5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Through Thick and Thin: My Autobiography (Paperback)
This is not the type of thing I'd normally read as I feel it would be unusual for someone of close to my age to have enough life experience to be worthy of a whole book. However, I unexpectedly saw Gok Wan speak at the induction of a charity programme I'm involved in and he came across really well so I thought it would be worth a read.
A literary masterpiece it is not, but it's been a welcome change from reading longer and more involved novels. There are definitely some parts that I genuinely interesting, especially the first half about his early life and childhood away from the public eye. Wan freely admits that he has a very public persona that he "wears" when he is in front of a camera or audience and it's clear that this is what we see most of the time, hiding an underlying troubled past and a mass of insecurities.
The book itself reflected this - there was a definite shift once he started to write about the times since he's become a household name and it's almost as if the public persona completely takes over - there is little beyond that in the second half and the language is very much like the TV version. As such it feels lacking in emotion and a bit hollow. It also brought back all of things I didn't like about the "How to look good naked" show and made me feel even more uncomfortable that he persuades women to do things that I don't think he'd be prepared to. In a way it seems that the show is his own form of therapy.
Ironically the second half also seems to come with a drop in the quality of editing and proof-reading which is a bit of a pet hate of mine.
All of this said, in the final chapter, it all turns around again and the "heart" comes back. At the end of the day, while there were parts I've criticised, I couldn't put this book down!