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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab an intimate life of Paul McCartney
Very interesting book. Deals with his schooldays onwards. Gives an insight to his character , maybe he is not the completely charming individual that we were led to believe from the early days of the Beatles. So what it makes him a more rounded character. It also shows what a kind generous person he was to his relatives in Liverpool. Conversely the writer has shown that...
Published 12 months ago by amber

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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars uneven but interesting
I'm a little ambivalent about this book. I didn't like its style: I felt the author was trying too hard to sound like an 'insider' at times: I can tolerate calling Ringo Starr 'Richie,' but addressing Linda McCartney 'Lin' struck me as a bit, well, overly intimate, and referring repeatedly to The Beatles' colleague Tony Bramwell as 'Measels' Bramwell (just because, as far...
Published on 25 Oct 2010 by Trish980


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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars uneven but interesting, 25 Oct 2010
I'm a little ambivalent about this book. I didn't like its style: I felt the author was trying too hard to sound like an 'insider' at times: I can tolerate calling Ringo Starr 'Richie,' but addressing Linda McCartney 'Lin' struck me as a bit, well, overly intimate, and referring repeatedly to The Beatles' colleague Tony Bramwell as 'Measels' Bramwell (just because, as far as I can tell, John Lennon once used the nickname) seems far too forced. I'm surprised the author didn't call Brian Epstein 'Eppy'! A biographer is surely wise to maintain a certain distance, rather than 'go native' like this.

Some of the writing also seems to strain too hard at times like a Dad trying to dance in a trendy fashion: for example, 'Lin dug rock 'n' roll...' "DUG"?? Also: sometimes the author works hard to empathise with the various figures, while at other times he sounds so dismissive one wonders if he's really that interested (e.g. Yoko Ono's writing appealed to John Lennon, according to the author, because of his 'weakness for twaddle'). As far as judgments go, the author tends just to make them rather than explain them: The Beatles' single 'Rain' is dismissed as 'weird'; George Harrison apparently only really started writing good songs on Abbey Road (what about 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'?); etc etc. This stretches on as McCartney goes it alone: the author says some songs are great, some are so-so and some are awful, but he rarely even attempts to explain his reasoning. He just states his opinions as facts.

One more - I admit - very pedantic point: surely a biographer of any member of The Beatles should know that the band is called 'The Beatles,' not 'the Beatles'?

Having moaned, I must say I enjoyed the book's breadth, and, as other reviewers have noted, the second half of the book, dealing with the Wings and solo work, is both enlightening and entertaining. Although the casual style continued, in my eyes, to niggle at times, the detail and insights were plentiful, and, by the end, I felt I had a better understanding of the man and musician, for better and for worse.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Paul McCartney book review., 2 Jan 2012
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POSITIVES: The book does give equal space to Macca's Wings / solo years, unlike most which tend to dwell on the Beatles years only. And, if you're fairly new to his work, there are a lot of details here you might not have heard about.

