A Better Me
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Best-selling audiobook; shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018
Includes an additional new chapter.
Gary Barlow is one of the most successful British musicians and songwriters of all time, but 15 years ago, as he himself admits, he hit rock bottom - he was out of shape, out of work, depressed.
Food for him had become an addiction, a means not only of comfort but almost of self-medication as he grappled with the cruel twists of fate of musical stardom. In 2003, as he struggled with the disappointment of an underperforming solo career alongside the tireless media taunts; Gary turned to food. Relentlessly. In the space of nine years he had been on 20 diets in the hopes of a resolution to all his woes. After asking the doctor what the 'cure' for obesity was, it sunk in that he was the only one who could take control of his health. Gary describes this realisation and the task that lay ahead - 'it was like being at the foot of a massive mountain'.
So how did he go from an obese, out-of-work and depressed pop icon, to a superstar of music and TV and an accomplished musical songwriter and producer who is full of vitality, fitter, happier and more successful than ever before. What happened?
In his extraordinarily honest memoir A Better Me, Gary tells of his journey back to professional success and mental and physical health. From reforming Take That to critical and commercial acclaim and reigniting his own legendary songwriting career; to overcoming his weight problems and crippling obsession with food; to TV judging panel stardom on The X Factor and Let It Shine and at last finding balance in both his personal and professional life.
A Better Me is a remarkably frank memoir of Gary's life as he battled with weight, stress, fitness and depression, and staged one of the most thrilling professional comebacks in years. In his warm, witty and authentic voice, he recounts his story with compelling insight, captivating honesty and a human side that people rarely see. Here is one of the UK's most beloved pop stars open, honest and raw and as we've never seen him before.
What members say
By Jeehan Balafaqaih on 03-03-20
Genuine, row and funny
If you are struggling with your weight, your workload or just life in general, this is for you. It is hilarious and the narration is excellent. But it is also real and genuine. You truly connect with the human being behind the pop star. I bought it cause I am a fan of Take That and it exceeded my expectations. I believe non Fans will find this book touching and inspirational.
By Amazon Customer on 10-19-19
Tugs at the heart and honest
I thought Gary Barlow was authentic in his feelings, and provided depth to the emotions he felt when dealing with his life's experiences. The pain, sorrows, and joys he's felt was brought out by his sincere expressions put forth in this audio book. I enjoyed it and found it an uplifting story.
By Jessica Cutler on 09-27-19
I didn't know who Gary Barlow was a month ago. I came across his music on YouTube and then found his book. After listening to his book, I'm forever a fan. He's authentic, he's talented, he's a rare find. Thank you for sharing your story. I have taken more from it than I thought I ever could. Now I'm off to discover the better ME!
By Eric R on 03-21-19
So good I forget where I’m driving.
I find that autobiographies are usually boringly-written stories about interesting people, or boringly-written stories about boring people. But this book is a brilliantly-written tale about a brilliant person and an absolute delight to listen to (obviously.)
I already adored Gary's writing style (which is why I love his songs and deep lyrics,) but now I love him even more. No part of the book was dull, and so many parts made me burst out laughing or shedding tears. This book has also, (authentically) "accepted it won't be in fashion." There are no trending thoughts in this. It's just true, honest, wonderful Gary.
This book is so worth the money. Worth all the stars. Worth everything! I'm utterly depressed that it's finished, but now I shall listen all over again.
By Cheryl A. Waters on 02-13-19
Great fun, heartwarming and surprise! Therapeutic!
I just discovered Take That and Mr. Barlow in 2018. It was right on time. They’ve kept me company during a year of significant transitions. Even though Gary’s life is very different than mine, the underlying humanity is the same. Thank you for the encouragement to be me and like me. Even so, I’m always working at being a “Better Me!” Loved the Book! 👏👏👏
By Amazon Customer on 01-02-19
Outstanding Telling of a Life
I "discovered" Gary Barlow in November 2018 and have since come to love and admire him with a passion! This book is a raw and compelling story about the struggles of a famous person and weight, and his lifelong relationship with food. It is sprinkled with stories of fame and his Take That band with the humility and self deprecating humor that seems apparent in his interviews. Fantastic!
By Gemma Evans on 11-15-18
Brilliant book, well-read by Gary too
A real eye-opening account into Gary’s mental health issues after going solo, diet and weight-control misery, his family life, and a behind-the-scenes insight into the tougher side of the music industry. I had no idea Gary was a keen health-hacker; a supporter of shunning ultra-processed foods and sugar. There are also some good cooking tips in the book!
7 people found this helpful
By PrimaDiva on 04-25-19
A food fest
An interesting perspective on what it means to be famous and the importance and power food can assume. I did become fatigued with the numerous food related anecdotes however this doesn't take away from the openness and honesty. Just hope GB does what he says and takes a much needed break.
