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Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison Paperback – 19 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books,U.S. (19 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835609006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835609005
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Tillery is the author of both fiction and nonfiction works.

His fascination with "the intellectual Beatle," John Lennon, led him to write The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon. The book was published by Quest Books in 2009 and has been translated into German, French, and Portuguese.

He followed up its success with a study of "the quiet Beatle," titled Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison. Quest Books published the work in 2011.

Both books will soon be available in a Kindle edition.

A third book in the "Spiritual Biography" series, on Elvis Presley, will be available in 3Q 2013.

Fiction-wise, he has chronicled the adventures of "soft-boiled" detective Jack Savage in two comic novels -- Death, Be Not Loud and To An Aesthete Dying Young. The third book in the series is slated for publication in 2012.

He also published a collection of intertwined short stories set in Vietnam, Darkling Plain -- a book that examines the impact of America's most traumatic war on a young airman.

He has also published two volumes of poetry -- Through a Dark, Glassly, and 50 Epiphanies, a collection of haiku.

A native of the Southwest, Tillery was born in Phoenix in 1947. He served in Vietnam with the U. S. Air Force in 1968-69, then returned to earn a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from ASU and a Master's degree from the American Graduate School of International Management.

After two decades in the business world, primarily as co-owner of an advertising agency in suburban Chicago, he turned his time and energy to his lifelong passion for literature and art.

Tillery is also a professional artist. His most prominent work is the sculpture for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Chicago. He also created the bronze bust of Steve Allen for the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. He has displayed in galleries from Pennsylvania to New Mexico and appeared in shows as far away as Shanghai. His works are in the private collections of Patricia DuPont and General Tommy Franks, and the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago holds two pieces in its permanent collection.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. Russell on 21 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe its the modern age. Maybe it is laziness. But here is another book about George Harrison, where the author hasn't got off his backside to talk to anyone, related or connected to George Harrison. Tillery merely picks quotations from all the current literature available. Indeed, he quotes so freely from Harrison's own autobiography "I, Me, Mine" I thought I was reading that book instead. The book consists of thirteen chapters, divided into four main parts of Harrison's life. It has a useless chronology, which duplicates events briefly mentioned earlier in the book. At the end of each part the author offers suggested listening. For the period to 1966, Tillery suggests we listen to one track, "Love To You". No need to hear "Taxman" then? From 1967-1970 its only "Within You, Without You", "The Inner Light" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" we need concern ourselves with. Five songs are suggested for 1970- 1973, and three songs cover the rest of Harrison's life. Would anyone intersted in Harrison not need or want to hear "Here Comes The Sun", "Something", "Long Long Long" or the solo material? Frankly, there is more information and insight about Harrison on his Wikipedia page than in this book. If you have read available literature on Harrison, have access to the internet, and can be bothered to interview anyone who knew or met George Harrison, then there is a fair chance you could come up with something better than this
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By mr I smith on 22 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
nothing new in this book but still a good read if a fan of the beatles you will enjoy it
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By Amazon Customer on 10 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Looking back at both George s and John Lennon s lives, its obvious through their music they had both a lot to teach us. It proves that spiritual teachers are amongst us all the time not just in the bible.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gary Tillery has not gathered much new information about George Harrison for this biography, but all the same I think it is rather good, because it focuses so clearly on the development of Harrison's spiritual and religious interests, leaving out material which is less relevant in this specific connection. The book is well written, and one of its major qualities is Tillery's objective style. He seems to have a good general knowledge of hinduism, which formed the basis of Harrison's spiritual beliefs, and he treats these beliefs empathetically as well as objectively. The result is a very unbiased and informative book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Working Class Mystic - A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison 10 Nov 2011
By J. Etherington - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have read almost every book available on George Harrison, but would highly recommend this new volume by Gary Tillery. Although the book is only 200 pages long (with the main text ending at page 156) it covers all of the key factors in Harrison's life, and the Hamburg era is brought more alive than in any of the books that I have read previously. Tillery adds original detail to certain stages (including Harrison's lesser-known relationships, the Traveling Wilburys, and the attack at Friar Park). His fresh and lucid style of writing made the book hard to put down, and that's no mean feat considering I've only recently seen Martin Scorsese's "Living in the Material World" movie. The main purpose of the book is to outline Harrison's spiritual journey, and Tillery adequately summarises the essentials of George's Hindu beliefs, and involvement with the Krishna Consciousness movement. However these areas are covered at an accessible length, allowing adequate space for everything else. The book appears to be factually accurate throughout (and I say that, having researched Harrison's life for a published article of my own). Tillery states February 24th 1943, 23.42pm as Harrison's birth time, even though there is some debate about this. Nonetheless, this is the time that Harrison himself believed he was born, and also a time that I believe to be astrologically accurate. The book includes a chronology, notes, bibliography and index. In summary, I was highly impressed by "Working Class Mystic", and am now reading Gary Tillery's book on John Lennon.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
It's What You Value 5 Dec 2011
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have an extensive Beatles, McCartney and Harrison library and avidly seek out new books on George Harrison. This book is truly a gem in the crown of Harrison biographies. This book, like many others does an EXCELLENT job of covering salient points in George Harrison's life. Readers feel as if they were in Hamburg with the pre-Beatles of 1960-61.

