I think I'm probably a little biased with my rating here but I can't help it - I've always loved this guy since being a screaming teenager in the 90s at many Take That's concerts. But it really is a page turner and offers up plenty of dirty and grit on the band and Gary himself. Unfortunately it marred my rose coloured view of Gary as being the innocent one in the band - he was just as naughty as the rest of them. I was shocked at how they treated some of the fans - getting one or other of them to go down and select them a girl for the evening, not bothering who it was, and then just chucking them out later. But I suppose this is how many bands act if you think about it!
Gary is very open in this book and reveals elements about himself and the band honestly with no holds barred. His witty and dry sense of humour comes across in his book too. He's happy to highlight his own faults and also doesn't hold back if he thinks someone else is in the wrong. You really get the impression that he hasn't put a glossy spin on any of this - it is truthful writing.
This was a fantastic autobiography to read, really insightful and entertaining. I learnt so much about him that I never knew before (as is obviously the point with an autobiography!!). I didn't realise quite how passionate he was about music from such a young age and I had no idea that he wrote the track 'Million Love Songs' when he was just 15. That shows just how much talent the man has. It was very interesting reading about the early days of Take That and about his relationships with the others in the band. You also get a sense of just how lost he was in the years following the dramatic split of Take That in the 90's.
He has really turned his career around with the reunion of Take That and it's great to get the sense of positivity he has towards the end of the book. It would have been great to read about his time at the X Factor but the book is a little old for that. Maybe a new one in a few years time....?
I am a Take That fan and particularly like Gary Barlow which is why I chose to buy his autobiography. The book has 288 pages, and written in a font which is not too big or small in my opinion, so easy to read and follow. It is an excellent read and by the end you feel you know a lot more about him - not just the fact he is a singer/songwriter and part of Take That!
Gary writes the book is the first person using honesty, humour and giving us information about his birth, family and how he came to be part of Take That. He talks of his love of music from a young age where he would get his Dad to buy him the newest keyboard! He also addresses his time working in the working men's clubs, singing with his girl friend in a duo and to how he meet Nigel Martin-Smith and Take That began. He goes on to talk about the break up of the band, the rise and fall of his solo career, fall out with Robbie and the renuion of Take That in 2006.
The book is written well, easy to follow and the situations are easy to picture yourself in and relate to Gary's circumstances. You find yourself feeling happy for him in the good times, sad in the bad and wondering what is going to happen next. The chapters flow nicely into one another, with pictures of Gary as a baby and with the band.
The front cover features a lovely photo of Gary in black and white, with the paperback version featuring a different colour photograph. This version also contains an extra section where Gary talks about the London Bombings.
Even if you aren't a Take That or Gary Barlow fan I would recommend reading this book for a reliable, honest account of a pop stars life. It is interesting, exciting and full of twists and turns. After reading, you feel you know Gary a lot better and have gained insight into his life.
To be honest I'm not really in to autobiographies, I'm more of a chick-lit kind of gal and this is the only autobiography I have ever read. I've always liked Gary Barlow, he was definitely my favorite Take-That member 'back in the day' as he seemed quite humble and down to earth as well as being utterly gorgeous ;-) So when my auntie left her copy of 'My Take' lying around I just had to pick it up to find out what happened to Gary Barlow, before, after and during his Take That days...
This book kept me interested all the way through. It was clear from the beginning that Gary Barlow was bound to find fame and fortune one day and it was really interesting to read about his life before Take That and how success and money changed him for both better and worse in some cases. It gives you a real insight into his life both past and present.
I would definitely recommend this autobiography, especially if you're a Take That fan. If you already like Gary Barlow to begin with, you'll like him even more after reading this for being so open and honest from start to finish. Obviously as this is the first autobiography I've read I don't have anything to compare it to, but it'd have to pretty fantastic to beat this one in my opinion!
"My Take" is Gary Barlow's autobiography (written with Richard Havers).
For those who don't know (and if you don't, where have you been?!), Gary Barlow is a member of Take That, the 90's band that bounced back into this decade even bigger than they were before! "My Take" is his take on his childhood, breaking into the music scene, his years in Take That, after the band split and into the reformation of the band... Basically, his life so far.
