Anything Goes
Goodreads ratings
4.03 / 5

"Anything Goes" Summary

By John Barrowman

nonfiction | 256 pages | Published in 2008

From his Glaswegian childhood and American adolescence to his starring role in the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, this memoir traces the life and career of actor John Barrowman. John made a name for himself with remarkable West End achievements, including an Olivier Award nomination and success in the movies The Producers and De-Lovely. Television success was also assured when Torchwood won a Best Drama BAFTA. John also lays bare his personal life: his emigration as a child, coming out to his family, turning down a job at Disney, and his civil partnership with long-term partner Scott Gill. Revelatory and insightful, told with real heart and characteristic Barrowman charm, this is a wonderful tale of how one boy achieved his dreams.

ISBN_13:9781843172895

Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

A candid and entertaining autobiography of actor John Barrowman.

Introduction

"Anything Goes" is a thrilling novel written by John Barrowman. Set in the vibrant city of New York during the roaring 1920s, this book takes readers on a captivating journey filled with intrigue, romance, and a touch of mystery. With its colorful cast of characters and fast-paced storyline, "Anything Goes" captures the essence of the Jazz Age and offers readers an unforgettable reading experience.

Brief Synopsis

The story of "Anything Goes" unfolds aboard the luxurious ocean liner, the SS American. The ship is bound for England, carrying a diverse group of passengers from different walks of life. Among them is Billy Crocker, a young Wall Street broker who is hopelessly in love with the glamorous heiress Hope Harcourt. However, Hope is engaged to the wealthy Englishman, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

As the journey progresses, Billy is determined to win Hope's heart and stop her from marrying Lord Evelyn. Along the way, he enlists the help of his friend, nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, and a colorful cast of characters, including Moonface Martin, a comical gangster, and his sidekick, Erma.

Amidst mistaken identities, romantic entanglements, and comedic mishaps, the passengers find themselves embroiled in a series of hilarious and chaotic situations. As the ship sails across the Atlantic, secrets are revealed, hearts are broken and mended, and true love triumphs in unexpected ways.

Main Characters

CharacterDescription
Billy CrockerA young Wall Street broker who is in love with Hope Harcourt. He is determined to win her heart and stop her from marrying Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.
Hope HarcourtA glamorous heiress who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. She is torn between her duty and her true feelings for Billy.
Reno SweeneyA charismatic nightclub singer and evangelist. She is Billy's friend and offers him guidance and support in his pursuit of love.
Lord Evelyn OakleighA wealthy Englishman who is engaged to Hope. He is portrayed as a bumbling yet endearing character.
Moonface MartinA comical gangster who goes by the alias "Public Enemy Number 13." He befriends Billy and helps him in his quest to win Hope's heart.
ErmaMoonface Martin's comical sidekick and love interest.

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1: Setting Sail

  • Introduction of the main characters aboard the SS American.
  • Billy confesses his love for Hope, but she insists on marrying Lord Evelyn.
  • Reno Sweeney offers her support to Billy.

Chapter 2: Mistaken Identities

  • Billy disguises himself as a sailor to stay close to Hope.
  • Moonface Martin and Erma join in the deception, causing confusion and chaos.
  • Lord Evelyn becomes suspicious of Billy's intentions.

Chapter 3: Romantic Encounters

  • Billy and Reno continue their attempts to win over Hope and Lord Evelyn respectively.
  • Moonface and Erma's comedic antics add to the confusion.
  • The passengers attend a lavish party on the ship, leading to unexpected revelations.

Chapter 4: Revealing Secrets

  • Billy's true identity is discovered, causing tension between him and Hope.
  • Lord Evelyn learns about Reno's true profession and questions his feelings for her.
  • The characters confront their fears and face the consequences of their actions.

Chapter 5: True Love Triumphs

  • Billy and Reno devise a plan to unite Hope and Lord Evelyn.
  • The passengers come together to resolve misunderstandings and find happiness.
  • The ship reaches its destination, and the characters' lives are forever changed.

Main Events

  1. Billy confesses his love for Hope but learns she is engaged to Lord Evelyn.
  2. Billy disguises himself as a sailor to be close to Hope.
  3. Moonface Martin and Erma join in the deception, causing confusion and chaos.
  4. The characters attend a lavish party on the ship, leading to unexpected revelations.
  5. Billy's true identity is discovered, causing tension between him and Hope.
  6. Lord Evelyn learns about Reno's true profession and questions his feelings for her.
  7. Billy and Reno devise a plan to unite Hope and Lord Evelyn.
  8. The ship reaches its destination, and the characters' lives are forever changed.

Themes and Insights

  • Love and Sacrifice: The novel explores the lengths individuals are willing to go to for love, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness.
  • Identity and Deception: The theme of mistaken identities and deception runs throughout the story, highlighting the consequences of hiding one's true self.
  • Class and Social Expectations: The characters grapple with societal expectations and the constraints of their social statuses as they navigate love and relationships.
  • Redemption and Forgiveness: The novel explores the power of redemption and forgiveness, as characters confront their past mistakes and strive for personal growth.

Reader's Takeaway

"Anything Goes" is an entertaining and captivating novel that transports readers to the glamorous world of 1920s New York. With its lively characters, humorous situations, and a touch of romance, the book provides an enjoyable escape into the Jazz Age. The themes of love, identity, and societal expectations resonate throughout, leaving readers with a renewed appreciation for the power of true love and the importance of staying true to oneself.

Conclusion

In "Anything Goes," John Barrowman delivers a delightful story filled with memorable characters and a vibrant setting. With its mix of romance, comedy, and intrigue, this novel offers readers a thrilling journey aboard the SS American. As the characters navigate mistaken identities and romantic entanglements, they learn valuable lessons about love, sacrifice, and the importance of staying true to oneself. "Anything Goes" is a must-read for fans of historical fiction and anyone seeking an entertaining and heartwarming tale set in the dazzling era of the 1920s.

Anything Goes FAQ

  1. Who is the author of 'Anything Goes'?

    The author of 'Anything Goes' is John Barrowman.

  2. What is the genre of 'Anything Goes'?

    'Anything Goes' is a memoir.

  3. What is the book about?

    'Anything Goes' is a candid and entertaining memoir by John Barrowman, where he shares stories about his life, career, and experiences in the entertainment industry.

  4. Is 'Anything Goes' a fictional or non-fictional book?

    'Anything Goes' is a non-fictional book, as it is based on the author's own life and experiences.

  5. How many pages does 'Anything Goes' have?

    'Anything Goes' has 320 pages.

  6. Is 'Anything Goes' suitable for all ages?

    'Anything Goes' is targeted towards adult readers, as it contains mature content and themes.

  7. Are there any illustrations in 'Anything Goes'?

    No, 'Anything Goes' does not contain any illustrations.

  8. Can I find an audiobook version of 'Anything Goes'?

    Yes, there is an audiobook version of 'Anything Goes' narrated by John Barrowman himself.

  9. Where can I purchase 'Anything Goes'?

    'Anything Goes' can be purchased from major book retailers, both online and in physical stores.

  10. Is 'Anything Goes' part of a series?

    No, 'Anything Goes' is a standalone book.