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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncompromising, brutal, selfish and moving
I have never had an eating disorder, never suffered the mental whirring of calculating calories, self-castigation for consumption and the wrenching anxiety from having inadvertently `lost control' and digested fats. I have nether been voluntarily sick following a meal, trying to expel the poisons that I have polluted my body with. But thanks to this book I feel I...
Published on 13 Feb. 2007 by I. Curry

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Honest account on annorexia
This book is a real life story of graces battle with annorexia. Its honest and she tells it exactly how it is but by about half way through the book i was ready for it to end. Not only is the book too drawn out a repetative it is written in a bit of a mess. There are sections written as her now looking back then there are sections of her as she was them but speaking about...
Published on 3 July 2009 by Ms. J. Lovatt


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Honest account on annorexia, 3 July 2009
By 
Ms. J. Lovatt (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thin (Paperback)
This book is a real life story of graces battle with annorexia. Its honest and she tells it exactly how it is but by about half way through the book i was ready for it to end. Not only is the book too drawn out a repetative it is written in a bit of a mess. There are sections written as her now looking back then there are sections of her as she was them but speaking about herself in 3rd person and there are sections written like a script for a play and each section seemed to say the same kinds of things as the last section in its style. The book was interesting and she told her story very honestly and it was insightful but it felt a bit like she dragged it all out to make it book length and a lot of it didnt need to be in there. I think she was very brave and it must have taken a lot of stength to tell the world her secrets but i got bored after a while. Its worth a try if you want to find out what its like to have the condition but you will need patience to get to the end
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncompromising, brutal, selfish and moving, 13 Feb. 2007
By 
I. Curry "IDC" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thin (Paperback)
I have never had an eating disorder, never suffered the mental whirring of calculating calories, self-castigation for consumption and the wrenching anxiety from having inadvertently `lost control' and digested fats. I have nether been voluntarily sick following a meal, trying to expel the poisons that I have polluted my body with. But thanks to this book I feel I understand the condition a lot better, and I would recommend the book to anyone who was interested in, concerned about or suffering from anorexia nervosa or any eating disorder.

I came to this book by a recommendation from a psychologist friend. I am writing a book about my own battle with various forms of anxiety, and when I described it she insisted I read this account. This review is intended to provide a review of the book as a standalone work, regardless of how useful it was for my own writing.

Bowman writes with a candid intimacy that is summed up in the opening line. "If I tell you a secret, do you promise to tell the whole world?" It is a very apt and poignant statement - those suffering from mental illness, in all its varying forms and in all their millions upon millions, tend to do so in a void. Afraid to tell anyone else, afraid to confide and completely unsure as to how to cope. Books like Bowman's not only cast light on the subject for the unaware, but are invaluable lifelines for those suffering. Unlike self-help books they don't aim to change or cure. They just give another point of view, a window into another sufferer's experience and the important realisation that you are far from alone.

Bowman's own problems began as a late teen. She was successful and happy, and should have easily coasted into university and on to a comfortable life. Both fortunately and unfortunately she didn't. Unfortunately for all the suffering she has been through and overcome. Fortunately for being able to write about it in a literary, yet accessible way.

The book is not a strict narrative account of the condition. She deviates into entertaining dramatic scripts of supposed encounters, where she reveals the `inner' voice of Grace, the anorexic voice that is urging her to ever greater feats of self-denial and control. She details some of the science and the thinking behind the condition, gives the consideration and intelligent focus that she, as a sufferer, would have subjected herself to.

This book is gritty and uncompromising, although not in the ruthlessly bleak way of a Million Little Pieces. It is alive with self-awareness, but not self-pity. And ultimately it is hopeful. Bowman's survival and subsequent success gives hope to all those who have suffered.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shape of my Own, 28 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
A beautifully written, poignant account of someone struggling not only to come to terms with anorexia but also to find their sense of meaning and centre in the world. Not having experienced anorexia myself, but having been witness to good friends struggling with it, gave me a sensitive and deep insight into what goes on behind hidden doors. The opening line with stay with me forever, and the wonderful ending of hope and recovery brings inspiration to us all. I couldn't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A factual and informative account, 8 April 2008
By 
SJSmith (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Thin (Paperback)
'Thin' is very different from what I was expecting. I have read a lot of different memoirs over the years dealing with differing aspects of people's lives and it's nice when you come along different ones along the way. This is one of them. It reads as a cross between research, autobiography and reference but with a young woman's emotion in there for good measure.

I think this was published in hard back just before turning 30, so what a milestone that would've been. There is only one criticism of the book that I have and that's at times you don't really get to see the harshness of the reality of society - I can imagine her friends being accepting of her but she never discusses how people responded to her for example on holiday in her swimsuit.