There are 2 versions of the book - the hardback which was released in 2006 and the paperback released a year later and updated with "the story of the comeback of all comebacks". I'm a big fan of Take That and Gary had always been my favourite member, so I have both! The hardback copy I got signed while Gary was doing a book signing tour of the UK to promote the book and then I bought the paperback as my collection wouldn't be complete with out it (that and I'd be missing a couple of chapters!).
I must say, I found the book interesting. I thought that Gary was very honest when writing this and wrote about the bad times and the embarrassing, not just the good. He realised he'd made mistakes and at one point he even decided to phone people who he'd worked with and apologise for his behaviour when he was in Take That. While Gary is a star, from reading the book you feel that he's still grounded and down to earth, and when he forgets that then there's usually something that comes along and grounds him. He's supported by a loving wife, Dawn, children and his parents.
Gary doesn't hold back in this autobiography. He admits when somebody else's voice has been used in a song... Notably, in Take That's 'I Found Heaven' he says they were "shocked, confused and amazed" to find that Robbie's lead vocal had at times been replaced by somebody else's. The producer had brought in a wee known session singer called Alan Carvell and had recorded him to sound like Robbie. Gary said they were laughing at producer Ian Levine's half-arsed attempt at producing the vocal, but still it must have been demoralising to have your vocals replaced and a song produced like that when you're working your backsides off to make it in business.
Of course, the book documents Robbie splitting from the bad, the press pitting Gary & Robbie against each other and what Gary actually thinks of Robbie. Gary admits "I was so wrapped up in myself that I was unconscious, even uncaring, of what he was going through. I never stopped to say, 'Are you OK, mate?' after Robbie had told him he was leaving the band and had later went on a "bender" in Berlin. Maybe that was why Robbie behaved as he did, nobody seemed to care, but then maybe it would have happened anyway. Who knows?
While the book centres around Gary's career, it also documents some of his private life such as getting married to his beautiful wife Dawn, having their 2 children (although they've since had a 3rd), his struggle with his weight & his depression after the breakdown of his solo career, and of his experience in a day that is remembered by everyone in the UK... the 7/7 bombings in London.
Chapter 17 "Full Circle" is a short chapter about Gary's experience on 7th July 2005. Gary was on a tube train when a bomb went off of the train next to his. This chapter describes what happened and how he felt and is probably the most emotional chapter in the book.
The book is also supported by several pages of photos including pictures of Gary as a child, performing before the band, while in Take That, solo and during the comeback. While some photos have been in the public domain for years, others are personal and family photos. Either way, they're a nice touch.
Whether you're a fan of Gary, of Take That or maybe just interested in the music industry and celebrities, I would certainly recommend this autobiography. I enjoyed reading it and felt it was an honest read. If you want to know what really happened during Take That, their split and their reformation, as well as learn more about one of Britain's finest songwriters and singers, then read this book.
Well I am going to see Take That on Saturday and so thought I would do a Take That related review. I have been a Take That fan since I was a little girl and when they reformed I became an even bigger fan. Gary Barlow, obviously on the back of the reunion, decided to release his autobiography. It was perfect timing really and it had given him a chance to tell his side of the story of his time in Take That and since.
As you have probably guessed from my introduction Gary Barlow was a member of the 90's boyband Take That. He also had a solo career following this, although this wasn't as successful as his time in the band.
The book is very attractive looking. It has a nice picture of him on the front, which is you are a fan like myself is obviously very nice! The name of the book 'My Take' is written on the front and Gary Barlow's name. This is also written on the side. The back has a few old pictures and says 'The boy, the band, the breakup and the back for good...'. The pictures are all in black and white and the writing is in gold so it all looks very attractive. The book I have is also a hardback, which makes it a nice book to hold and look at.
Inside the front cover is some explanation of the book and what it is about. There are also some more images, this time of promotions from his various performances. Once past this the book has the usual contents page, which indicates all the chapters. You could read the chapters seperately but I would suggest you read the whole book in order as it makes a lot more sense.
The book goes through in order from when Gary was a young boy and how his music ambition came about to the band reforming a couple of years ago. I found some of the early information really interesting as you tend to hear more about the band when they were together rather than their lives before. It also is fascinating to see how much he worked to get where he is today. After this begining section comes how the band got together. I have seen some of this in various documentaries and interviews in magazines but it is good to hear it just from Gary's point of view. It was quite fun to read about his first opinions of the other band members. After this he talks about life within the band. He tells stories about what they got up to, which shows they weren't quite the innocent boy band they were sometimes shown to be. There was also quite a bit about Robbie and why he left the band. Even though Gary wrote this in his own view, he did show that there were reasons why Robbie got annoyed, and rightly so too. I liked that Gary was not entirely against Robbie when writing about this.
