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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing & Enjoying it so much!
Thanks to you, Mr. Lewisohn, for putting this Extended Edition out there. Though I'm only about one-quarter of the way through Book One, I simply must pull myself away long enough to say how much I'm enjoying really discovering (there's no other phrase for it) the Beatles' childhoods for the first time.

Oh yeah, I've read an earlier bio or two, but this is the...
Published 7 months ago by Hmoika

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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A marketing error ?
A good job this has come out just before Christmas.....I've read the cheaper edition & had a good nosey through this one. It's difficult to know how to rate this....5 stars for the book, 1 for the price.

I'm just wondering if a lot of people are going to be in the same boat as I am. Let's face it, if you are/were interested in The Beatles you'd have already...
Published 9 months ago by imogen


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing & Enjoying it so much!, 2 Jan 2014
By 
Hmoika (United States) - See all my reviews
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Thanks to you, Mr. Lewisohn, for putting this Extended Edition out there. Though I'm only about one-quarter of the way through Book One, I simply must pull myself away long enough to say how much I'm enjoying really discovering (there's no other phrase for it) the Beatles' childhoods for the first time.

Oh yeah, I've read an earlier bio or two, but this is the in-depth, the real close look, that I've never found before; and, did I mention the skill and talent with which this information is presented?

But what really made me finally write this brief review (I try to shy away from these online reviews): each paragraph, it seems, has yet another small but interesting fact of these individual 4 lives......and these kids are.....well, they're so damned sweet, and funny, and yes, cheeky! I find myself laughing over and over.

I feel that, for the first time, I am really finding out who these people were.

I know that the rest of this first volume will be more of the same.

Again, thanks, Mr. Lewisohn, for fleshing out these little kids' lives. They were so very human, so very young, and so very driven, even at that young stage of the game.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, indispensable book; terrible shipping and handling (overseas), 7 May 2014
By 
M. Rohn - See all my reviews
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I live in the USA and bought the extended edition from amazon UK because it is (maddeningly) not offered for sale on my side of the pond. I'm only one or two chapters in and the book itself is already deeply satisfying, and easily rates five stars on content.

I took off a star because of the woefully inadequate shipping materials used to deliver it. The package had clearly been dropped from substantial height at least once, with accordion-style compression on one entire end, and numerous other dings and rips. That's to be expected, but the inside protection consisted only of one long strip of crumpled brown packing paper loosely wrapped around the books, which was shockingly scant for an overseas shipment. Thus my set arrived with substantial damage to the white cardboard case--one edge had split, another showed a large ugly dent, and several of the corners were crushed. Thankfully, the case acted as sufficient protection to the books themselves, which appeared pristine, although as I have continued reading, the pages are beginning to show some warping which may indicate having been stored in an overly-humid environment.

This is a very expensive set of books, roughly $155 USD including shipping and other fees, and I had anticipated receiving an item which I could display and admire on my bookshelf for many years to come. In its damaged state, the case is not fit for display, so this is a disappointment which detracts from my overall enjoyment of this purchase, not to mention resale value, although I have no expectation I will ever part with it. I considered attempting a return claim but decided against it as the extra time and charges would add further insult to injury.

If any other Yanks are reading reviews here, consider this a warning to avoid the budget shipping option, but I'm not certain there would have been any difference with the other delivery choices.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Edition: Part One: Volume One, 18 Nov 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Special Edition: Part One: Volume One: Tune In (Kindle Edition)
As all Beatles fans will know, we have been waiting for the recently released first volume of Mark Lewisohn's biographical trilogy of the Beatles for ten years. Having recently released Tune In, he has now published an extended two volume set of the first book. I have read the kindle edition of this book, but I will try to explain what the extended version offers that is different from the single volume and, hopefully help you decide which edition you wish to read (if not both, as I did).

The one volume Tune In has the book split into the following headings: Introduction and Prologue (the same in both editions), Old Before Our Birth, Year 1: 1958, Year 2: 1959, Year 3: 1960, Year 4: 1961 and Year 5: 1962. This first volume of the two book set takes the story only to 1960 - in this first volume the end of 1960 ends at loc 8733. The first volume of this two volume set splits the chapters into : Introduction and Prologue, 1845-1939: Looking Back, Shapes of Things to Come (a far extended, 2 chapter, look at their family history and Liverpool in wartime), 1939 - 1955 (seven chapters of childhood and schooldays and far extended from the original `Old Before Our Birth' section on family history and childhood). 1956 Rock! (2 chapters on the skiffle boom and early discovery of rock and roll), 1957: Old Before Our Birth (3 chapters on that momentous year when Lennon and McCartney met "He'll get you into trouble son..."), Year 1: 1958: Thinking of Linking (2 chapters on those early days, "Where we going, Johnny?!"), Year 2: 1959: Three Cool Cats (2 chapters dealing with the Casbah, etc) and Year 3: 1960: Competence, Confidence and Continuity (amongst other things, covers the trip to Scotland with Johnny Gentle and heading for Hamburg).

