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...once! I got this book as a gift and initially thought it was a great idea. I'd heard of almost all of the celebrities writing in it and the different layouts of the texts showed the book to be really interesting on first glance. It is all about celebrities writing to their 16 year old selves and giving them advice. Unfortuntely I don;t think a 16 year old would read it and would probably find it a little dull so perhaps it does not reach the audience it would be most useful for. Obviously the celebrities you will find the most interesting are the ones you know the best and indeed they are a good read (I would spoil it by telling you which ones are the best other than to say Stephen Fry rambles on but is great!). Some of the celebrities are clearly not writers and it shows as their part is really dull. Some are funny, others are serious. Only worth borrowing this book though and not buying as you won't want to ready it over and over again.
I first heard about this book on tv a couple of years ago when it was first published and mentioned it to my best friend and fellow dooyooer Clur bur. We have had many discussions over a drink about what we would do differently if we could return to our younger days and what we wish we knew back then that we know now. The book comes in hardback and currently retails at £12.99 with at least £1 from every sale going to the Elton John Aids foundation. Recently it was my bithday and I received this book as a gift.
This book comprises of 64 letters written by a number of successful people including popstars, authors, bafta winners, actors and comedians to their 16 year old selves. Overall, I have mixed feelings about this book, whilst I did enjoy some of the letters I don't feel this book lived upto my expectations. Some of the letters were hand written when they should have been printed due to such poor handwriting, There were a couple of letters, for example that of Rolf Harris which I was unable to read at all. Some of the letters were predictable and self indulgent. The letter of Stephen Fry lasts four pages whereas other people, even those who hand wrote their letter lasted a maximum of two. I didn't even find his letter particularly interesting and found it a struggle to finish. I felt those letters written by comedians were the most light hearted and sincere, I would of liked more of these letters as I found these the easiest to relate to and enjoyed these letters the most. I probably only genuinely enjoyed a handful of these letters, for me the one that sticks out the most was that of John Barrowman. It is hard to say what made this particularly stand out and I don't want to give away anything that was written, but I think it comes down the fact this was the least predictable letter. I was pleasantly surprised.
Maybe my mistake was forgetting that all these people have reached success in their own way therefore rendering any 'mistakes invalid. If I had taken this into account from the off then maybe my expectations of this book would have been different. Most of the letters were those of re-assurance, in particular those who experienced sexuality issues. Rarely is there a suggestion of regret or advice that may have had a dramatic impact upon their lives which I expected from such a book. I think if this was a collection of letters written by us mere mortals we would give ourselves advice that could potentially have a profound effect upon our lives. I definitely know that would be the case with me.