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Through Thick and Thin: My Autobiography
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Through Thick and Thin: My Autobiography

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  985 ratings  ·  117 reviews
With his infectious energy and charisma, Gok Wan has an incredible gift of making women feel more confident within themselves - but it's not until you read his own inspirational story that you find out where he got that gift from.

Gok grew up on a Leicester housing estate, with a loving family who ran a Chinese restaurant. For his parents, food meant love - and Gok was so w
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 14th 2010 by Ebury Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,589)
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Jules
Everyone benefits from a good, quick read every now and again and this book is no exception. It took me the best part of a ‘reading day’ to get through it and I enjoyed it as a light and interesting autobiography.

Gok Wan is infamous in the UK and beyond for his prowess in sorting out fashion issues and for helping woman of various guises and sizes to embrace their figures and dress accordingly. You learn from the book that this body image knowledge and positivity comes from Wan’s own personal hi
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Nell
This book has inspired me at times to realise that I may have faults, but to remember there are people in my life who do love and appreciate me. Gok Wan, one of my favourite television presenters, fashion guru's and beauty stylist is someone I look up to in my life and can relate thoughts and experiences with. He describes his struggle growing up, being accepted and the feeling of self-hatred and worthlessness that makes me cry and feel so upset reading about. He also discusses how he raised to ...more
April
I just finished this book and I loved every page of it. I have never seen any of his shows or read his other books but after seeing an interview of him when he was in NZ I instantly regretted not going to meet him at a live show. He sounded so down to earth and knew what he was talking about. So since them I needed to read his books and decided to start with the autobiography. I was so excited to read it that I finished it in two days. This book is so inspiring and is a book that will make you l ...more
Philippa
I'd been curious about this book for ages, ever since I read an interview with Gok and he was asked about a memorable moment in his life. He said the most recent memorable moment was finishing this book. He had been in a hotel room in Thailand, wrote the final pages and was so elated he went out, found a bar and bought everyone in there a drink. I love that story, that's just what I want to do when I finish mine ;)

The book itself is quite an easy read, with simple and sparse prose, but surprisin
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Emily
I am a huge Gok Wan fan. I have watched his shows and found him inspirational for about 6 or 7 years so when he brought this book out i bought it straight away. His autobiography proves just how much of an inspiration he is. Reading about all of the significant events that happened in his life from bullying to anorexia you cannot help but sympathise for him but then find him inspirational for how he dealt with these events and is now using them to help other people feel confident about themselve ...more
Liesl Takle
Aug 04, 2012 Liesl Takle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Liesl by: Lauren Biddell
What a joy it has been to see behind the Gok persona on tv and meet the real Kowkhyn. This is an honest, genuine walk through the life of a big personality who won my heart by being open to connecting with the women he has worked with on his Naked show. Ever since I first discovered Gok I have dreamed of having a 'Gok' all of my own to nurture me through my self esteem issues. With this and his other books it has felt like that is exactly what I have. Not only is my wardrobe better styled but I ...more
Alison
OK I actually listened to the audiobook version rather than read this but I think it still counts!! I am a bit of a Gok fan - I love the way he seems so comfortable with himself and with the women he works with - and I found this really enjoyable. I knew Gok Wan had been a big kid but didn't realise how deep his eating disorder had gone, to the point that he was close to dying at one stage. For the msot part, this book is a very modest account of Gok's struggle with food and determination to mak ...more
Lauren Biddell
I actually bought this for my mum who is Gok mad... but decided to read it before I gave it to her... :P
I managed to devour this book in one day. It's simple writing makes it a nice, easy read. It's amazing hearing about Gok's life growing up.
There are some points that made me cringe (his acting capabilities, or shall we call them moments of dishonesty??
But everyone has flaws and if that's the only one that made me cringe, then good on him.
He is an inspiration. :)
Tracey
Wow Gok..I didn't realise he'd been through so much to get to where he is today. The bullying certainly brought back awful memories for me and i know where he's coming from.

Brilliant book and such a warm lovely man.. I especially loved the way he mentioned a little about each important person in his life at the end of a chapter by writing them a letter. also his recipes too..

Go Gok your Fabulous
Simmy
Sep 29, 2012 Simmy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This was a beautiful book full of emotion and passion. I have learnt so much from Gok Wan and I believe him to be a hero, full of knowledge and power to make women and men all over the world feel great about themselves. It taught me that I must accept who I am. Its beautiful and I believe every women out their should read this book because in many ways it will connect to everyone of your hearts.
Lisa Bennett
Really good book. A really interesting guy. So sad to hear his continuing struggle with Anorexia, but what an interesting life he's had to date, and he's only 37. Shame the book didn't really touch on his relationships, but I guess he wanted to keep that part of his life private. Brill book though. Loved the recipes too lol.
Jo
Really enjoyed this book - I like Gok anyway but this seemed to be written very honestly and he comes accross as such a lovely guy. Interesting to read about his early life and what he has been through to get where he is today - and I loved the letters he included to his parents etc. Couldn't put it down.
Tatiana
I always thought Gok Wan was very good on "How to look good naked" now I know why. He's walked a while in those women's shoes and made it out the other side. I appreciated his honesty and his wit.
Sam Herbert
This autobiography is a really nice, easy read. The grammar, at times, is pretty awful, and should've been edited out but it's forgivable because Gok's personality shines right through the pages. He's very honest about his battle with anorexia; it's clear that his story can help others going through the same thing. His career is quite interesting: I didn't know he went to London Central to study performing arts, for example. His journey from that to make-up artist to stylist to the stars to TV p ...more
Hannah
I've often watched "How To Look Good Naked" and marvelled at how, with some support underwear, body shape conscious shopping, and kind words, Gok Wan helps to rebuild someone's shattered confidence, to the point where they are comfortable to be photographed and walk on a catwalk nude.

