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Publisher's Summary

Short-listed for best audiobook in the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018.

The Sunday Times number one best seller.

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 lives.

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.

'This is the book I wished I'd had to turn to.' (Gary Barlow)

©2018 Gary Barlow (P)2018 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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as expected .... entertaining

had me laughing so much in places and told me so much about his demons despite his huge success .... really good, enjoyed it - great narration

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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!

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increible

Me encanto como desnuda su alma y explica sus miedos y sus demonios. Gary Barlow en estado puro

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our beautiful Gary

amazing biography book, our beautiful Gary, not only outside, as also on the inside, I am a better me because of you. love this wisdom Gary bring to this book.

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Brutally honest celebrity biography

A very frank biography of singer/songwriter Gary Barlow. I love the band Take That, so when this came out I had to read it. When I found out he was narrating the book himself, I had to hear it in his own voice.

Gary struggled with obesity and depression in the aftermath of the break-up of Take That in the 90's. His solo career bombed and he became a recluse, eating his way into anonymity. When the band reformed and became very successful in 2006, Gary found himself dealing with serial dieting, struggling to balance his personal and professional life and other out-of-control emotions. Being a bloke, he didn't handle it well.

The book was brutally honest and moving. I enjoyed listening to him, even though some of the passages were harrowing. Mr. Barlow has a very deadpan sense of humor. He makes an effort to use different voices to distinguish different characters. He's got a northern British accent, but I was able to understand everything he said. In fact, hearing him tell his story was better than just reading it, in my opinion.

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Captivating, heartfelt and Brilliant

Firstly, I have to say that yes, I am a fan of Gary from the first time round with Take That. I found out about this book through a fan page on Facebook and immediately became interested. I pre ordered on Audible and waited for it's release. I was not to be disappointed. Anyone who knows Gary's music knows that he is one talented bloke. He is a natural writer and his own narration made the story come to life. I could literally picture the scenes being played out as if a movie. I laughed, I was thoughtful and I cried such tears that my 3 year old was running to dry my eyes and give me a hug. It's a fantastic story of a journey thus far of one of the most talented and capable men on this planet. He might be a self confessed non intellectual but that wouldn't put him in in the category of being non intelligent. He is natural and honest and his sense of humour shines through in spades. I can safely say that this would be a book that you would never regret buying and listening to. We can all learn a thing or two from Gary and my admiration for this man has only deepened through hearing his story. Congratulations Gary Barlow on a beautiful written book.

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Amazing story about one man

I’m ordinary fan of take that. I’m young. I’m only 24. I only know take that since 2013. Firstly i liked their good pop music. Then, i started to like them as persons. That’s why I was listening to it. There’s a lot of to learn from is. You get to know music industry, how boybands work, how your career can be ruined. How can you rebuild yourself. How can relationship with food can change. How to live on while you buried your child. I think barlow did a great job reading it. He did a right decision to read it himself. No one could read it his story better. And his story is not only for a take that or gary barlow fan. I think is for everyone who has any of similar experience in life.

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  • Helen Bailey
  • 10-19-18

Highly recommended

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 😢

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Angie
  • 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • C C Woodcock
  • 11-12-18

Its ok

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-18

Very honest and incredibly real.

listened in one hit. very easy on the ear, and incredibly moving to hear Gary talk about his dad and the loss of Poppy.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • MollyM
  • 01-19-19

Listened to it twice

On so many levels, what an inspirational chap Gary Barlow is. I related to his battle with weight and experiences with diets to the extent that I promptly went and bought all the Hemsley Sisters cook books (!). Supremely talented and humbled by his fall from grace when dropped by his record label. I thought this was an excellent book. So much so that as soon as it was finished - I listened to it all over again. Although I did find myself in tears at the gym when "fly high" played on my spotify playlist - having not previously appreciated the lyrics and origin. Well done Mr Barlow.

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  • Jude Bailey
  • 01-18-19

Loved it!

Not an original TT fan but a RW fan - I loved this book. A story of personal growth from the heart. Not having lived in the UK for decades, I missed most of all this goss. What a mare the intervening years must have been for Gaza but all comes good in the end. Good northern humour & insight into an interesting life. Thank you

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  • Mr Mark Prestige
  • 01-16-19

Fantastic insight into a great life

Read by the man himself, Gary is open and sincere and this is a fascinating insight into his life. From the food to the diets, the songs to the dramas...I was hooked!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-14-19

Love it

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!

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  • Michelle Hutcheson
  • 01-14-19

A great read

A very entertaining read that made me giggle along the way. Gary Barlow reads his book well and it's easy to get hooked.

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  • IcarusMalfoy
  • 01-15-19

Enjoyable listen

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.

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  • Rebecca Crosby
  • 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.

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  • russell findlay
  • 11-16-18

Great read

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
Thank you

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  • Dana
  • 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.

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  • Vanessa Fardon
  • 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.