6 people found this helpful
By Angie on 10-08-18
Couldn't stop listening!
Loved it. Very honest autobiography. It was funny, really interesting to listen to but also so very sad. Some bits heart breaking to listen too. For a Gary or TT fan, you'll love it and relive the years through your own memories.
11 people found this helpful
By C C Woodcock on 11-12-18
Kept my interest throughout. I know it's a big part of his life but I did get totally bored about all the words dedicated about food. It seemed to come up in every chapter. By the time you've heard of his 20th diet, 20th exercise regime and new personal trainer - you are sick to death of hearing about it. Seriously about 25%, if not more, of this book must be about this.
14 people found this helpful
By P. M. Thomas on 10-07-19
Better - hopefully for good.
A fascinating and, I believe, frank biography delivered by Gary himself which made the book for me. He seemed to be driven in his early life to carve a career at the expense of others. His success and obvious talent counted for nothing in his career crash and he developed wight problems and mental doubt but our local hero rose again through his own hard work ethic and he found the way to let go of his ego and collaborate with others to produce some of his best work.
2 people found this helpful
By marie on 09-26-19
BRILLIANT A PROPER EYE OPENER !!
Couldn't put this book down, not only was it extremely interesting but changed the way i think about my forever ongoing battle with food
It was read clearly by Gary and i would say well worth the credit
Well done Gary 👍☺
2 people found this helpful
By Anonymous User on 01-14-19
I loved how open and honest Gary is in this book. It was great listening to him read it. I certainly didn't want it to end!
2 people found this helpful
By Helen Bailey on 10-19-18
I’ve loved listening to Gary read his autobiography. He gives it so much character, humour and emotion. It wouldn’t have been as good if it was read by someone else. It’s a delight of Northern-ness and more than enough to make Northern expats homesick. I’ve loved Gary’s company in the car on the way to work this week 👍🏼 It’s going to be lonely next week 😢
10 people found this helpful
By Amazon Customer on 11-08-19
Wasn't expecting that.
I've got to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I couldn't stop listening. It makes it all the more enjoyable when the author reads, it gives a personal touch and you feel more connected to the story. It's one of my top ten books this year.
1 person found this helpful
By Alison Groves on 10-23-19
A really great book
Gary is very honest and sincere but also funny. I enjoyed this very much. I liked Take That but am a bit too old to have been screaming at them in the 1990s. This has definitely made me a fan though!
1 person found this helpful
By Anonymous User on 09-22-19
Loved every minute!
Raw and real! Loved every minute of it and have even greater respect for this man than I did before. Takes a lot of courage to be open and honest about the bad bits when it could all to easy to leave them out.
By Rachel Jones on 09-16-19
What an interesting life this talented guy has had. I think it all the more special that he read the audio book himself.
By krispyp on 08-01-19
Thanks for Sharing your Journey Gary
Loved it - including all the food references. Will be watching and listening to everything you do Gary - very talented entertainer - and a nice guy.
By Amazon Customer on 02-24-19
Great for Take That fans
I was really looking forward to this book, overall i enjoyed it and the best moments were when Gary recounted his life after Take That's initial success and then getting the band back together. Less interesting are the food and exercise lectures, which go on for too long and feel like you're in a therapy session. It's nice that Gary is healthy and lost weight but we don't really need half a book about it.
By IcarusMalfoy on 01-15-19
Genuinely enjoyed this. Autobiographies aren't a type of book I normally read, but I know who Gary is and I know a lot of it was supposed to be about his battle with his weight, which is what peaked my interest. I listened to the audiobook, read by the man himself, and enjoyed it a lot. It was humourous and sometimes quite dark, with the personal problems he faced. I appreciate the honest way he talks about his issues, it's still sadly unusual for a man, particularly a famous one to openly discuss mental health.
By Rebecca Crosby on 01-13-19
Inspiring, funny and heartfelt.
A great insight into life's strengths and struggles of an inspiring man. Funny and heartfelt. Excellently read by Gary himself which definitely gives the added experience of authenticity and lived.
By russell findlay on 11-16-18
Always love a good book that is read by the person that has written it and it’s like that is what an incredible and inspiring look into his own life
By Dana on 11-03-18
Lovely story and read with passion. I loved it 😊
Super nice and read beautifully by Gary. Thanks for sharing your real world with us.
By Vanessa Fardon on 10-18-18
What a talent Gary Barlow is
What a talent Gary Barlow is, a page turner from start to finish due to his sharing with such honesty and down to earth insights into his life and world of show business.... loved Gary in Take That and even more now for all his acomplishments “The Royal Jubilee” I had no idea as I was living in Australia by then but I watched the festivities on the TV. Amazing the drive and hard work you can see Gary puts everything he does, amazing.