Anyone who knows me, knows I like John Barrowman. See this tag john barrowman for the numerous blog posts about him. So when he brought out I Am What I Am I picked it up. It is his second autobiography, his first being Anything Goes which I haven’t yet read.
But having finished I Am What I Am some time ago, I felt it was about time I reviewed it. First off I love how the book is written. It’s like you’ve got a warm mug of tea and are listening to John recount a tale. You can almost hear the sound of his voice as you read. He uses footnotes to either add details to the story without going off on a tangent, or address the reader or make some funny comment on his own story.
Each chapter is given a title and they weave in and out of his professional and personal life covering his time as Captain Jack, Scott (his partner), Family, Judging on Any Dream, his Music tour and a documentary he made about whether he was born gay or influenced by his environment. At the beginning of most chapters has a list relating to the chapter e.g. on a chapter about his family it has “Twelve things I’ve learned from my parents”. At the end of most chapters it has a Table Talk which is a short memory relating to the chapter that he chooses to share.
Within the chapters you develop a view that he’s a family man, has a good sense of humour, loves his dogs, views life positively (a glass-half-full sort of guy) and challenges homophobia (a cause close to his heart). Some chapters I found difficult to read on the basis that I hadn’t watched him as a Judge on Any Dream. This was because I had no idea of the people he was writing about (e.g. the other judges and contestants). But if you’ve followed him throughout all of his work you’ll have no problem following. I did manage to follow what he was saying in these chapters it just didn’t flow as easily as say the Torchwood chapters did.
Like most autobiographies out today, at intermittent places within the book it has glossy photo pages. It was nice to see as it gave a real glimpse into the family life of John and those that are important too him. It probably had about the average number of glossy pages, but on a personal level I would have liked to see more.
The final chapter addresses the reader directly and thanks them for supporting him, which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.