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Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self Hardcover – 15 Oct 2009


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Read Sir Elton John's Exclusive Letter to Amazon.co.uk Customers [PDF]
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (15 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847377661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847377661
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.5 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`A brilliantly simple idea, executed with finesse' --Time Out

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Katy Byrne on 18 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for my God-daughter's 16th birthday and liked it so much that I bought my own copy! It has something for everyone - made me laugh, smile, be moved, and think!!! Also made me see some of the contributors in a different and more interesting light. Needless to say, my God-daughter loved it. I highly recommend this book.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John M on 28 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
As the previous reviewer said, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But above all, it inspired me to write a letter to MY younger self.

I can relate to a lot of the celebrities in the book as they are people I have grown up seeing on screen. It makes you feel some affinity with them, especially as they seem to have had the same perils and fun times growing up as I did.

The only reason for giving four stars and not 5 is that some of the letters are handwritten and a little difficult to decipher.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tweedle Deed on 20 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
They really are, aren't they?! All of these celebs: revered for something famous and infamous, experienced of time and wise, young and beginning to paint their mark in life, very widely known, little known for something well known, all of these celebs share something in common - that they are actually no different to us. So much of the Magazines of my time - I'm 28 by the way - and films and PR campaigns and twitter streams and exasperating reality TV shows (and breathe!) are geared up to display a side of celebrities that make them unattainable, untainted and, well, unreal. We see so much of them but in reality we see nothing. But then this!

This interesting concept has made it's way into a book idea and eventually through my front door. I have never been so enthralled to read a celebrity account before. I don't buy a lot of this celeb culture because of the aforementioned (and afore-overkilled) but now I get it. Because they are like us. They happen to be in the public eye for various reasons, respected by many for what they have achieved, but it started out the same as you and me. So it not only holds hope for someone who has perhaps the same level of desire and drive as them, but also gives strength for anyone who just needs to know from someone we trust without knowing, someone who has revealed something about them we didn't know, that, actually, it will be alright.

The book itself is beautifully done. It has charisma and charm and the Editor's own letter is one of my favourites because he, too, must have gone through a lot to get this neat concept together and it delivers. I congratulate him. I salute the celebrities of old and new who have allowed us to read (and heed) the advice they would so honestly give to themselves in retrospect.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. Ball on 4 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Even if you've picked up this book just for one name you've excitedly spotted in amongst the sundry mass of contributors (from Trisha Goddard to Simon Callow), I guarantee you'll get sucked in and won't emerge until you've read every reassurance, scolding and tease directed over the imaginary bridge through time. Many of the letters delight in the idea of "predicting" our past selves' future (Julian Clary: "it's hard to swallow, but in a few years time you will swan around in black rubber consuming men like After Eight Mints") or else trying to change them (Danny Wallace: "buy shares in Google. That should sort just about everything out").

Just don't get involved in this on a philosophical level, or you'll wonder if the contributors really are imagining time travel or if they're just indulgently telling us, the readers, about their childhoods. Still, most (if not all) of them are playing along, meaning that there's some real snippets of sentiment. You'll be moved. You also might crack a rib laughing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a rather clever, and yet breath takingly simple idea. Ask people to write letters to their sixteen year old selves, offering support, comfort, advice. What would you say? Here is a sample of celebrity letters doing just that, from the witty to the affecting to the wryly appreciative. The mix of celebrities makes the book interesting, with people from Baz Luhrmann and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Emma Thompson and Jonathan Ross. It really is a mixed bag. There is a lovely touch at the end where there is space for you, the reader to write to yourself, and should you wish to, send it or e-mail it in for posterity. A lovely thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. R. Arckless on 14 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Galliano's idea to contact lots of the great and the good and ask them to write to their sixteen-year-old selves has worked very well. It gives us an insight in to the people who have written these letters and particularly what formed them as young adults. The letters show a range of emotions and the authors include Elton John and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The photographs and drawings and the layout of the book bring life and colour.

Not only does the book raise funds for a good cause it provides real food for thought. It shows some of the massive social and political changes of these times; a reminder that being a single mother or growing up gay meant very different challenges.

There is a real human wamth here too; great affection for the teenage self, some sage advice and an awareness that it could go unheeded.

By coincidence two members of my extended family are sixteen during this year. I intend to give them both a copy of this book together with a letter from me to add to the collection.
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