NEGATIVES: If you've followed Macca throughout his career (as I have), and especially if you've kept all the press and magazine clippings, then you're not likely to find much here you don't know already. The reviews are disappointing in as much as the writer seems simply to agree with whatever the media said "at the time" about each album release. Consequently, old critical opinions which were often flavoured by "thumbs aloft" cliches from the "hip" music press, go unchallenged. (If anyone's superb body of work is in need of public re-assessment it's Paul McCartney's. For example, the masterpiece "Ram"). These reviews more than anything give the book a "cut and paste" feel rather than be a work of fresh insight.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Try and get a copy of "The Unknown Paul McCartney" by Ian Peel. It takes an independant look at Macca's more obscure, avant-garde works. Well worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab an intimate life of Paul McCartney, 5 Dec 2013
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Very interesting book. Deals with his schooldays onwards. Gives an insight to his character , maybe he is not the completely charming individual that we were led to believe from the early days of the Beatles. So what it makes him a more rounded character. It also shows what a kind generous person he was to his relatives in Liverpool. Conversely the writer has shown that maybe some of those relatives were not as grateful as they should have been and took his generosity for granted
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In depth, 16 Aug 2011
This review is from: Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney (Paperback)
This is a very readable book. It offers many insights as to what lay beneath those events which, like, icebergs, I was only aware of that which came to prominence at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab:maybe i was amazed!!!!, 22 Mar 2013
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Mr. R. J. Sims (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, hence giving the author top marks!!!!!. It was a great read and i found it really informative with many detailed facts and anecdotes that were unknown to me ( and most readers i would have guessed). Although the book was well researched and analytic i never felt, whilst reading it weighed down by facts. I liked the way the interviews were used througout the book, giving the book a rounded take on a complicated man. I never felt too much of a bias either way coming from the author, but then again i can't blame the author for being a fan of McCartney's genius for songwriting.
I think this is an honest bio on one of the most famous men on the planet,who already has been written about so much about.
If like me, you're a fan of sir paul then this book will make an excellent addition to any collection.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB review, 28 Sep 2010
For anyone wanting to re-live the 60s and subsequent decades or to find out what these times were like,this is the book for you.Howard Sounes has produced a well-balanced book showing the private side of McCartney,his qualities and his shortfalls.It's not easy to document the Beatles early years in a fresh and interesting way but Sounes achieves this commendably,making this part of the book entertaining and informative.I got so engrossed in the book that I found myself slowing down because I didn't want it to end.That was ironic because the latter part of the book is probably the best part.This is a must-read for Beatles,Wings and McCartney fans and popular music lovers in general.It is painstakingly reearched,well written and eminently readable.I thoroughly recommend it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but for one irritation, 13 Oct 2010
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I think this is a great book; a very thorough and imapartial biography which stands favourable comparison with others on the same subject that I've read (and I've read a few!)

The one irritation, mentioned in the title of this review, relates to how Ringo is referred to in the book. When Ringo enters the picture the author states that as he was, and still is, referred to by his friends and family as Ritchie, this is the name he will use throughout the book. I can't understand why he decided to do this. I mean, everyone reading this book will be familiar with the nickname Ringo. I don't see the point in using "Ritchie". If that weren't bad enough he didn't stick to that anyway, alternating between Ringo and Ritchie for the remainder of the book. Although a minor quibble in itself it did tend to irritate and distract.

But, all in all, a recommended read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short changed, 19 Oct 2013
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Although I did enjoy the book it did become a little long winded once you got past the seventies as this was Mccartney's high point in his solo career but why I had to mark the book with an average rating was the fact that 30% was given over to acknowledgements and credits from the author which I thought a bit of a rip off!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab ish, 2 May 2012
I am a huge fan of The Beatles and their solo years and i feel that i know alot about the band and their history but it has been a while since i sat down with a biography on them so i thought i would give FAB a go.
The book is written in a style that is very easy to read and a credit to the writer that the prose flows well and you don't feel like you are trudging through certain parts of the story to get to the more interesting bits.Each part of Paul's life are given due time and attention.
Various interviews from other sources that are familar to fans(ie The Anthology) are included here and while you know they are not direct quotes they fit in well with the book.
The reason that i am not going to offer the book 5 stars is there is a few parts when the author contradicts himself,the worst being on the same page when he describes Linda as having money and comfortable in company with those who are in the same position but then a paragraph or so later telling us how she set her sights on Paul as was fed up earning a pittance as a photographer.
Calling Ringo "Ritchie" as well grates after a while and i found myself refusing to read it as Ritchie..While he may be Ritchie to Paul he isn't to us and i imagine that there is a reason why only close friends call him that ie cause they are close friends.
Those gripes aside it is a well written book and one i very much enjoyed and doesn't shy away from showing both sides of McCartney's personality and not judging him with it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Came to sneer, stayed to cheer, 7 May 2011
The Paul McCartney story involves a lot of silly love songs, kids, marriage, stability and guarded emotions. It has also been told many times before. This is unpromising material for a writer, but Howard Sounes is a skilful biographer who manages to make the anecdotes of minor aquaintances sparkle while retelling familiar events. His objective seems to be to paint a less attractive picture than the official biog Many Years From Now. So we get Paul the greedy lech, the drunk, the brat and the writer of banal lyrics. More damningly we get a good explanation of Paul's inability to organise and brief those who work alongside him properly, which explains the fiascos of the Magical Mystery Tour, Let It Be, the walk-outs by numerous members of Wings and Give My Regards To Broad Street. For balance, Sounes does not spare the occasional awful behaviour of John Lennon and gives praise where it is much deserved.
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Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney
Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney by Howard Sounes (Paperback - 23 Jun 2011)
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