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The Beatles: The Authorised Biography [Kindle Edition]

Hunter Davies
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There's only one book that ever truly got inside the Beatles and this is it. The landmark, worldwide bestseller that has grown with the Beatles ever since.

During 1967 and 1968 Hunter Davies spent eighteen months with the Beatles at the peak of their powers as they defined a generation and rewrote popular music. As their only ever authorised biographer he had unparalleled access - not just to John, Paul, George and Ringo but to friends, family and colleagues. There when it mattered, he collected a wealth of intimate and revealing material that still makes this the classic Beatles book - the one all other biographers look to.

Hunter Davies remained close with the band and as such has had access to more information over the years. This 40th anniversary edition contains new material which has never been revealed before, from the author's archives and from the Beatles themselves, that will bring new insights to their legend.

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Product Description


"A document of our century" (Marshall McLuhan)

Book Description

Utterly classic (and only authorised) biography of the Fab Four

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Beatles story from a 1968 view 4 Sept. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a 2009 update on Hunter Davies' original tome from 1968. By update, I mean that he has included the 1985 postscript and has now added some text from this year. These extra entries are a perfect complement to the 1968 book, which is reproduced as the main part of the book.

The story itself is utterly compelling even to long-standing Beatles fans like myself. I cannot read too much about this wonderful band even if I already know some of the facts. I say "some" because there is always something new to learn about them as you will find in this book. The author tells the story beautifully and breaks the chapters down into different segments (e.g. a chapter on each of the fab four and chapters on Hamburg, Beatlemania, The End Of Touring etc.). There is a certain chronology to the book without becoming the usual month-by-month tale.

I found it difficult to put this book down. Hunter Davies' style is crisp, witty but factual and lets family and friends do the 'talking' when necessary. I had an eerie feeling whilst reading this, especially the 1967/68 years when the breakup of marriages and indeed the band itself had yet to come. A great book for anyone who wishes to read the story about The Beatles, a marvellous one for fans like myself.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 13 Jan. 2010
By John W. Edelman VINE VOICE
This was the first book about the Beatles that I read and I would highly recommend it to anyone just starting out in the world of the Beatles. In fact I think that if you read this, then Revolution In The Head and finally You Never Give Me Your Money, in that order, you will have a good all round Beatle education; something that every music fan should aspire to!
By all means buy other books about the Beatles (I have bought tons over the years) but you don't NEED anymore than these three (IMHO).
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An updated edition! 6 July 2009
I am only reviewing this book to address the 1 star given by the only other reviewer as of July 2009. The previous reviewer seemed to be complaining about Amazon's lack of information about whether the book is a reprint rather than the book itself.

Hunter Davies' was the authorised biography and this is an updated edition of that biography. It is a hugely enjoyable read and much of the content of other books on the fabs is taken from here.

It thoroughly deserves the 5 stars and is highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A day in the life 29 Dec. 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I love the beatles and always have and this book has given me even more information on them from before they picked up an instrument and played a tune and so far I've only read a sample and can't wait to read the rest.
From Harry
12 year old
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The True History of The Beatles! 29 Jan. 2011
Anyone who either lived through the sixties or loves the Beatles will adore this fabulous book by Hunter Davis. It is a real page-turner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of The Beatles 12 Feb. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like your info on the group to be true and very intersting, this update is a must read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars By Royal Command 3 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As the authorised biography of The Beatles you'd expect Hunter Davies' account of the lives of Fab Four, from their very birth to the final breakup of the band, to be factually accurate and without the flaws that are sometimes seen in other biographies and hustled together books on the phenomenon that ended up being called Beatlemania.

Unfortunately, as Hunter Davies himself points out in the notes and additions that accompany the original biography, the story had to be approved by each individual member of The Beatles and, in one case (Brian Epstein), relatives too. So what we end up with is a heavily edited and censored account that glosses over details that others have pursued with greater in-depth investigation, notably 'You Never Give Me Your Money' by Doggett.

Also the tone of this book is lightweight, written as though it was meant for The Beatles fan club, using short sentences which sometimes makes it seem almost fictional in nature which it certainly is not. None of that detracts from the story of how each Beatle grew up, what made them the characters they were, and how they found each other by fortuitous chance.

Indeed it is the early parts of the individual stories which are the most interesting, especially as the accounts are based on extensive interviews and character drawings which you won't find in other books. Note that this latest edition keeps the original early edition text as the core of the book but surrounds it with additional notes, comments and added historical perspectives that are well worth having.

No-one interested in how The Beatles grew up and what made them what they were should be without this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab for Fab-Four fans! 28 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the only `official authorised biography' of the Beatles and, as such, has some wonderful advantages over other studies.

All the key personalities get to have their say; friends and family as well as professional contacts. Mums and Dads, brothers and sisters, Aunt Mimi and, even, Freddie Lennon are all here.

Davies deals honestly with the Sutcliffe and Best matters and he makes no attempt to make excuses for our heroes as they behaved so badly toward two young men who were crucial to the band's early development. (There's a whole chapter devoted to `Decca And Pete Best').

The book moves chronologically from the earliest days up to 1968. By then the touring was over and the band were peaking as a truly innovative musical force in the studio.

My own (2009) edition has a 'postscript' which Davies penned in `85 and brought things up to date at that point.

For fans of the Beatles this book is pretty much indispensable.
Depending what you want to know about the most influential music-group of all time, this book may well be all that you'll ever need.
For fans who want to know more about the music that the Beatles created and how they did it, `Revolution In The Head' by Ian MacDonald would make an ideal companion read to this book by Davies.

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