contextualizing his life with the necessary information, but skimping on the lives and times of the other people in his orbit. Quite forgivable in a memoir; less so in an autobiography, which is more about the life-and-times, less about the lifestyle.
He's not forthcoming with details of his personal life, eg what his feelings were, what his thoughts were, around his coming out. He doesn't fail to mention them, understand; it's simply that, as is the gentleman's privilege, he goes very soft-focus and moves on quickly from the topic. He writes his most passionate, his most emotional, and his most harrowing stuff when he writes about the descent of a friend into madness. It's an amazing, painful, and quite wonderful passage in the book. It brings into stark relief, though, the absence of these very qualities in some other passages in his life that could have used the same treatment.
That criticism aside, I would recommend the book to most all gay guys because here, gents, here is someone whose joie de vivre and whose enthusiasm for his work have led him down some fascinating garden paths, all the while declining to be stereotyped. It's a very instructive path he's on, for the most of us who aren't in the least famous or likely to get there. It's good to see someone skiing ahead on the trail, hollering back, "there's a crevasse over here, don't go there!" every so often. Good on him that he chose to do it. Good for us that it is, on balance, a fun book to read.
The butt shots don't hurt.
All that said, some of the photos are absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!!!!