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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Beatles story from a 1968 view
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...
Published on 4 Sept. 2009 by Mike Quinn

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good - then bland.
Before a visit to the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney I wanted to read about their early years. This book did the job perfectly. The four separate stories are covered clearly, and then interwoven. But as it moves on to Hamburg, Beatle-mania and the years of studio recording it loses its touch. Hunter Davies was one of the Beatles inner circle - and values his...
Published 8 months ago by Ignorant Bystander


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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
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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 (London) - See all my reviews
(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
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R. E. Sheehan - See all my reviews
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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
This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (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
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Mr. R. STANSON "rodley" (liverpool) - See all my reviews
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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
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This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Kindle Edition)
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. You'll need others too, particularly Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Chronicle and Doggett's You Never Give Me Your Money, to complete the history and give more of the facts, but Hunter Davies lived through Beatlemania and was close to the Fab Four and, even though this story reads as though it's by Royal Command, you get a real feeling of how these four musicians rocked the '60s - literally.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab for Fab-Four fans!, 28 Mar. 2012
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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.

Barry
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good - then bland., 28 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Kindle Edition)
Before a visit to the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney I wanted to read about their early years. This book did the job perfectly. The four separate stories are covered clearly, and then interwoven. But as it moves on to Hamburg, Beatle-mania and the years of studio recording it loses its touch. Hunter Davies was one of the Beatles inner circle - and values his access a little too much. He is very coy about the drug use, the sexual exploits and infidelities. I know they are not central, but to gloss over them leaves the story incomplete.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Front to Back An Absolute Treat, 16 Dec. 2014
By 
Mr. Justin L. Decker (London) - See all my reviews
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Fantastic book about the best band in the world and ever likely to be (sorry Stones fans). A lot of people know the story or think they know the story but this book provides a deep insight and interesting facts and mini-stories of the Fab Four.

Go pick up a fascinating read.
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