The end of these chapters (not counting notes, etc) ends at loc 15840. Sadly, page numbers are not shown in this book, but if you consider that the original book ended 1960 at 8733 and this book finishes the same period at 15840, then that is 7107 extra - almost double the same amount of text to cover the same period. The illustrations section is also extended and, to be honest, is worth looking at simply to see the amazing photograph of George's maternal grandfather, John French, who is the absolute spitting image of George! Well, rather, George was the spitting image of him, but I hope that Olivia and Dhani see this, as it is really astounding. Mark Lewisohn's ability to discover these unseen gems are why this book stands head and shoulders above any other biography so far.

Knowing you have more text for the same period is one thing - the question you are probably asking is whether it is worth reading. That really depends on whether you need to know that John Lennon scaled the heady heights (or doleful depths) of 3% in his Quarry Bank maths exam - we all know he was bright, but he certainly brought a new meaning to the phrase, " couldn't care less" - or that, when his teachers unwisely asked him to run a stall at a school fundraiser, he gleefully created vicious caricatures of his teachers, obtained some darts and charged fellow pupils to "Prick your Teacher" (he raised more money than anyone else, even when he and Pete Shotton pocketed most of it, showing that his teachers had a greater sense of humour and tolerance than he gave them credit for). In all honesty, if the one volume book was criticised (unfairly) in national newspapers for having too much detail, then this is full of the obsessive detail fans love.

One of the really interesting, if not unique, things about the Beatles story is how the timing of things always worked out - in Lewisohn's words, the timing was "always perfect". If you were writing this story as a fiction, you seriously could not make it up. For example, Ivan Vaughan, the school friend who introduced Paul to John, only met him because his parents was so upset at John's disrupting their son's education that they vowed he would not attend the same secondary school as him. Consequently, Ivan went to the Liverpool Institute, rather than the more local grammar, Quarry Bank, became friends with Paul and later introduced him to John. It was not the first, or last, time a parent would sense danger and take a dislike to John - Paul's father was less than enamoured...

Mark Lewisohn knows that Beatles fans are quite happy to read about their heroes in immense detail and, in this two volume edition, he certainly gives us this. At all times he cleverly tells the story not only of the four Beatles, but also of the other important members of the story. It isn't overdone, but he always informs us what other members were doing when, for example, Ringo got his first job - or we learn that when Larry Parnes was signing Tommy Steele to a very unfair management contract (while George Martin didn't sign him and missed the next "big thing"), Brian Epstein had just started at RADA. He puts their life in context and discusses the music they heard, their influences and important events.

In reality, he paints a picture of those times which it would be hard to beat. Even reading the early pages about Irish immigrants fleeing famine and their suffering and poverty; the lists of babies born and then dead within weeks or months, shows us where the Beatles (three of them, anyway) came from. When one of them starts school or visits a location previously mentioned, Lewisohn will point out that a relative of one of them lived nearby or weave the strands of the story deftly together so that we know where we are and the context of events. When John or Paul say in later interviews how they wanted, above all, to be rich, or you read of Ringo wanting a job simply to get the uniform (and being cheated by getting only the cap) or of George's mother bemoaning the level of violence and vandalism where they lived, you understand exactly where they started and how little all their contemporaries had. Clothes, for instance, were in such short supply that both John and Paul wore their school uniforms on holiday and George's mother had to cut down his father's trousers to fit him. Ringo went to the fairground to hear rock and roll records; records were just too expensive and hard to get hold of.

So, should you buy this two volume set? Does the first volume offer you anything else? In all honesty, if you have never read a biography of the Beatles before and if you are considering which of the new Mark Lewisohn books to buy, then I would say just get the single "Tune In". It's brilliant, as detailed as you need - more detailed than the casual fan will probably want in fact - and wonderfully written. If, however, like me, you have read everything on the Beatles - including the single book "Tune In" - and yet still crave more, then you will love this. The first volume of this two volume set has immense depth to it, giving detailed historical background, more reminiscences from neighbours, school friends and colleagues, and is brilliantly written. I am looking forward to reading Vol 2 The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Special Edition: Part Two: Volume One: Tune In of this extended two volume edition next, which covers the years 1961 and 1962 and takes the Beatles to the cusp of success, with a record contract and ready to take over the world. Let's hope we don't have to wait another ten years for the next book in the series. Meanwhile, whichever edition of this book you choose, I am sure that you will enjoy it and, even if like me you have already read hundreds of books about them, you will learn something new.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the record ... (& reprints, etc), 21 Dec 2013
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Seems there is a bit of confusion about what this extended edition is all about? Well, as for the contents it really is the best story and the most complete history of The Beatles. The normal edition is really first class for a casual/intermediate fan. For those after a bit extra, this really is a labour of love. This edition places things in an extra cultural & social context. As well as giving names & additional information of extra people & places surrounding a Beatles event. Which i guess would really be only of interest to the fan that needs to know everything.