After all of the beginning of his career being talked about, then came the split. I found this section really interesting. I had only really seen a bit about what happened after this point on the documentary they made a few years ago. This shows how much what happened actually affected him, much more than you would think. It was nice to see a happy ending to his autobiography though.
The story is his life story, so you can't really comment on whether it is a good story or not. I think it was really interesting, though I am not sure how interesting people who are not fans would find it. It does have plenty of twists and turns though that will keep you interested. I think Gary helped write the story well, including mainly parts of his life that were relevant to his music career. This made it all flow nicely and you could see how all the parts of the story were connected.
In amongst the chapters are also some sections of photos. These include photos of Gary as a child, pictures of a young Take That, his solo career, his family and more recent photos of the band. I really like these photos and they help to illustrate the story. They also help break up the book a bit. The photos are in sections every few chapters. Some of these are in black and white and others are in colour.
The book as a whole is written in largish text and short paragraphs, which make it an easy read. The chapters are also not too long. In total the book has 278 pages, so is not an incredibly long read. I like this about the book though as I think it makes it more enjoyable.
You can buy this book now from 1p on Amazon, which I think is a great bargain.
Overall this is a must read for any Take That fan. I also think people who aren't fans would enjoy the read as it is easy to take in and entertaining.
Even though I'm not a big fan of this autobiography boom that is going on at the moment, I asked to have Gary Barlows autobiography as a Christmas present and I just got round to finish it. The only autobiography I read before this was Robbies and I have to say, there is no comparison. Gary's is a very easy read and very interesting whereas I felt like Robbies was dragging on a bit. It might be because Gary used a ghost-writer, which gives the book a better quality.
It takes you through Gary's whole live, from his childhood, through to his days as a soloartist in clubs to his time in Take That and afterwards up to the reunion. The book gives you a lot of inside in the music industry and into his private live (incl. celebrities like Elton John) It is a very interesting book with lots of little stories, that even Take That fans wouldn't know about. You think, by reading all the interviews, seeing the videos and reading the Take That books, you know it all, but in fact Gary reveals a lot new "secrets" that puts it all into new prospective. I didn't realise for example how little saying the "stars" have in the music industry.
He is very open about his relationships that he had and Dawn, his wife. It is a very nice story how they got together and the journey they had throughout his career.
You learn a lot about the other boys and their relationship in the band. The truth about how it all started and why they split up as well as how it came to the reunion. Even though a big part takes place him being in Take That, it's really not a book about Take That, it's about Gary. How he felt and how he became what he is today.
I think this book is a must for every Take That fan and a really good read to everybody else who is interested in the story of a musician. I can only recommend it.
It is very well done. The book covers 277 pages with a lot of photos and is available for approx. £12.
Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
Take That was the original and the best British boy band ever. Their records sold millions, and they sold out arenas in less time than it took to play one of their singles. Gary Barlow was the band's secret weapon: their gifted, down-to-earth front man who not only wrote most of their greatest hits - Back for Good, Never Forget, and A Million Love Songs - but sang them too. But the band decided to quit at the height of their fame. What followed for Gary is an inspiring journey of highs and lows: from the promising start of his solo career to his crisis in confidence. The public who had once worshipped him almost seemed to forget he existed. Much has been said about Gary but he himself has remained silent until now. For the first time, Gary tells his full story from his childhood in Cheshire to life after Take That: the early start at thirteen working in a social club; a career as a teenager working the northern clubs; and the life-changing moment when he met Nigel Martin-Smith, a Manchester modeling agent who wanted to put together a boy-band. Gary will reveal what life on the road with Take That was really like and the truth behind the rumours of their petty feuding. He will also finally settle the speculation around his painfully public fall-out with Robbie. Throughout his experiences Gary has remained as determined and as positive as he was when he was given his first keyboard at eleven. It is this determination and spirit that has helped him bounce back. He has established himself as a successful songwriter writing for the likes of Blue, Delta Goodrem, and Charlotte Church. And now he's made one of pop's great comebacks with the Take That reunion tour, ten years after the band split up. Gary Barlow and Take That are back centre stage once again - where they belong.