Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 38: I Am What I Am - John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman (256 pages)

Another memoir?? Yep - I am sure it will be the final one for me in this project. This is another book given to me by my pal Lara . She asked if it would be a book that I would be interested in checking out because she knew that I am a sci-fi fan overall and a Torchwood fan specifically. See, for the uninitiated, John Barrowman plays Captain Jack Harkness on the Doctor Who and Torchwood franchises. He is a Scottish-born actor who grew up in the US. He is flamboyant and funny and brilliant at his craft. He is also a little bit crazy - as evidenced in the opening of his book. He invites us, the reader, into his home. Pointing out what we see on the walls and in the foyer, introducing us to his dogs and using at least two footnotes on page one. He is a lover of a footnote - I am not...but I soldiered on.

One of the many things I dislike about the memoir format is at equal turns, it seems both self-indulgent and self-effacing. I got plenty of both from this book, but I also found out some great insight about this man. He spends a lot of time talking about Torchwood and the way the show ended. He talks about his 15-year relationship with his partner Scott Gill. He talks about his childhood and his unending love of his Mum and Dad. There were good stories and bad ones. Some went on for too long, some I wish hadn't ended.

For folks not familiar with Barrowman, I am not sure how enjoyable this book would be. I am a pretty big fan and even I was frustrated from time to time. It is very well-written with great humor and honesty - he really holds nothing back. There were definitely parts that made me laugh out loud and there were also some pretty moving stories. But - it is not a linear tale and he jumps from story to story and that sapped some of my enjoyment. Overall Barrowman is a fun guy, and I will watch him in anything, but I'm not sure I need to read anything more about him. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking this on - especially when you don't love memoirs! You will need to send Allan the link so he can load your review!