Before reading this book, I had seen Gok as the ultimate cool kid, expecting that he was the biggest trendsetter in his teen years and probably had success waiting on his doorstep because of his winning personality.
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Claire
This was very interesting. Really, all I knew about Gok was that he has an amazing voice (he does the westfield fashion ads here is Australia) and that he looked really tall. Sad but true. After reading this you realise how much he has been through and how he has worked so hard to overcome his issues (and how like so many of us these issues seem to hover in the background and never truly go away) but for all of it, he is still a very high spirited and happy person. I think it would be so lovely ...more
CK
I have always been a massive great fan of Gok Wan and his programmes on Channel 4 and I also own some of his fashion books. I think he has done wonderful things for the women of Great Britain and their general confidence.

On TV he has always come across as a genuine, sincere, caring nice bloke and this is even more so apparent in his book. His story is heartfelt and you really hear his voice from childhood on through to adulthood in this book. He has come a long way from the obese unhappy child
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Sarah
Having not listened to an audio book before (save for when I was a kid), I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the format, so in hindsight this was a good one to start with as Gok himself was the narrator. For those not from the UK, Gok Wan is basically a camp Chinese guy who works wonders with women’s dress sense & body confidence, & I love him. I wasn’t expecting much from his autobiography though, as celebrity biographies are ten a penny these days & churned out by ghost writers in a matter ...more
Beth Dean
I know, I know a celebrity autobiography. I succumbed! Even I was half expecting a 368 page long monologue about how tough his life was in drama school with no money and then one day BAM they're talent is realised that was there all along. BUT NO. This was not at all like that, heart-wrenching tale yes, but completely justified.

His start in life as a quite pudgy Chinese kid who was adored by his family quickly turned into a petrified obese teenager who felt terribly alone and petrified after som
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Jo Allott
I decided to read this book, after I started watching Gok on how to look good naked, I at the time was suffering with my own eating disorder and wanted to do my own confidence boosting shoot when I got myself well again! This I was inspired by this tv show.

The book was ok, but a little bit of a let down for me if I am totally honest! I empathise with Gok's own food battles and totally understand his lack of confidence issues when losing a large amount of weight that then becomes problematic. I l
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Linda
I came to read this book because I had seen the Chinese cookery shows that Gok presented and I had searched for the books to go with the shows. How I have missed all the other TV shows that he has presented I don't know, but I will look out for them being repeated.

I loved this book, I found it very honest and heart rending at times and full of fun at other times. Well worth a read whether or not you like autobiographies or not.
Kirsty Louise


I've always liked Gok Wan, I have seen just about every episode of How To Look Good Naked and Gok's Fashion Fix, and when I seen his autobiography sat in WH Smiths I couldn't resist and I'm so glad I bought it! I read it in no time at all, I just didn't want to put it down. I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't like Gok (like my boyfriend) because I bet by the time they have finished reading it they would have changed their opinions of him.
Gok is very open about his struggles and pr
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Dianna
I was really excited and looking forward to read Gok's autobiography because I think he's so cool, and it was definitely worth the wait! Gok's style of writing is really easy to understand and also, has a way of touching the reader. He writes in a way that makes you feel whatever emotions he's writing about, for example, the part where he talks about his anorexia was really emotional and a little hard to read, because I could feel how he had felt going through that. The way he talks about his fa ...more
Claire Palmer
I want to give Gok a hug! I wish he'd added in some more of the happier moments in his life because it often felt like a sob story "look how hard I had it". But it was really nice to hear about his background and how it's got him to where he is now.
Adam
I read one chapter of the book in March, and it's sat on my desk until today. I read the entire book in eight hours, a testament to the writing and the journey the book takes you through.

His life, is simply, inspirational. So many hurdles, so many accomplishments. Some of his statements through the book - such as "why should gay people have to 'come out'" - are truely memorable and oh-so relevent in modern society.

The way he tells his story is so accessable to everyone it is amazing; parts of hi
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Sarah (LF Book Reviews)
I love Gok. From the moment I first saw him and his work I've loved him. He's inspired me to love my body and to look more closely at what I wear and what suits me. Reading his autobiography has been something I've wanted to do for a while and I'm glad that I've finally achieved that. It's good to be able to get inside his mind a little and find out more about who he is. Some parts of this shocked me, some upset me and I sympathize with him. He's been through so much to get to who he is today. I ...more
Debbie Burfoot
I won this book which has been signed by Gok himself:) A really easy pick me up book that i thoroughly enjoyed. Very interesting how he changed his life and very inspiring too.
Jill

Gok Wan, presenter of the How to Look Good Naked television series, tells us his story of how he came to be where he is today. He describes his early years growing up in a housing estate in Leicester, practically living in his parent’s Chinese restaurant. As a teenager, being Asian, gay and, at one stage weighing 21 stone, Gok was an easy target for bullying.
Gok’s story of his battle with anorexia and how he reinvented himself is both humorous and touching. Truly inspirational and highly readab
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Heffalumpi
I really enjoyed this book, even though I was already a Gok fan this book has put him even higher up in my opinion.

The book follows him through his difficult years at school, and I am sure that most of us will be able to relate to the feelings he had due to the bullies that made his life so difficult and the fact that the feelings never really leave you even as an adult. There was so much of what was written that I could relate to which is why I found this book so good, Gok tells it as it feels
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Rachel Mavin
this is a truly deep insight into Gok and his life. I found it very moving. I felt I was there with him throughout his childhood.
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