Tillery does an incredible job of adding fresh information and presenting well-documented, well-known facts about Harrison's life in this book. George's musical career, from the time he was a wavy haired youngster in Liverpool bowled over by Elvis in 1956 and acquiring his first guitar to the Traveling Wilburys in the late 1980s to his solo works post-dating that including the traumatic attack he suffered at the end of 1999. Tillery has a clear, diamond sharp writing style and he speaks to his readers' intelligence. Beatle fans from the inveterate to those just new to their music to those who just plain enjoy a good biography will find a real treasure in this book.

Tillery presents even the most well-documented facts in a fresh and shining light. Fans who have enjoyed Martin Scorsese's brilliant documentary "Living in the Material World" will just love this book. George, who went from Catholicism (Louise French Harrison was Catholic and Harold Sr. was a non-practicing Anglican) to embracing Hindu beliefs is a long & winding road always worth exploring. Hard-core Harrison fans know that Louise had George baptized when he was a month old and that at 11, George would become disenchanted with how people show cased their clothing in church and how difficult it was for him to believe that only Jesus was God's Son. Still, roots of his Catholicism remained with him all of his life. George had a beautiful statue of Blessed Mother Mary on his Friar Park property. He takes a bit of a poke at what he viewed as hypocrisy in religion in "Vatican Blues." His later involvement with the Krishna Consciousness is also covered in this book.

To his credit, Tillery did his homework and did it well. George's date of birth is given as February 24th 1943, at just before a quarter to midnight. George himself would say in the 1980s that he had always believed he was born on the 25th. However, this remains open for question. Tillery's work includes well-cited sources and resources. He has researched the life of George Harrison and done it well and the Beatle Literati are very impressed with the extraordinary caliber of this work. He does just as good a job on the biography he wrote covering more than a day in the life of John Lennon. Yes, this is a book I highly recommend. It will make an ideal gift for a George Harrison fan.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Eh.... 1 Jan 2012
By Anne Masterson - Published on
Format: Paperback
With the five star reviews, I was really looking forward to this book. I read it in less than two hours as it is very slim (156 pages). Perhaps the author had the bad timing of releasing this book around the time of the far and away superior documentary by Martin Scorcese.

Rather than portray George as a flawed man who tried his best (which is, after all, the best any of us can do), he portrayed him as a near deity himself. While I did pick up a few tidbits of information I did not know before, much of the book came from other sources a serious George Harrison fan would know. Also, the book is riddled with errors, such as how the Traveling Wilbury's first came to be and whether Eric Idle was with Geoger right after his attack (based on Eric Idle's own interview). If you have tht two hours to spare, watch the Scorcese documentary instead. You will come away with a much fuller picture.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but not too well written 5 April 2013
By marcia abcarian - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The time period and subject (George Harrison)of this book are interesting but the author seems like he is just piecing together bits of information he has gotten from other sources and does not really have a feeling for or understanding of it all. I expected the book to be more inspiring .
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Enlightening 12 July 2013
By Shelby - Published on
Format: Paperback
Opens your eyes to the spiritual drive of George Harrison and shares intimate moments and emotions. A great read for those fascinated by George's mysticism.
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