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Beatles Paperback – 4 Jun 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: ARCADIA BOOKS (4 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190641369X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906413699
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 586,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Beatles was Christensen's breakthrough book, achieving enormous success in Norway. It launched him on the journey to the pre-eminence he now enjoys, and which has spread throughout Europe with his best-selling family epic The Half Brother' Paul Binding Independent

About the Author

Lars Saabye Christensen is Norway's leading contemporary writer. He is the author of 12 novels, as well as short stories and poetry. His international best-selling novel The Half Brother has been published in nearly 30 countries. It won the Nordic Prize for Literature as well as the Norwegian Bookseller's Prize, was shortlisted for the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was long-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and was chosen as one of the 25 Notable Titles of 2004 by the American Library Association. Lars Saabye Christensen lives in Oslo.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ArtsEater on 31 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I'd been wanting to read this book ever since I read Saabye Christensen's 'Herman' (which I enjoyed a lot) a few years ago and then discovered he wrote a novel titled 'Beatles' way back in 1984. The trouble was that no English version existed. But thanks to Don Bartlett's 2009 translation we English readers can now enjoy Kim Karlsen's desire to be a Beatle together with his three friends Gunnar (John), Sebastian (George) and Ola (Ringo)

The novel begins in Oslo 1965 and ends in the same city in 1972. We follow the characters from the ages of 14 to 21 and witness their various fallings out, drinking bouts, fights, drug use etc. Although they never get around to creating a rock band, Kim and his three friends reflect the life of the Beatles. For example, the innocent way in which the four boys eagerly listen to the latest Beatles record in the early chapters and then make plans to form a pop band reflect the early days of the 'mop top' Beatles and their (media-manipulated?) innocence. From here we move to seeing the four boys experimenting with drugs and going their separate ways - which of course mirrors the breaking up of the Beatles in the early 70s.

Despite the large dollops of humour and the the upbeat language, the novel has a dark undercurrent of foreboding which is expertly handled. Saabye Christensen's prose also flows deceptively easily throughout the novel and despite its size you just flow through the pages.

In 2006, the Beatles was was voted the best novel of the last 25 years by a Norwegian newspaper's readers. Apparently, it also has two sequels: Bly (Lead) in 1990, and Bisettelsen (The funeral), in 2008. Both have not yet been translated into English which is a real shame.

I liked this book so much that I went out and bought Saabye Christensen's 'Half Brother' which is an equally lengthy but equally enjoyable book. I'm in the middle of it and it's fabulous.
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Format: Paperback
Although not a great fan of `coming of age' dramas, Beatles was quite an enjoyable read.

Lars Saabye Christensen is one of Norway's most well read authors and `Beatles' which was first published in 1984 is one of his most popular novels, recently being translated by Don Bartlett for the English speaking market.

The story is recounted by Kim Karlsen and follows himself and his three friends Gunner, Ola and Seb all the way from 1965 through to the Winter of 1972. The four friends appear to liken themselves to the group `The Beatles' and they even plan to form their own band `The Snafus'.

They also collect car badges, this `hobby' leads to some very interesting scrapes.

Each chapter takes a different Beatles song as its title (this is an original idea and works well). The book is seldom thrilling but the author positively extracts an fascinating read from the very ordinary drama of adolescence, self-centeredness and growing up.

For anyone whose youth was set in the late `60s and early `70s, a more nostalgic read would be hard to find. There is plenty of footie tales, drinking, girls and music to send you back to the past for a few nights at least.

Other characters worth mentioning are Kim's father who is strict but loving, his uncle Hubert an artist and the black sheep of the family and a constantly drunken upstairs neighbour. However these individuals as with all the adults in this book only play a very small part.

As a personal read there was a little too much in the way of football, booze and drugs, but in saying that I still enjoyed the tale.
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Format: Paperback
This drifts along page after page, the characters get a bit older and learn a few trite life-lessons along the way, and the only thing that makes it distinctive is the Norwegian setting.... But that barely seems worth commenting upon either because the Norway that's depicted seems like just about everywhere else. The influence of US and English culture is very strong. Maybe that was the point of the novel?

This is perfectly readable and it certainly has some entertaining moments but if you had a checklist of all the things you'd expect to see in a novel set in this era, then wrote a novel linking them all in somehow, I think this is what you'd end up with. I found it quite mediocre and could not work out why the translation uses lots of anachronistic English slang words which is very jarring. Maybe that's the real problem: an unsympathetic translation.
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By Jared on 20 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
Beatles If you are looking for a book about the Beatles then this is not the book for you, but if you want to know what it was like to grow up in the 60's then this really can evoke memories. Set in Oslo each chapter is titled by a Beatle's song and tells the story of a young guy and his 3 mates who call each other John, Paul, George and Ringo. It follows the life of central character from about 1964 to 1972. The narrative of his emotional development is well woven into the social events of the time. I really enjoyed this story and could relate it to my own experience. And for people who were never Beatles' fans the Doors get a mention too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Bazzett on 28 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
You don't have to be a Beatles fan to relate to this book, but it would probably help. I was - and still am - a Beatles fan, which was what initially drew me to this massive novel. I mean, how could I not be intrigued by a book titled simply BEATLES? The book was first published in Norway twenty-five years ago and has become something of a modern classic there, recently voted the most popular book in Norway. Its first English translation just appeared this year (2009), and the Herculean task of transforming over 500 pages into idiomatic British English was performed spot on letter perfect by Don Bartlett. He has taken this tale of young Kim Karlsen and his three friends Seb, Gunnar and Ola, and turned it into a tale for the ages that will, I suspect, be read for years by English-speaking readers around the world. The fact of the matter is, Christensen has written a timeless and enduring coming-of-age story about the turbulent times of the sixties that will resonate long after the last page has been read. All the ingredients are here: the booze and drinking, long hair and hippies, generational conflict, youthful revolt and civil unrest. And of course that timeless triumvirate: sex, drugs and rock and roll. And the Beatles and the other pop groups and artists of the British Invasion are uppermost themes throughout the book. The hero-narrator's own continuing quest to shed himself of the onerous burden of virginity is well-documented here too.Read more ›
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