Now a bit of confusion about the reprinting of this special edition. The real reason for this reprint was a bit of an error. The very first issues were printed on the wrong paper. Hence some reviews over the quality of this item, saying the quality was under par. Mine was damaged & had to go back, i noticed my replacement, was on much higher quality paper. The first ones may suffer from foxing & aging due to the very porous paper quality. So it seems a bit of a mess up over the paper quality ... Hence a reprint was needed.

Overall it doesn't matter, it all depends on how many will be produced! If after this run they stop, all of them will be a nice investment, as these editions really are the last word. If you still look around you can pick them up at just under 70 ... At this price whatever edition is a bargain. Check in the reviews for the link & let's hope that price is still going!

Good luck everyone & just enjoy whatever edition you have, it really is an amazing piece of work. The real story of The Beatles, it'll be like you are there, with all that detail! Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny, 9 Jan 2014
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This is the book that Beatles fans have been waiting for. All of Mark Lewisohn's trademark attributes: relentless pursuit of detail and accuracy, fairness, considered judgment, appreciation without sycophancy, are present here. The book is vastly enjoyable and readable. The considerable effort Lewisohn has made to put the Beatles in historical and cultural context pays huge dividends and makes the story, which many of us know (or think we know) so well, fresh again. For the more casual fan, the standard edition is probably adequate and, having read it first, I can say that it is itself a remarkably complete work, worthy of all the praise it has received. But there are real rewards in this extended edition for those who are interested: more context, more explanation, more insight into events and relationships. I have no negative comments about this book. Oh, I could quibble here and there with some point of interpretation but this is so excellent, and Lewisohn's honesty and integrity are so transparent on every page, that all such quibbles are pointless. This is an astounding piece of historical research and writing, entirely worthy of its great subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing piece of work., 4 Mar 2014
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The best book ever about the best band ever,beautifully presented in this 2 book box set. I could not be happier. Thanks to Amazon UK for getting it to me here in the States in record time and in perfect condition. Thanks !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really tuned in, 11 Dec 2013
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great read,best i have read on this topic.could not put it down,very spell binding read,cant wai for the nex 2 volumes&hope they are also extended special editions
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 8 Dec 2013
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Just wonderful! An extraordinary piece of research. The only disappointing thing is the print quality of the photographs, and their layout.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must-have for Beatles' fans., 2 Dec 2013
By 
Mr. Mm Jones (Northfleet, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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After buying both editions of this book my friend Charlie expressed doubts to me on getting the extended version becxause of a couple of derogatory reviews here on Amazon. I explained that, as he was as passionate about the Beatles as I am, he would have to get the larger copy.

Following the excellent review by S Riaz I am unable to add to that critique. But I intend to address the one star comments posted here.

One of them claims to be a Beatles' fan but if this is the case why gripe about the extra text? If you don't want to know all there is to know about the band then don't buy it. There are hundreds of books out there on the subject that cover the basics and should suffice. There are edven books by distinguished authors who profess to be "intimate" with the Beatles who publish the bare bones of their story. Of course, they do include errors, incorrect facts and absolute untruths. A particular author, who shall remain nameless, issued a book in the eighties about the Beatles and reissued it as a revised and updated book some 22 years later still choosing to include the numerous errors made in the previous version.

So, If you do want all thje facts, this book is the one to buy. Mark Lewisohn is widely recognised as the leading authority on the Beatles' history and you can trust his accuraty on the subject. He will not flannel you or mislead. He spent ten years researching this book, speaking to people who were part of the story and using reputable quotes from other sources. On every page you will uncover at least one fact that you did not know before. Surely this is what a book is read for; the information.

Okay, no invites to Paul's house are include but you will enter the real world of the Beatles as it happened and the extended version has pictures extra to the ones in the shorter edition which will help obtain a sense of how it was back in those days. Lewisohn transports you back there, he really does.

Now Charlie is happy about purchasing the extended version and we both think that the people who slated the book without actually reading it are quite sad. How do you do that when you don't know what the content is?

As for the price and packaging, i got my copy from hive.com for 67.99 and it arrived by courier in a solid outer box with extra padding wrapper around the book. It was well protected and arrived in perfect condition.

If you are a true Beatles fan then this book is the one to have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hungry For More, 4 Jun 2014
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I began reading this epic with the thought that it was the only volume of the three that I really need to read. The early days of the Beatles story were the least explored, so I expected to learn lots of new things. And did. As for the future volumes, well I have read who-knows-how-many books on this band, so I wasn't as excited about them.

But now that I've finished this astonishingly well-researched piece of work, I feel like a junkie without a fix. Had volume two been at hand, I'd have started it the morning after I finished this first volume. For a Beatles fanatic like me, this is the promised land.
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