11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The non-paranoid's view of McCartney,
This review is from: Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now (Paperback)
Oh, the joy of reading a book about a Beatle by someone who understands myth, but can function without it. The contrast with far too many Beatles sagas and Beatle biographies is startling. Miles finds it possible tell the Beatles' story without reference to John Lennon's paranoid period, which in itself is a giant step forward. Miles knew many of the actors in avant garde London besides McCartney, and many years from now, when the cultural passions of the age have moderated, this book will be an invaluable resource to scholars and historians. For them, it will provide a first-hand glimpse of that incandescent and chaotic decade. It also provides balanced accounts of two of its most important talents, Lennon and McCartney. The portrait of Lennon that emerges from Miles's narrative and McCartney's reminiscences is fair, understanding, and affectionate. McCartney's professed love of the man with whom he rose to the top of the musical world rings true. His gratitude that he did not take up the gauntlet Lennon flung down in 1970 also rings true. So, the historical background and the portait of Lennon given in this book make it worth buying by themselves. The icing on the cake is the self-portrait of McCartney that emerges from his memories of the decade and his reflections on his memories. What he reveals is a personality dominated by the traits of the artist: curiosity, a taste for new experience, for discovery, and enough industry and perseverance to transform inspiration into reality in the studio. Lennon's quicksilver mind got bored quickly; McCartney pressed on, finding adventure in the creative process. It was an extraordinary collaboration, and this book demytholigizes it without caricaturing either partner.