Review: Back, After the Break by Osher Günsberg

There is no denying that Osher Günsberg is a household name across Australia. From starting his career as a midnight to dawn on-air host on B105, a top rating radio station in Brisbane, to hosting popular television shows like The Masked Singer, The Bachelor and Australian Idol Günsberg's career has certainly had some bright moments. (And we hope it continues for a long time to come.) For those things alone, his memoir would make an entertaining read. Back, After the Break goes much deeper than that, and Günsberg speaks confidentially to the reader about his experiences with mental illness and addition and how he has come to live a healthier and more authentic life.

Back, After the Break makes for entertaining and, occasionally heartbreaking, reading. The author details his childhood, born in London but moving to Adelaide with his parents--both doctors--and his brother when he was just a few months old. While he was still in junior primary the family would move to Brisbane and he would find himself dabbling in a variety of jobs and careers before the aforementioned radio show came along. Then he had the opportunity to become a radio host in Adelaide* before moving to Channel [V] which led to Australian Idol and ... I'm sure you know the rest. Where the story really gets interesting is when Günsberg talks openly about the trappings of fame and addition, along with the fickle nature of the entertainment industry. Where the memoir really shines is when the author speaks honestly and openly about some of the things he got up to--and got away with--that were destructive to him personally and to the people around him. At the end of the memoir the reader also gets a chapter from Günsberg's wife Audrey who speaks openly of her own experiences of loving someone with a mental illness and how while their lives may look idyllic from the outside, they have certainly had more than their share of challenges. This chapter will be of particular interest to anyone who has a partner with a mental illness.

Overall, an honest and thought provoking memoir. 

Highly recommended.

*I'll move this to a footnote because it is slightly irrelevant to the review, but I remember his time on SAFM. He was known as Andrew G and I was in my teens and I thought he was one of the coolest radio hosts ever, based on a rumour that he rode a skateboard to work. I have no idea if this is true or not. By the way, Günsberg's memoir is full of footnotes like this one.


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