Anything Goes by John Barrowman


I’ll admit, I’ve only ever read one autobiography before, and that was Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. Well, listened. Anyway, when I saw that Captain Jack Harkness John Barrowman had a book I jumped at the chance.

Like many people, I first saw John Barrowman in Dr. Who, where he was the witty and charming counterpart to Nine (Christopher Eccleston) and then a wonderful addition to Ten (David Tennant). The spin-off series, Torchwood, really gave us an insight on who his character was, both his past and his personal life. I loved Captain Jack. I loved John Barrowman’s portrayal of him, and I can’t think of any other actor that could have done it better.

However, this book was not about Dr. Who or Torchwood. It had some mentions of it here and there, a small chapter about the screen life, but mostly it was about John’s growing up and his career in theater. I had no idea!

Ah theater. The dream that never was. When I was a child I wanted to be an opera singer – and sing I could. I was entered into a Russian music school where I had done piano, singing, and theater. In our plays, I knew every role and could sing every song. I loved it.

When we moved to the US, I continued my singing lessons, but I found out that even though I could sing well normally, my voice just could not handle the strain of constant use. I would begin to lose it, and often. If I was sick, I couldn’t even talk. After a while, my lessons stopped completely and that was that.

Sorry, back to the book.

I loved the writing and silly notes he put on some things. It was fun and made the book a quick read. The random childhood stories were great, too. Those are always the best. And of course, any mention of Dr. Who was a bonus. Mostly, it was about his theater experiences, family always supporting him, the friends he’d made, and the bullying he’d endured. A small part was about his sexuality and relationships, which to me was the most interesting.

However, the whole thing kind of seemed like a humblebrag. John’s story was that of a child who was so charming and gifted, he always got the part. Endless lists of plays he was in, promotions, expensive things he bought, high profile friends he’d made, vacations, and the such. I get it, he’s handsome and a great singer, but jeez, I don’t think listing your fancy cars and how many houses you have is necessary. Maybe I’m just jealous. I mean he was Raoul in the Phantom of the Opera. He knows Andrew Lloyd Webber. *squeal*

Overall, if you’re looking for a fun autobiography that will give you great insight into the world of musical theater, this is the book for you. But if you’re looking for Captain Jack Harkness, this book won’t satisfy.


Cross posted to My Trending Stories.


3 thoughts on “Anything Goes by John Barrowman

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