It is extremely well written and I was actually able to sit and read it in one sitting, I do confess to skipping the playscripts as I didn't like those bits which is why I have given it 4 stars instead of 5. As I haven't had any personal involvement with eating disorders I can't confirm how accurate it is, all I can say is I found it interesting and informative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sack the editor, 4 Feb. 2013
By 
C. Castle (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thin (Kindle Edition)
Grace Bowman, like most of those who suffer from anorexia, is a very clever woman. However, her determination to show off her writing skills in this interesting and extremely honest memoir detract from the message somewhat. There's a schizophrenic feel to this book - jumping in and out of tenses and perspectives. Whilst it is clever, and I'm sure is supposed to mirror the detachment and dissociation that can accompany anorexia, I found it irritating and distracting. I lay the blame at the feet of the editor rather than the author though - the writing and message are strong, just presented in a manner which to me, was over-written.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and insightful, 11 Feb. 2007
By 
V. Edwards - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thin (Paperback)
Grace Bowman is to be commended for her honest description of not only the effects of this illness on the sufferer but also on those around them. As an 'ex anorexic'(as she describes herself) too I was both touched and inspired by her story which quite apart from the subject matter is one of the best written books I have read in a very long time. Her style of writing and use of language further illustrate the complexities of an illness usually very difficult to explain but done almost effortlessly by Grace. It is a must read for anyone who is living with, lived through or supports someone who is living with or has lived through Anorexia Nervosa.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thin Review, 7 Dec. 2009
By 
This review is from: Thin (Paperback)
The beginning of the book starts with a question `if I share a secret with you, do you promise to tell everyone?' this question is a rhetorical question due to the fact that she is going to be telling this story to everyone who reads this book. A secret is not meant to be shared but Grace Bowman feels that it is time that she stopped hiding the illness that she had in her life and also she wanted to share her experience to try and help people going through what she went through and try and help them recover, Grace felt that if she had had a book like this to read when she was going through anorexia then it could have been a great help towards her recover instead of people trying to force her to do things that she didn't want to do.
Grace never wanted to fail anything she always had to be the best, so when she was diagnosed with anorexia she then felt that she had to be the best anorexic there is. So when people where trying to help her recover she didn't listen to their advice as she believes that she has to beat them as well that they are part of a game and to beat them she has to keep changing her tactics to through them off course.
Grace has an inside voice and an outside voice. Her inside voice during the anorexia is the evil voice that tells her when she can eat and when she can't, also what she can eat. This inside voice takes over her and speaks so loud that she can't concentrate on anything else but the inside voice which loudly counts out the calories that she has eaten today or if she sees one of her friends eating something like a packet of crisps then the inside voice starts working out how many calories that friend is eating. The outside voice is the voice that Grace uses to communicate with everyone, this voice does not say out loud what the inside voice is thinking, the outside voice is secretive and only says what Grace thinks that everyone wants to hear.
Even though this illness was upsetting all of her family and friends and making them really worried about her she couldn't stop it she just tried to hide it more from these loved ones. Grace would exercise when her family has gone out so that they didn't tell her to stop or didn't think that she was getting obsessed even though they already knew she had a problem. Even though her friends told her that she used to look beautiful before she became anorexic and she would look so much better if she gained weight, Grace believed that these people were just out to make her lose which she was never going to do as that would lead to failure.
Grace realised that she had to do something about her illness when her family start to look at sending her away to live with other people who have eating disorders and they are supported twenty four seven, Grace does not like this she does not want to live there as she feels there is too much competition. At new years she decides that she will set herself a new year's resolution to gradually increase her calorie intake but at her own pace as she thought that she could recover by herself. Her main goal was to get to Cambridge university and she knew she was not allowed to go if she kept losing weight.
As life goes on for Grace the inside voice still exists, which leads to guilt when eating certain foods or too much food.
When Grace falls in love and is in a committed relationship the inside voice gradually starts to disappear as everything then is not just about her instead of `I want' it changes to `we' which means her routine is disrupted and so becomes unrealistic.
The reasons why Grace feels that the anorexia nervosa started due to changes happening in her life like having to move away to go to university because moving away means having to grow up and start acting like an adult which scared Grace. Being Anorexic turns your body to what it was like when you are a child, your periods stop, curves disappear and you become fragile and need to be looked after like when you a child. To recover Grace had to realise that it was time for her to become an adult and live her own life away from her `growing up house `and away from the security of her family.
I enjoyed reading this book as it gives you an insight into what an anorexic goes through, it is truthful and in full detail. This book is hard to put down as you get drawn into the story and feel like you are part of this girl's life, you feel like shouting out `stop it just eat something'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good inspiration for recovery, 11 May 2010
By 
Catarina Batista "shiningmer" (Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thin (Paperback)
This was the first book I read that was solely about eating disorders and quite frankly I was a bit disappointed. I think the book was mostly focused on Grace's triggers to this illness and her recovery. I think there was little put into the painful part of it, maybe because it's such a personal experience that not everyone experiences it the same way.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the book. I did identify with some of the situations portrayed and I think Grace's willpower to ditch anorexia and go to Cambridge, even if not totally recovered, very inspirational. I believe that if you're in that stage of your disorder where you just need that push to go through recovery, this is the book to read.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Story, 10 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
OMG what a book to read!. This story of Grace Bowman life is just out of this world and the way she fight back with her eating problem. This book really hits your heart and makes you relise that a lot of people suffer from eating problems.
Also once you have started reading Grace story you dont want to stop.
This is the best book for me so far!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, 3 Jan. 2009
By 
Lindsay Cook "Lacookie" (Linlithgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thin (Paperback)
This book takes some beating when it comes to books on anorexia. It is definately one of the best i've read, and i've read a lot! Having suffered from anorexia myself i could relate to every word written. It was hugely comforting for me to read about another person's experiance of this destructive illness. She explains the origins of the illness with amazing detail and her unique writing technique really intices you as the reader. I have since loaned this book to my friend, whom also suffers from anorexia, and would thoroughly recommend it to fellow sufferers. I'm also keen for people who want to learn more about the illness, be them carers or others, to read this book.
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Thin by Grace Bowman (Paperback - 25 Jan. 2007)
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